Friday, November 25, 2022

2022 South Davis Recreation Center 5K Turkey Run - Bountiful, UT






Official Time: 24:39 (subject to change)
Placement: 2nd in the 50 - 54, 69th place
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 28 degrees, slight breeze from the north
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2021] [2018] [2017] [2016] [2015] [2014] [2013] [2012]


Mile TimeComments
17:33Nice first mile. This is where I was hoping to be.
27:56Not too bad. Some uphill work here.
38:11Other than the last quarter mile, this is a gradual grind uphill
3.090:33Crushing it to try and break 24.
Total Miles: 3.09- 24:15







Introduction


At some point when I first moved here, I found the South Davis Recreation Center's Turkey Trot run.  It is held every year on Thanksgiving up in Bountiful.  It is run by the recreation center and involves a 5K / 10K run.

It is a really nice bargain in a sea of races on one of the most popular racing days in the United States. 

Every year I've elected to do the 5K.  I've run the course a bunch of times so I know it well.  In fact, this year I've run the 5K course 3 times.  It sets a good barometer as to where my fitness is 





The Race


I arrived about an hour early the start of the 5K (8:30 AM).  As usual, packet pickup is a snap and I was able to catch the start of the 10K.  

It was a chilly morning but fortunately no snow or ice.  There also wasn't any wind.  All perfect conditions.

I did a warm-up and jogged for a few minutes to loosen everything up.  Usually this race starts a little late, but today it started on time.



If you've read this blog before and read a race recap for this course, you'll know that it is a pretty basic course:  you start at the recreation center, head north for about 1.25 miles, hang a right, go east a bit and then come back.  You finish in the back parking lot of the recreation center.  It is all residential running for the most part, with the final mile being along the business corridor (traffic is much lighter in the morning along there).

The course is also a hard one to get right. The first mile is a gradual downhill (and a congested start) following by 2nd mile with a short hill and then the final mile is mostly a steady grind back to the finish.  There is more climb than descent according to my Garmin.



I had positioned myself well at the start and my goal in this race was to go sub 24 minutes. I knew it was going to be tough.  The course isn't really ideal for me to smash a PR with.  But I got off to a decent start and settled into a comfortable pace.

I couldn't read my watch (my eyesight isn't very good) due to the lighting but I was running comfortably hard.  Occasionally I'd put in a surge to drop runners I was working with.  I also didn't see anyone in my age group.  

My Garmin alerted me I had run the first mile in 7:33.  Off to a decent start and I still felt largely in control of my pace.

From experience, I knew that once I left the main street I'd be greeted with the first hill.  My pace always hits a reality check here.  And sure enough I dialed it back a little. 

I had a bit of a panic as other runners started to pass me and that spurred me a bit more.

I flew by the first water stop and glanced at my watch.  I was hurting but I was half way through the race.  By the time my Garmin rang mile 2, I was still running a sub 8-minute pace.  I felt like I was running faster but I knew the hardest mile was yet to come.


Mile 3 is a steady grind up hill.  I was being passed by the 10K runners, who had had a 30 minute head start.  Every now and then the effort would slow me up, but I was determine to power up this hill.  I worked on good posture and quick turnover.  My focus was reaching the top of the hill in good shape and then crushing the final quarter mile (or so) to the finish.

That final traffic light never seems to arrive but I knew it would.  I felt like I was running fast at times and other times I could feel the effects of the hill slowing me up.  It was also at this point a guy who looked to be my age wearing Vibram shoes slapped by me.  Darn it!

I knew I was redlining the final stretch and eventually I did summit the long grind of a hill. I hung the final two right turns and gave it all I could.  I knew it was going to be close -- seeing 23:15 on my watch.  





Conclusion


So, I didn't quite hit the time I was looking for.  I think I started my sprint a little too late and to be honest I was at max effort.  According to my Garmin I hit a 24:15.  All things considered, an okay time for this course.

I wound up placing 2nd in my age group.  I suspect the guy who passed me deep in fact beat me.  However, the times on this race were way off.  Initially, my time was reported as 24:46.  Later it was corrected to 24:39.  I am trying to get it corrected.  I've heard rumors that other people's times were "off".

This race offers a really nice spread of food -- especially for the price.  They had the usual drinks and muffins, bananas and even oatmeal.


One of my favorite aspects to this race is that for your entry fee (about $25 with coupon code) you are eligible for some nice prizes (pies) and you do get a finisher's medal and a nice t-shirt.  I really like this year's design.




I didn't really hit the time I wanted to on this race but overall I had a positive experience.  I just hope the times / rankings are corrected.  With what appears to be everyone's times not being right, I have to question whether I did legitimately come in 2nd place.

I plan on running this course again in February!

Upcoming Races


01/14: 2023 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/11: 2023 South Davis Recreation Center Sweethearts 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
02/26: 2023 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
03/04: 2023 March Madness 10K - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
04/08: 2023 Eggs Legs 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
04/29: 2023 Blossom Run 10K - Santaquin, UT (Confirmed)
07/29: 2023 Timp 10K - American Fork, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
09/23: 2023 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/21: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/28: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)





Sunday, November 20, 2022

2022 SoJo (South Jordan) Turkey Trot 10K Race Recap - South Jordan, UT

View of the Jordan River Bike Trail and Snow Capped Mountains


Official Time: 49:36
Placement: 1st in the 50 - 54, 10th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Upper 20's, swirling breeze
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2021]


Mile TimeComments
18:03Off to a nice start.  Didn't go gangbusters
28:05Consistent. Just working on catching runners
38:03Hurting a bit here but prepping myself mentally for an upcoming hill
48:57Finally hit the hill. It was a bit further along then I thought.  Cost me a solid minute
58:06Got to crush the hill on the way back. There was some hill work here. This mile should've been faster.
68.00I think I had to stop running for about 3 - 5 seconds. Wasn't sure where to turn. Nicely done on the way back though.
6.060.22Done!
Total Miles: 6.06 - 49:38



Introduction


Last year I did in the inaugural South Jordan Turkey Trot 10K.  It is a locally produced event a few miles down the road.  It is kind of a fun run -- it's cheap, you get a t-shirt and no medal.  They also only award prizes to the top overall finishers.  

Generally I don't do races that don't offer a chance of me winning something.  But I wanted a training run and this was reasonably priced.  Plus all the cool kids were going to be there.

I've done the course twice before and it is mostly flat. It is run along the Jordan River Bike Trail and eventually dips into a hilly subdivision in South Jordan.  There is also a large hill at about mile 4.5 that always steals your dreams of a great race.

My goal today was to try and run sub 49 minutes.  I had run the course in 49;4X and 49:5x.  I've been training pretty well and could see myself doing quite well. 





The Race


The race started at 10 AM.  I had had breakfast about 3 hours before -- oatmeal with fruit.  And it really hadn't quite settled yet as I toed the line.  

It was chilly and I had done a solid warm-up to get ready for the race.  I was wearing short-shorts, thin gloves and 2 t-shirts.  A lot of people were wearing tights and I felt I was one of the under dressed ones.

The race started and off we went south on the bike trail.  There were about 100 10K runners.  There were more running the 5K, however and there was a kid's race to follow.

My goal was to run low 8 minute miles and try to smash the final 2 miles or so.  

I wound up running the first few miles with a group of runners.  I had company for most of the race and it was great working with other runners.  

The first mile rattled off at 8:03.  Solid, and right on target.  I felt really in control of my pace.  It felt hard but not all out.  Exactly where I wanted it to be.

Despite my Garmin saying there was little wind, it seemed like throughout the race I was constantly running into the wind.  It wasn't strong but any means but I didn't feel like I ever got any benefit from it.  




As I sped along the bike trail, I recalled a bunch of races I had done along that particular stretch of bike 
trail.  The Riverton half marathon, Sound of Hope and a bunch of other races over the years.  

Mile 2 run up in 8:05.  Still right where I wanted to be, but part of me was wondering if I had it today.  I was hurting but definitely not dying or on my last gasp.  My breathing was okay and I felt I could continue to hold the pace until the end of the race.

The bike trail was so pretty. I was wearing sunglasses as the sun was really bright.  We sped by a tree planting group before exiting the bike trail and entering a well-to-do-neighborhood.  It was at this point I hit a 8:03.  Consistent!

I let off the accelerator a bit as I knew a hill was coming up.  I think I had anticipated it too soon though.  I kept thinking it was around the corner but it was a while before it came into view.  

It was also at this point that we were running with some of the 5K runners. Most of them were walkers or slower runners.  They too had to climb the dreaded South Jordan Hill.  I just focused on maintaining good form and getting up the hill.  No need to bust up it but just cover the distance.

I felt my pace quicken upon getting to the top and I wasn't too surprised to see my Garmin report that I had run an 8:57 mile.  Totally expected.

There was another small-ish hill or two, but now I was more into race mode.  It was delightful to smash the hill on the way down but I really didn't get the benefit I was hoping for out of it.  Also the 5K runners had disappeared and I was simply chasing the next runner ahead of me and trying to gain some ground on the runners behind me.  I had been trading places with a few runners and even though I was completely out of medal contention, my pride was on the line.

Mile 5 saw an 8:06.  Not exactly what I was hoping for to be honest.  And I think at this point I had to stop and ask for directions.  I knew not to follow the 5K runners onto the bike trail but I had about a quarter mile south to run before taking a little alley before returning to the bike trail.

In reviewing some of the times I think some people either ran too far or returned with the 5K runners.  This resulted in distances of about 5.50 miles versus the 6.06 I ran.  The course just wasn't well marked for that tiny portion.

I hit it as hard as I could on the final mile.  I knew how much further I needed to go and I wanted to secure my placement.

I ran into quite a few of the kids racers but it didn't hinder me.  Also I hit the only water station on the course (not that I needed it at any point).  

I cruised through the final mile in 8:00 minutes.  Unfortunately I was passed by two runners in the final stretch.  Where they came from, I am not sure.





Conclusion


So I didn't hit my A goal.  At first I was disappointed because I thought I had run slower than last year.  I quick look at my blog though revealed that I indeed had run a little faster than last year.  Progress!

I had expected a little better time though.  My training has been rock solid.  It just wasn't there.  Perhaps I was afraid to go a little faster on account that breakfast clearly hadn't settled all that well.

Still, in reviewing my splits, I was largely evenly paced.  That is something that I haven't done particularly well with in the past.  Usually I start out smoking hot and then tail off near the end.


Race t-shirt. Pretty nice long sleeved one too



The race was in the low twenty dollar range.  I got a timed race and a t-shirt.  Post race refreshments included water.  It was a pretty simple affair to be honest.  They did have a raffle as well.

This was a nice race and other than the final 5K / 10K split, it was well done and organized.  I'd do this race again if it fit into my calendar.  It was close by and something to keep me motivated.


Upcoming Races


11/24: 2022 South Davis Recreation Center Thanksgiving Day 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
01/14: 2023 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/26: 2023 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
03/04: 2023 March Madness 10K - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)





Sunday, November 13, 2022

2022 Sandy City Turkey Trot 5K Race Recap - Sandy, UT





Official Time: 24:10
Placement: 4th in age group, 29th overall
Race WebsiteHere
ResultsResults
Weather: 37F slight breeze from the north
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2013] [2014] [2021[


Mile TimeComments
17:30Crowded start but mostly downhill running. Feeling very strong / relaxed
27:44A bit of an incline here.
38:05had to pay for the hills. I could see the finish line but yet so far away
3.120:49Smash the last sprint!
Total Miles: 3.12 - 24:10






Introduction


Since I've moved to the Salt Lake Area back in 2012, I've always targeted the Sandy City 5K Turkey Trot.  There is no shortage of races for the American holiday and Sandy City is pretty smart in organizing their race about 2 weeks before the big day.

From about 2015 on, the race always conflicted with the Las Vegas marathon, so I was usually unable to do this race.  Since the Las Vegas race has been moved to February, it now gives me a chance to do this race.

It is a local race - about 10 minutes from where I live and put on by the recreation center.  They do a series of races throughout the year and they are generally well organized community events.  




The Race

    
The race is held each year at Lone Peak Park.  Pretty much every year that I have attended this race, the course has been different.  But more or less it starts with at the same place.

The park is popular and sports a large open field.  It is also the gateway to Dimple Dell park -- a hidden gem in Sandy that offers lots of running trails.

I got there about 9:15 AM for the 10 AM start, easily got my bib and did about a mile of warm-ups.  It was chilly -- in the low 30'sF but I had a long-sleeved t-shirt, thin gloves, and short shorts.  I was feeling pretty good as I did my warm-up.  I did feel a bit apprehensive about this race.  It is a little hilly and I've never run particularly well.

The race started at 10 AM -- for a community recreation center run -- they are organized.  I had lined up about 50 people from the start and it was pretty congested at the start.  It probably set me back 10 seconds or so as I navigated my way along the paved bike trail walk way.

Finally after a quarter of mile, we jumped into a residential section and it opened up.  The first mile or so has been consistent over the years.  However, once we get to the bike trail, things start to get different.

The first mile is also the most fun.  You are fresh and there is a bit of a downhill.  As I ran down towards the bike trail it felt gloriously easy and I figured I was going to have a good race.  I hit the first mile in 7:30 despite the initial congestion.

I felt like I was doing pretty well as I hit the flat section of the Porter Rockwell bike trail. I definitely remember this section from the time I did the race in 2014.  I also remember making these tiny little circles around the perimeters of some small parks.  

About half way through the race, I ran into the lead pack.  I started to get an estimate of who my compotation was.  As I expected, it was mostly high school studs leading the way in their singlets and ultra-short-shorts.  I really didn't see anyone that looked to  be my age.  Could it be that this year I'd win my age group?

I was still running pretty strong and occasionally used some surges to push back people I ran into.  I was breathing hard but still had enough to push to the finish of the race.  The second mile hit at 7:45.  Despite only having marginal downhills I was really happy with this split, but I also knew the final mile was uphill and going to cost me.

As I exited the bike trail I felt like I was still running pretty strong.  I really didn't have the energy to even look at my watch.  I was so focused on powering up the hills.  The neighborhood hills aren't massive but they are enough to slow you down a bit.

I was running with a few other people.  They clearly weren't in my age group and I was able to pass some and get passed by others.  I did manage to glance at my watch continuing to check how much further I had to run.  Would the course be long this year?  Or short?  And how badly would I pay the price for the hills?

Finally we came back into the park and I had to make about a quarter mile run around the perimeter of the park before crossing the finish line.  I had glanced at my Garmin at the start of the race so I knew how much long I had to run.

I still felt strong and felt like my pace was solid, but my watch was reading 8:15's - 8:20's.  Definitely not where I wanted to be.  It was also painful to see the finish line on the other side of the park.  I could just so easily run across the park and save myself a lot of time rather than running the big loop.

Mile 3 saw an 8:05.  Not bad all things considered but I was hoping to hold sub 8.

At that point I turned on the gas and really pushed as hard as I could in the final tenth of a mile.  Could I break 24 minutes?  Would I win my age group?



Conclusion


So I crossed the finish line -- with a sub 7 minute mile pace in 24:10.  I glanced at my watch and the course measured 3.12 miles.  I probably did break 24 minutes for a legit 5K. I did look at Strava afterwards and most people got anywhere between 3.10 miles and 3.14.  I am thinking that the course was simply 5K.

All things considered, though I ran really.  In all the editions of this race, I've run about 24:45.  This year, I was quite a bit faster/

I wound up rebounding right away and made it to my car to get warmer clothes.  I shuffled back to figure out where I had placed and they were having timing problems with getting the results to the runners.  I wound up socializing for a bit before seeing that I finished 4th in my age group.  No medal for me today.  I had missed 3rd by about 25 seconds.  The first two in my age group were in the 20's and 21's.  For finishing 29th overall, my age group was stacked.

But I was still really happy with my time.  While I didn't have the breakout race I was hoping for, I did run well given the conditions and the course.

Post race refreshments were pretty limited.  Granola bars and gummy fruits.  They had bottled water but I had brought my own Gatorade for after the race.

I paid about $25 for the race.  The shirt was cute and I'll probably wear it for bumming around the house or simple short runs, but it is simply a cotton one./ I do have to say their t-shirt designer always does a great job with the t-shirt designs.  Just wish they had polyester ones.




I got pretty good value for the money I spent and it was a nice community event.  The course felt fast in some spots and in others, not so much.  It wasn't the most scenic one but I liked how I was always running with someone.  I also got to work on my mental toughness.  I worked on catching people and passing them and holding my form.  

While my time doesn't reflect a great race, I do feel like I had a good one.  In the past, I've always done about 30 seconds "slower" than normal and today I finished on par with my typical flat 5K race time.  So there is hope that I am significantly faster and am progressing.





Upcoming Races


11/19: 2022 SoJo Turkey Run 10K - South Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
11/24: 2022 South Davis Recreation Center Thanksgiving Day 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
01/14: 2023 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/26: 2023 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
03/04: 2023 March Madness 10K - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)





Sunday, November 6, 2022

Vineyard Blizzard 5K Race Recap - Vineyard, UT





Official Time: 24:05
Placement: 1st in age group, 16th male
Race WebsiteHere
ResultsResults
Weather: 39F with no wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2021]


Mile TimeComments
17:51Solid first mile.
27:59Sort of ran out of gas here, but still holding a solid pace
37:55Pushed as hard as I could. 
3.050:19Cruise to the finish
Total Miles: 3.05 - 24:05





Introduction


How can I resist the siren's call of a $15 5K?  Yes that is what convinced me to return to the Vineyard (City) Blizzard 5K.  

I ran this race last year and it was the same bargain basement price.  You don't get a t-shirt but you get a well organized event in the bedroom community of Vineyard.

This year they added a 10K race but I was more interested in keeping the volume low and I've been focusing on the 5K race for a bit now.


The Race


I made the 30 minute drive to Vineyard in short order.  This community is nestled along the shores of Utah Lake and most people don't even know it exists.  It is a residential community and new, so they've done a pretty good job packing in the houses, yet building in hiking / running trails and making the most of the natural beauty of Utah Lake.

I quickly grabbed my bib for this smallish race -- they had about 200 people total.

I got some pictures of the 10K runners, who headed off at 8:15.  My 5K race started at 8:30.  I had a feeling that some of the 10K runners would swallow me up in the final mile or so for my race -- as humbling as that would be.

After having done a bit of a shakeout run and some dynamic stretches, I deemed myself ready to run.  Although, while I was at the starting line, I felt like I should've done a longer warm out.  It was chilly and I didn't feel quite ready.




The race is run on the streets of Vineyard and mostly on sidewalk or street.  It isn't a super exciting course, but it is flat, well marshalled and supported.  I had lined up fairly close to the start but I was quickly humbled by the sheer number of people who initially passed me.  

This race is mostly attended by locals and there were plenty of kids and young adults.  I figured I'd catch some of the younger folks who blasted out too quickly.  I was eyeballing other people that I was guessing were in my age group and trying to monitor their progress.  With a 10 year age group, I didn't want to have a medal-less day.




The first mile was right on target - 7:51.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  I was beginning to wonder though if the wheels were going to come off.  I just wasn't feeling super strong.

But every time I felt like coasting, I'd spy someone ahead that was definitely masters age level.




About midway through mile 2, the lead back of 10K runners flew by me.  Here I am running hard and they fly by me -- probably at 90 to 120 seconds faster than I am.

Mile 2 hit at 7:59.  The way I was feeling though I suspect mile 3 was going to be even slower.

I think after all the 5K racing I've done, I have a lot of mental strength and I started to do math. I had a shot at going sub 24 minutes.  I knew the course was legit and I felt like I still had a lot to give.  While I didn't feel like anyone was tacking me down, I did have runners ahead of me to work off of.  Plus another masters runner was within shouting distance.




Throughout the race I was recalling last year's race.  So I knew exactly where I was and how much further I had to run.  This was a huge confidence boost in that I wasn't worried about encountering some hill or unexpected turn of events.

I kept pushing and doing math.  Could I break 24 minutes?  I was making ground against the master's runner ahead of me and I thought I'd be able to sprint past him in the final tenth of a mile.  I don't think he realized I was behind him but he turned on the jets too and there just wasn't anything I could do.

I had given it all in the final quarter mile and I crossed the finish line in 24:05.  So close.






Conclusion


So this race measured in at 3.05 miles.  Last year I ran the same course in 3.10 miles.  I'd like to count this as a legitimate race.  And I did run about 25 seconds faster than last year.

I also won my age group.  So I came home with a medal and folding picnic type of chair.  They had plenty of post race refreshments.  Bananas, granola bars and various other snacks.  They also had a pretty nice swag bag including a coupon for a Dairy Queen (hence the Blizzard tie-in).




Overall, this race continues to be one of the best bargains of the year.  Granted, I didn't get a t-shirt but I got a well supported, officially timed race and just a beautiful morning for a run.  The race organizers definitely know what they are doing and I was very happy I went.  

I plan on signing up next year and I want to try the 10K.  It runs along Utah Lake and looks like a more scenic course.





Upcoming Races


11/12: 2022 Sandy City Turkey Trot 5K - Sandy, UT (Confirmed)
11/19: 2022 Snow Canyon Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
11/24: 2022 South Davis Recreation Center Thanksgiving Day 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
01/14: 2023 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/26: 2023 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
03/04: 2023 March Madness 10K - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

2022 Haunted Half 5K Race Recap - Provo UT


Heading into the finish line.


Official Time: 24:13
Placement: 3rd in age group, 79th out of 975 overall
Race WebsiteHere
ResultsResults
Weather: 32F with gentle breeze from the west
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2021] [2015]


Mile TimeComments
17:56Crowded start but once I got rolling I felt pretty good.
27:52Knew the course here, so had some confidence.
37:56Running out of gas but helped by a 41 feet of downhill
3.060:27Navigating the Halloween decorations for the final push
Total Miles: 3.06 - 24:13



Views of the Wasatch Mountains


Introduction


So for a Black Friday sale last year, I wound up signing up for the Haunted Half 5K race in Provo Utah for about $20.  Normally the race runs around $40 or more so it was quite a bargain.

I've done the race twice before -- the half marathon years ago and the 5K last year.  The half marathon involves a bus ride to the start and then a lengthy (and often chilly) wait for the race to begin.  So the 5K tends to keep things simpler.

Once again, this year was a new race course.  The gist of it was that you'd park at a corporate center where the finish line was, walk (or warm-up) to the school where the starting line was.  The deal was, the school was about half a mile from the finish line.  

To make things even more interesting, I was under the false impression that the race started at 8 AM.  So when I arrived at the school there was hardly anyone there and the starting line wasn't even setup.  Oops.
Final turn before the finish line.



The Race


So after making a few trips from the parking area to the school (for a bathroom break) I was thoroughly warmed up.  In fact, I made a 3 trips -- each at about half a mile.  Normally I warm up less than half a mile for a 5K.  And as I toed the line at 8:30 waiting for the race to start, I began to question whether I had worn myself out -- after all I had had a fairly sluggish week of training leading in to the race.



The Headless Horseman's Horse


The race started at 8:30 and were headed south.  The race was chip timed from start to finish and I had lined up fairly close to the start but I was respectful of the other runners.  The first few hundred yards were congested but by the time we made our first turn, I was free to run the pace I wanted to.

Initially there was a bit of wind to contend with but there was enough cover to duck behind people.  It was a mild nuisance but I don't really recall it being a major factor in the race.

As I got into the first mile I began sizing up the competition.  While waiting I had spied a few other people who I thought might be in my age group.  My goal was to hang with them and keep them in my sights, but still run my race.

As we wound our way through the first mile, I immediately recognized where I was.  I knew at some point we were going to run on the Murdock bike trail where I had run the PC2PG race in August.  Sure enough, just as I hit mile 1, I jumped onto the bike trail and I was suddenly in familiar territory.  I was pretty happy with my sub 8 minute mile, but I knew I'd have to hit it a bit harder.

The next mile was on the bike trail and I knew exactly where we were and what to expect.  It gave me a lot of confidence as I knew I didn't have to hold back much out of fear there was some sort of hill.

I expected a faster mile after the first mile but still hit a 7:52, only slightly faster than the first mile.  But I had made ground against some of my supposed opponents who I presumed were in my age group. I was hurting but still holding my own.  I also knew that after mile 2 that I was going to get a bit of a downhill.  




Despite a lackluster week of training and running on pretty fatigued legs, I was still having what I would consider a good race.

The Dark Tunnel!


Sure enough after exiting the bike trail we jumped into a residential area that had a significant downhill.  It wasn't massive, but it was enough to give me a boost.  I could coast -- just a little bit -- and let gravity assist with the running.

It was at this point that I passed my would-be competitor. Now I just had to keep that lead.


Looking good at roughly mile 2


I had studied the course briefly before the race and by the organizer's own measurements, the course was going to come in at 3.17.  I think I had even measured it using MapMyRun.  So my presumption was that I had better save a little bit of energy for that final push and that I'd be running quite a bit further than the standard 3.11 miles.



So in that last half mile or so, I did dial it back.  While I was tired and at the end of my limit for the 5K, mentally I wrote the race off as "not legit" or "I'd have to correct my time to what I think I would've run".  So in short, I sold myself short.

The race had thinned out at this point but there wasn't anyone in my age group within shouting distance.  Finally, I saw where people were making a left turn into the finish line's corporate center.  I glanced at my watch.  I was still well under 3 miles.  Could this course be actually short?

I made the turn and heard the roaring crowd.  This was a family event and there were plenty of spectators in the final stretch to cheer me on.  I cruised through a darkened tunnel, made another left turn and blasted through the finish line.




Award Time


Conclusion


So the course came in at 3.06 miles.  A lot of other runners got this exact distance as well.  Measuring it once again with MapMyRun I came up with 3.16.  My time is typical for a 5K



I wound up finishing 3rd in my age group.  I was thrilled to get a medal . The race was kind of a haunted 80's theme so the award was actually medal of a cassette tape.  The finishers medal was akin to the one I got at last week's race.  The shirt was also identical.  I wound up wearing a shirt from 2011 from the Haunted Hustle in Palatine IL Turns out that 11 years ago to the day I ran that race.

They had plenty of snacks and drink after the race: donuts, oranges, bananas, chocolate milk, water, orange juice, etc.  Runtastic Events definitely knows how to put on a party.  The finish line was also an epic Halloween festival and I think people really enjoyed it.

I had signed up for the race on a Black Friday deal, so I had gotten a very nice price (less than $25).  I was happy with my experience but was a little disappointed that there were no bathrooms at the actual 5K starting line. I am partially to blame for this since I got to the starting line WAY early.

I was pretty happy with my time all things considered.  My splits were even and while I was hurting at the end, I was still pushing hard.

I plan to do this race next year.  It was fun and I knew a lot of people there.  It was a large, family event but still gave me the opportunity to keep and run hard.

Upcoming Races


11/05: 2022 Vineyard Blizzard 5K - Vineyard, UT (Confirmed)
11/12: 2022 Sandy City Turkey Trot 5K - Sandy, UT (Confirmed)
11/19: 2022 Snow Canyon Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
11/24: 2022 South Davis Recreation Center Thanksgiving Day 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
01/14: 2023 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/26: 2023 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
03/04: 2023 March Madness 10K - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)