Monday, October 15, 2018

2018 Antelope Island 10K Race Recap - Antelope Island, UT




Official Time: 51:40
Placement: 1st in the 45-49, 13th overall, 7th male.
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 45F-ish, sunny, slight wind from south
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2015] [2013] [2012 (Full marathon)]


Mile TimeComments
18:35Not a bad start considering some climbing here
27:56Nice downhill stretch here.
39:19Hardest mile. Pretty good uphill grind
47:59Make up some time with the out and back downhill
58:34Some up and down hill here
68:29Steady pace
6.110:46Cruise to the finish
Total Miles: 6.11 - 51:40




Introduction


In year's past I've done the Layton Marathon.  In the past year or two since I've done it, it has been rebranded as the Antelope Island Marathon.

This race is held on Utah's Antelope Island -- a fairly large island stuck in the middle of the Great Salt Lake.  This island has a lot of history and is home to wild birds, buffalo, antelope and the occasional coyote.  It is a state park and has a museum as well as a historical ranch.

It is very popular with tourists, cyclists, as well as the occasional hiker.  It is usually one of the spots I offer to take relatives to when they visit Salt Lake.  It is a beautiful treat -- although it does smell like a stinky lake.



But I digress.  Since I've been there, the race has moved entirely to the island.  In the past, it started somewhere on the island and runners would make their way to Ellison Park in Layton.  The last 8 miles or so of the course weren't terribly exciting and there wasn't even that much of a shoulder on the side of the road to run on.

The race, since then, is now entirely on the island. This is good and bad.  It is very pretty there and you are likely to run / see buffalo and other wild creatures, but you are also on a much hillier course.  While none of the hills are heart breakers the course is decidedly NOT flat.



I always relish the opportunity to visit the lake and while I didn't really want a half marathon I decided that a 10K was worth the trip out there.



The Race


I rolled in around an hour before the race started.  The full marathon had already started and the half was starting on a different section of the island.  So the starting line was pretty much devoid of people.

With race attendance down in general, this didn't surprise me much.  I did get a lousy parking spot, but it was no stress whatsoever picking up my bib / shirt.



I wound up socializing for a while before warming up a bit.  The race started promptly at 9 AM.

I was totally expecting to run along the main drag for about 3.1 miles and then heading back.  However, I was thrown a curve ball when we took the back road.  I've visited the island several times and I can't remember a time I've been on the road.  I am sure I have, but it seemed new to me.

Almost immediately, I was greeted by a hill.  Luckily I was fresh and I could take it.

The field for the 10K was fairly small, probably less than 75 runners.  I was hoping to top 3 it and for a while, my hopes looked like it might happen.  But within the first mile I was probably in 5th place for the males.  I was working off another guy who would stop at the water stops -- and I'd pass him -- and subsequently he'd catch up.

I made it my goal to try and beat him...



The first mile went by pretty quickly.  I was glad to see mile 2, which was primarily downhill.  My pace quickened and I really felt good.

I quickly found myself running with no one behind me but people in front of me.  There were a few top female runners around but overall I was solo.  I was sort of lamenting the fact that I was running the 10K as I felt really solid when I reached the 5K turn around.  I skipped the water station and continued on the Ladyfinger point.

I was really enjoying the race.  My pace felt consistent and overall I was in the groove.  The conditions were really perfect -- other than a bit of a headwind, the temperature was great and I was really enjoying the scenery.




I reached the turn around point pretty gassed.  The 3rd mile had been mostly uphill but I knew I still had a lot in me.  Plus it felt like most of the race had been uphill to this point, and I'd probably get a decent return trip with a bit of wind at my back.  It was kind of cool as I approached the turn around to see a lone buffalo eating off the side of the road.  If I had my phone with me, I'd have stopped to take a photo, but I was racing today...

I grabbed a sip of water and really worked on my turn over.

I think at this point I had dropped the guy I was working off of and I was more or less just working for time.  I figured I had a good shot at an age group award (I really wanted to finish first) but the top 3 -- that was gone.



Mile 5 I did much better than expected I would.  That mile had a fairly long uphill but I knew the finish line was close, so I pushed it.  I was a little humbled when the first place marathoner blew my in the last stretch.... hard to compete against a 2:51 marathoner.

I really pushed hard in the final mile and while I was hoping I'd have done better, I was happy to admit that 51:40 was pretty good on a hilly course.


Conclusion


After the race I grabbed some food and drink. Post race refreshments included ice cream sandwiches, fruit and water / sports drink.



I socialized a bit and awards were handled pretty quickly.  I was ecstatic to win my age group and came home with two nifty medals.  I love the lanyards on them.  Overall, I was very happy with my experience.  I registered late, so the race was a little on the expensive side for a 10K but considering the medals, the nice shirt and entrance to the state park, I thought it was a fair deal.

The course measured up a little short. However, I did measure it on mapmyrun.com and it looks legit.  I suspect some of the tangents and turns might've confused my Garmin.



After the race I killed some time on the island.  I explored Ladyfinger Point and Buffalo Peak.  It was nice to get up close and personal with the lake. The following pictures are some I took while exploring the island:







Sunday, October 7, 2018

This Week(s) in Running 9/17 - 10/7

Pineview Reservoir


Miles Year to Date:  1462


Random Updates


The past few weeks have been good as far as running goes.  Now that I don't have the stress of a looming marathon, I can dial it back a bit and do a few other things on my weekend.

Overall, my training has been okay.  Nothing stellar, but I am getting in a good amount of short races to work on my speed as well get used to just showing up.  It's been fun doing the shorter races versus the longer ones.

I have been struggling a bit with allergies, however.  Or at least I think it is allergies.  After most runs I do find myself unable to swallow real well, which leads to a gagging sensation.  This has come on in the past few weeks and hasn't been getting better.  It doesn't bother me to run, it more or less comes on in the morning or when I have completed a run.  It isn't fun when I get an attack either.


Hoax Race?

This past Saturday I signed up for a 5K.  It was a haul... like up in Ogden -- about an hour away.  I don't normally sign up for a race that far away but I figured I was desperate for entertainment and I could probably find something to do up there after the race.  Also the money went to a good cause.

So Saturday morning I drove up there only to find no one was there.  I drove up and down the street looking for someone -- anyone -- and no one was there.

Now the first week in October is limited as far as racing goes.  There was a Ragnar and the St George Marathon is happening, so out of a business sense, racing pretty much is shut down.

Whether I was taken in by a scam race or the race was canceled -- I am not sure.  I would think I wouldn't have been the only one taken in and that there'd be other runners there,  but I was the ONLY one there. 

Having driven all that way and with the threat of rain looming I didn't really feel like hiking was sane.  So I wound up driving up Ogden canyon and doing a run around the west side of Pineview Reservoir.  I also ran along in Eden.

I've run around there before but it was nice not to have stress of a race and just be able to do my own thing.  It was a really enjoyable run and I got to take in a lot of bucolic scenery.














Upcoming Races




10/13: 2018 Antelope Island 10K - Antelope Island, UT (Confirmed)
10/20: 2018 South Jordan Half Marathon - South Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
11/11: 2018 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
11/22: 2018 South Davis Recreation Center Thanksgiving Day 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
11/24: 2018 Lamoille Turkey Trot 5K - Lamoille, NV (Confirmed)
01/19: 2019 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
04/13: 2019 Slc Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Monday, October 1, 2018

2018 Witch Run 5K Race Recap - West Jordan, UT




Official Time: 25:29
Placement: 7th overall, 1st the 45 - 49, 1st masters
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: low 70's, light wind from the south
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: First year


Mile TimeComments
18:05A little hemmed in at the start but got settled in pretty quick
28:12Hurting here on the way back on the out-and-back
38:14Pushed it to the finish
3.120:58Hauled ass to the finish
Total Miles: 3.12 - 25:30



Introduction


I am not sure what possessed me to run 2 5K races in one day, but I guess since it has been a while since I had raced, I figured I might as well go for two races in one day.

The previous post explained that I had run the Jordan River 5K race in the morning and it wasn't a terribly great experience performance-wise for me.  So it was with a little bit of fear that I rolled into the race location at Gardner Village on Saturday night.



The Race

I've run this route many times before.  Gardner Village is only a few miles from my house and is the site to many races.  It is held on the south end of the Jordan River Bike Trail.  It is a multi-use trail that serves cyclists and runners alike.  It isn't near any houses or such and it can be dark for running.  But it is flat and the paved trail is in good shape.

This race was a Halloween-Themed race.  I am not big into themed races but I figured why not.  Most of the runners were fairly casual.  There were a few speedy, serious runners, but for the most part, most of the folks were in costume and there were a lot of kids and families.

I was really worried because the Jordan River bike trail is not a huge bike trail.  And with the crowd there, it was definitely a big race, as far as 5Ks go (they estimated close to 400 runners).  I had fears of being crammed / hemmed in by walkers and while I figured this wouldn't be an "A" race, I definitely wanted to redeem myself from the morning's less than glorious finish.




The race started at 8 PM and it these days it gets dark by 7:30.  I brought a headlamp with me, mostly for others to see me running.  The course was an out and back and with the majority of folks appearing to be slower runners, I figured it was best to let people know I was coming on the way back.

The shopping center was decked out with Halloween lights and atmosphere.  Aside from the runners, there were also a ton of shoppers and people just soaking in the Halloween atmosphere.



The race started on time and fortunately the race director had everyone lined up according to pace.  There were only a handful of folks in the front that shouldn't been there, but I was within 15 feet of the start and when I took off I wasn't hindered at all.

I really didn't know what I had in me but I felt pretty good.  My goal was to go out cautiously for the first mile and then if I felt good push it to the finish.

The first mile went according to plan.  I was running with the 2nd place woman and another guy, who I soon dropped.  The girl and I wound up working off one another until the turn around point, when she turned on the jets.



I used my headlamp, which I carried sporadically but a few of the other runners had theirs on so I didn't need to use it.  However, once I got to the turn around the front runners had either pulled well ahead of me or were far behind me.  It was as if I was running solo.

This course is spot on 5K -- it might be a little long, but I was happy to see the turn around properly placed (it is at a dead end so it can't really be misplaced).

Up until this point I had been running a bit into the wind and I was hoping I'd feel a little bit of a push from it as I returned.  But alas, I just didn't seem to get any benefit.  The second place woman was well ahead of me and after hitting the 2 mile marker I looked behind me and there was no one behind me.


The crowd heading out were generally polite and I had very few problems not having a lane to run in.  I think if I had been in a group of runners, there might've been issues.  However, most people stayed to the right and it wasn't even a concern for me.

I was breathing hard at this point and while I felt my pace was decent, I sort of felt like I was losing it a little.  I don't fiddle with my Garmin in night races but my splits, for a change, were fairly even.

The shopping village finally came into view and I couldn't have been happier. There are a few turns and small hills on the way back, including running under a bridge.  Sort of treacherous footing in places and the turns tend to be fairly sharp.  So I probably lost a little time there.

I crushed it to the finish with the help of some of the volunteers who encouraged me to cruise in.


Conclusion

My time was fairly average, but for the second race of the day, I felt like I had run a lot better than my first race. Also night races are a bit harder to run due to the lighting.  You always hold something back.


I felt pretty good after the race.  I had stashed some Powerade in a bush before the race and it was still there.  I nursed that and watched people come in for a while before going back to my car for a jacket and my phone.

Awards took a bit but I am glad I stuck around.  I wound up winning an entry to next year's race.  I never win anything at race drawings and a race this large, I was surprised I came up in the drawing.  Score for me!


I knew I had finished in the top 10 and was glad to see I had won my age group.  There were a few other older guys in front and I wondered what age they might be.  Glad they weren't in mine.

Post race refreshments included candy, sports drink, and Fat Boy ice creams.  It was a really nice spread of food.

Once again, I was happy with my run.  I had low hopes on my performance and I figured the race was going to be a fiasco with first-time runners.  But all my fears turned out to be unfounded.  In fact, I had a great time.  I was smiling ear-to-ear and it was so much fun to see a bunch of people I haven't seen since I left for Arizona.

The price of the race was a little steep.  I think I paid nearly $40 for it including service fees.  Granted, I did register the week of the event.  I love the shirt design and once again, I had a great experience.  I look forward to running this one next year.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

2018 Jordan River 5K Race Recap - Murray, UT




Official Time: 23:42
Placement: 2nd in the 45 - 49 age division, 9th overall
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: low 70's, 10 mph wind from south / south west
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: First year


Mile TimeComments
17:49Off to a real solid start. 
28:45What happened here, I don't know, but felt like I was dying
2.867:13Dragged myself to the finish (about an 8:28 pace)
Total Miles: 2.86 - 23:49




Introduction


I was looking for a race to do the other day and decided I'd do the Jordan River 5K.  They had a half marathon for the race and normally I'd do that, but lately I've been focusing on 5Ks to focus in on my speed.  Also, the half marathon is on a course that I normally run a lot.  So paying for 13 miles on something that I normally run on any given weekend just didn't hold any appeal to me.

The race is about 2 miles from my house and I knew the 5K course like the back of my hand.  So I figured why not...  It'll be good to get a little bit of speed work in and support a locally run race.


The Race

I got to the race site about 40 minutes early.  I knew it was going to be a lightly attended from what I was gathering on Facebook.  I grabbed my bib, socialized a bit and then warmed up for a bit.

The half marathon had started at 8 and the 5K started at 9.  When we started to assemble near the starting line I found myself standing with about 50 - 60 other runners.

The race started on time and before I knew it, I was on my familiar route: the Jordan River Bike Trail.  The race started at Millrace park and proceeded north to Arrowhead Park, on the edge of Taylorsville.

I figured the course was going to be a bit short from the get go.  I've used my Garmin so many times on the route that I knew from where the race started to the point where we turned around, it was only about 1.40 miles.  Sure enough I was pretty much correct.

The first half a dozen runners took off.  When I was looking at the competition at the start I figured they'd be leading the race and they left me in the dust after about half a mile.  I was chasing after the 3rd place girl.  I looked behind me and no one was behind me. 

The first mile went by quick. When my watched buzzed at what I expected to be the first mile, I was happy to see a 7:49.  I was pretty happy with that but I knew I was fading fast. 

After about 1.25 miles the route went on to a fiberglass type of suspension bridge.  This was kind of slippery and there were some leaves on it.  Normally I am not running that quickly on the zig-zaggy bridge and there were a few tense moments on it. 

The turn-around was right where I hoped it would be.  There is a tiny looped-park at Arrowhead park and I grabbed a sip of water from the aid station and followed the loop back.

The 3rd place girl was long gone and when I was coming back the nearest male was probably a minute behind me.

I let off the gas a bit.  My place was sort of solidified at that point and to be honest I didn't have a lot left.  I wasn't not surprised to see an 8:45 second mile.  It made me upset a bit that my half marathon pace was now my mid 5K pace.  But I was running into a bit of a head wind and to be honest I was hurting pretty bad.

Once I got within a half mile of the finish I looked behind me and the guy who was chasing me down was now gaining on me.  He looked to have been my age and they were giving away a free entry into next year's race if you won your age group (outright).  I really tried to dig deep here but I was feeling like I really had expended myself.

Luckily, the last .1 of a mile or so I managed to really push it and I outgunned him.  I think if there were another quarter or half a mile he would've easily overtaken me.  Definitely glad I hadn't run the half today -- I just didn't have it.


Conclusion

After finishing I walked off the nauseous feeling I had.  They were handing out pretty sweet medals for a simple 5K.  I think originally there was going to be a full marathon here and with race attendance down, this race was pretty much a fire sale.

I walked back to my car to get some drink and that is when the dry heaving came on.  I am not sure what it is but it could be allergies or milk issue or something, but my throat gets clogged sometimes and it creates a gagging sensation.  I managed to get to a drinking fountain to help clear my throat but it was an uneasy few minutes.


The race didn't have a t-shirt.  You did get a pair of socks (or two) which were actually pretty nice.  I also grabbed another hat.  Never can have enough of those.  Age group awards (which I got second in mine) netted me an additional pair of socks. 

They had water, bananas and ice cream sandwiches at the end....

I paid $20 for this race, thanks to a discount code, the week of the race.  For a 5K that is a bargain and I was happy with my experience.  I would like to see the distance on the course fixed though.

The course was well marked as well. So even if I didn't know the route, I wouldn't have had any problems.

They plan to have this race again next year and I should be able to do it in some capacity.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Lamoille Canyon to Favre Lake Hike - Lamoille, NV


Introduction


Last weekend I had a chance to really hike the back country of Lamoille Canyon.  I really enjoy this canyon and ANY opportunity I get to explore it, I'll take it.

Lamoille Canyon is a hidden gem about 25 minutes south of Elko, NV in a little village called Spring Creek / Lamoille.  There is a paved road that winds its way up about 12 miles from the start (at an elevation of just over 5000) to the top at an elevation of nearly 9000 feet.

There are a few trails along the way but the best ones are at the top.  There is ample parking here and it has been the home of many of my favorite hikes and races (including the Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon).  Faithful readers may also recall that I ran the Ruby Mountain Relay Race here a few weeks ago as well.

After running the race I made it a personal goal of mine to crest the Liberty Pass trail and proceed to at least Favre Lake.  There has been countless times where I have studied Google Maps and plotted out exactly what was out there.



The Hike


First off the hike to Favre Lake is pretty well defined.  There is a trail at south end of the road that takes you to Liberty Pass.  From there take the Ruby Crest Trail and look for signs to Favre Lake.  Incidentally, Favre Lake is NOT named after the football player, but apparently a forestry service guy who did work in the area.

I started off just after 10 AM and the weather was cool.  There were some angry clouds in the sky but there weren't any predictions of rain at all.  In fact, this summer has been very dry.

I had just run the first half of my route 3 weeks ago, so it was fresh in my mind.  (You can follow along with my Garmin Route here).  As I huffed and puffed my up I kept asking myself how the heck did I run up this thing?

The first stop along the way was Dollar Lake(s) and Lamoille Lake.  I've seen these lakes a few times but they were super pretty with the mid-September changing of colors.

Dollar Lake


Dollar Lake


Dollar Lake

Lake Lamoille



I was making good progress at about 22-ish minutes per mile.  The wind really picked up as I made my ascent up Liberty Pass.  I was lugging a ton of water as well, which I didn't need.  The forestry department was also working on the trails so I had some company out there, but definitely not as many as you might guess.



It gets a lot rockier.  As you can see it was starting to get a little windy and foggy up there with a passing rain cloud (it didn't rain much).

Once you make it to the top you are greeted by Liberty Lake.  About 90% of the hikers hit this lake and return.  At this point you've gone close to 3.5 miles and are at an elevation of 10,750 or so.








You can see Wines Peek in the distance as well as Castle and Favre Lake if  you look close enough at my photos.

I wound up taking a trail that was probably the most direct way to Favre Lake.  However, it sort of petered out and I really couldn't make out where it went.  Luckily the brush was low and I could march down the side of the hill.  I still didn't feel very comfortable doing what I was doing though.  I prefer to stay on the trail on all times -- that way if I split my head open someone will find me.

Also at this point, everyone disappeared.  I saw some people camping / fishing at Liberty and an elderly couple making their way up, but for the next hour I didn't see another soul.

Eventually I did come across a trail that took me to the shoreline of Favre Lake.  I can't say how awesome it was to reach its waters.  I have been studying and looking at it for ages and I was finally here:

Favre Lake

Favre Lake

Favre Lake

Favre Lake



I was pretty close to Castle Lake but I was already in with my allotted time and there is absolutely no cell reception out there.  I was also pretty gassed.  I had 5 miles in (at least) and I had at least another 5 to go to get back to my car.

I decided to poke around the valley and grab some more pictures of the area.  The Ruby Crest Trail goes for another 10 - 20 miles I think so there are endless adventures to have.











After poking around for a bit I decided to head back.  The wind was roaring through the canyon.  It even blew my sunglasses off my head and I didn't realize it (good-bye $100 pair of sunglasses).

Once I got back up to Liberty Pass it started to rain a little.  With the storm cloud coming in I was really worried about getting hammered by the weather.  I had a light jacket in my backpack and while many other folks were bundled up, I was dressed like I was running on a 90 degree day.

I wound up dumping some water to lighten my back and started to jog down the Stockman Trail, which is about half a mile shorter to the road's end.  I had just run that stretch at the relay and it is far less steep but less scenic than the way I had come up.





All told, it took me about 4 hours to do the hike.  I spent some time by the shore of Favre Lake, but for the most part I was moving almost all the time.

I definitely want to visit Castle Lake in the future, but I'd like to do it with someone or make sure people know I am going to be gone for a bit.

I love this canyon and look forward to hiking it again.