Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 Provo Canyon To Pleasant Grove 10K Race Recap - Lindon, UT

Official Time: 51:10
Placement: 1st overall male, out of 30 racers
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid 60's 5 - 8 mph wind from the south
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: First Year

Mile TimeComments
18:37A fair amount of hills here.
28:36Finally some flats and on my way on the bike trail
38:48Running out of gas here. Felt like this was climbing but actually mild downhill
48:36Step on the accelerator a bit.
58:48Some flats here and on final hill to push up
68.21All downhill
6.070.30Push it to the finish
Total Miles: 6:07 - 52:19


There were a ton of races this past Saturday and I was looking to pick one.  Most of the races were fairly big half marathons that were a bit spendy as well as a bit of a drive.  I don't feel like I am ready to run a half marathon quite yet - at least competitively -- so I found another race -- the inaugural PC2PG race.  

Put on by OnHillEvents.Com, I decided to give this race a shot.  They had a variety of distances, from the 5K to the half -- along with a 10K.  

The race was located in Lindon, UT about 25 minute drive from my house.  The race's headquarters were at a junior high that backed up to the Murdock Canal Trail that hugs the eastern mountain range in Utah County.

I had never been on this paved trail before and was always curious as to what it was like.  So it was pretty easy to decide that I was going to do this race.

The Race

I rolled into the race about an hour before race time.  Hardly anyone was there.  Sadly, with so many races going on that morning, this one was lightly attended.  Also, the majority of the racers were doing the half marathon, which had started an hour before I got there.

So picking up my bib and shirt was easy peasy.  I did some basic drills, socialized and cycled through the bathroom a time or two before the race's 8:15 AM start.

It was a little warm and occasionally a few drops of rain fell.  I knew that the rain was going to be short-lived though.  There just weren't enough clouds to warrant a full on storm.

The race started promptly at 8:15. 

With most races that I haven't done before, I am always worried about course markings.  You just never know when a volunteer is going to send you down the wrong path but this race was about as simple as it could be.

Just run down a residential street for about a third of a mile, hook a right on the trail and keep going until the second water stop.  About a 100 yards after the 2nd water stop, turn around.  Truthfully, the race was as simple as that.

The first half mile was uphill and I hadn't really warmed up, so I slow got into the groove as other runners passed me.  I was running with the 5K runners as well and I kind of knew who was running what.  I let the people I know who were faster get in front of me and I got acquainted to running.  I really wasn't sure what I had...

I liked the bike trail.  It was plenty wide and there were other runners and many cyclists and dog walkers on it.  I just stayed to the right and I was fine.  I felt like I was running pretty well and was actually mildly surprised to see an 8:30 flash on my watch for the first mile -- despite the hills.

The sun was out and I was working on a good sweat.  Mile 2 passed by with an almost identical split from the first -- at least I was consistent.

It was at this point that the 5K runners turned around.  I suspected I was in 2nd place, maybe 3rd -- at least for the men.  I was tailing the second place woman, who I knew was faster than me, so I was right where I wanted to be.  I looked behind me and a few guys were behind me but it was too early in the race to truly worry about them.

Not sure what happened in the third mile, but I suspect I was feeling fatigued and my confidence was lagging.  I had wondered if I had started out too fast and to be honest, I was hitting some headwind which made holding the tempo pace that much harder.

The second water stop was as advertised and I hung a right, ran another 50 yards or so and then turned around at the sign.  Running back on an out and back course is kind of nice because I could suss out my competition.  The two guys that were behind me were about a minute or 90 seconds behind me, so I couldn't let up.  I couldn't tell how many other 10K runners had already turned around because the half marathoners were coming back from their point-to-point race.  I still figured I was in 3rd place -- potentially 2nd.

Heading back was nice.  I knew where I had to go and I knew how much further I had to run.  I was passing some of the slower half marathoners, which buoyed my confidence.  Granted, they were at mile 11 while I was at 4 or 5.

The course was actually quite stunning and I took time to appreciate.  The bike trail was clean, safe and while I did have to cross a few roads, their were crossing guards or virtually no traffic to worry about.  I'd definitely like to explore this trail more in the future.

I kept looking back --- searching for the guys tailing me and I couldn't see them.  Had I put that much ground on them?  I worked on passing the second place woman and really pushed it during the last 2 miles.  Occasionally there were 5K walkers but for the race was sparsely populated.

Once I turned the corner to head back to the school I looked behind me and I could not see my pursuers.  Just in case though, I really let loose and flew the last quarter mile.  It was nice to be off the trail and back on street and having a nice downhill.

As I crossed the finish line, I heard, Joe, the race director, announce that I was the first place winner of the 10K.... what?!?!!?!


First off, my speed work isn't suddenly paying off and nor did I set a personal best.  It was the luck of the draw that only a few people ran the 10K.  It was nice to "win" but let's face it, the victory is sort of hollow.

I snagged a nice plaque -- OnHillEvents always has nice plaques to the overall winners and I got a heavy-duty finisher's medal.  I really like the lanyard on it.

The course came up a little short for me.  It was fairly straight and narrow so maybe my Garmin was off going through an underground bridge or two, but my time was about 40 seconds faster than "normal".  The course was well marshaled and the water stops were done well (there were 3).

Post race festivities included typical stuff: sports drink, ice cream sandwiches, and fruit.  I paid about $40 for the race a week before the event, which is typical for a 10K race these days.  The shirt was nice but I like the pure-tech ones.

There were a lot of races to choose from this past Saturday and it was reflected in this race, unfortunately.  I think if it was positioned better there would've been more runners.

I really enjoyed the race course and would definitely consider doing the half marathon next year, as that starts near Bridal Falls in Provo Canyon and sports a largely downhill profile.

I ran well enough.  Definitely not an earth-shattering performance but all things considered, I ran intelligently and with some guts, as indicated by the push at the end.

I've raced over 400 races at this point in my "career" and prior to today, I had "won" 2 of them.  Again, the race was lightly attended (130 total runners for all 3 events) and I had a good time.  I'll mark my calendar for next year's edition on this one.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

2019 Bluffdale Badlands 10K Race Recap - Bluffdale, UT

Official Time: 51:10
Placement: 6th in the 30 - 50 age group, 12th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Low 70's 5 - 8 mph wind from the south.
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2018]

Mile TimeComments
18:43Off to a slow start, some up hill here
29:22More hills.  Like a gradual grind. Nothing major though.
39:02A little bit more of an uphill, followed by the start of the downhill
48:12Finally can crush it fast.
58:34Flats here. Working by myself but an okay mile for mile 5 of a 10K
5.877.14Cruise to the finish
Total Miles: 5.87 - 51:10


I registered for this race a few weeks ago -- as I was looking for something to do and I remember doing this race last year.  It is one of the best bargains as far as races go -- for a little more than $15, I got a breakfast, a race, and a shirt. 

Unlike last year, when there were a ton of wildfires making the air almost unbreathable, this year the air was pretty clear and the temperature was actually decent -- a low 70 degrees.  This race also starts at an ideal time: 6:30 AM, when it is just turning dawn and the air is comfortable.

The race is also located about 20 minutes away from my house and I just remember having a decent experience last year.  So I figured why not, I could at the worst get in a decent tempo run and a t-shirt or I could have a really great race.

The Race

I rolled in just shy of 6 AM for the race and I noticed a lot of people milling about.  Apparently the bibs / shirts hadn't arrived yet.  Uh oh, not a good sign...

I passed the time for using one of the copious porta-potties and by the time I got out, the shirts had arrived.  So I snagged by bib and killed another 30 minutes or so before the start of the race.  

During my warm-up I totally didn't feel like running, let alone racing.  I think I was just tired and had a case of the Saturday morning blahs.  So I was a little apprehensive about my whole experience.

The race started prompt at 6:30 and I was off.  I dug deep and told myself to just hang in there and do my best.  If anything, it would be a solid speed workout.

I remembered the course being an honest one from last year.  There were equal amounts of downhill parts as well as uphill.  I also remember the course as being kind of fun -- for a residential run that is.

The first mile is a little bit of an incline.  The lead pack clearly took off and I broke ranks from the back of the pack and I found myself clearly in the middle.  In fact, for most of the race, I only had the 3rd place girl in sight in front of me and hardly anyone behind me.

The second mile was definitely the hardest.  It is primarily uphill.  It isn't a crazy uphill where you are tempted to walk, but just a death by a thousand cuts kind of hill.  When I reached the summit, I took a quick look over my shoulder and yeah the sum of it was significant but luckily it was spread over nearly a mile.

Finally at the summit, I was able to rinse my mouth out at the first aid station.  And I also got a nice stretch of downhill.  I was able to really start to cruise here and my pace increased significantly. 

I was feeling a little tired / beat up midway through the race.  I certainly wasn't feeling 100% and I began to panic a bit that I was going to have a crappy race.  But I was giving it all I had.

The next 3 miles of the race was a fairly lonesome experience.  Again, I was chasing the 3rd place girl and occasionally I'd look over my shoulder to see if anyone was gaining on me, and no one was behind me.  The course was marked well and I remembered large sections of it last year.  At the important intersections there was a police officer, but Bluffdale is a pretty quiet community.  

This year, at the final turn they had someone marshalling the final turn into the park.  Last year, there was a very light chalk mark that a lot of people missed.  However, I think the 10K was supposed to make a left.  I had made up some ground on the woman in front of me and I saw her go straight on through.

As I was approaching to what I remembered the turn to be, I did not see a single marker to indicate I was supposed to turn.  Could I have been mistaken? 

Since the lead runner had gone that way and I hadn't seen any markings to indicate I was supposed to make a loop around a horse arena (like last year) I kept going and crossed the finish line with little fanfare -- it was a tiny race and most of the 5K runners had clearly finished well before me.


Hard to say how I feel about this year.  I think the race was clearly short on account that last year I ran the exact same course for 6.13 miles.  This year, it came in at 5.87.  Looking at my time from last year, I was in the realm of about the same finishing time, but perhaps a little slower...

There were no finishers medal at this race and unless you were one of the top 3 in your age group (they had super wide age divisions) you weren't going to get a medal.  This was fine, it was a $15 race so my expectations were low.

Post race they had a social pancake breakfast which included eggs, hash browns, I think Tang, and pancakes.  This was included in the price of your race, which was nice.  It was also time to meet and greet people but again the race had maybe a hundred people at most, and most of the 5K runners had already left.

The t-shirt was a tech shirt of similar design from last year's.  It was fine and one I'd use for regular training runs. 

I liked the course.  I know running through a residential area doesn't interest many people, but there was a mix of open fields, residential, and suburbia.  While not a stunning course, for whatever reason, it does hold my interest.

I was pleased with my experience, with the exception of the final quarter mile into the race.  I think the final turn should've been more clearly marked.  I would've liked to have been able to compare last year's time with this year's.  The course had 2 water stops, which is fine for a 10K but the mile markers were way off.  I am glad I was wearing my Garmin. 

But for $15, I got my money's worth.  I'd certainly do this race again.