Sunday, September 1, 2019

2019 Swiss Days 10K Race Recap - Midway, UT

Official Time: 52:16
Placement: 79th male out of 160, 6th in age group
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid 50's, no wind.
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2018] [2017] [2016]

Mile TimeComments
18:29Slight up hill start.  Hemmed in a bit too for the first quarter mile or so.
29:07Most challenging part of the course. A bit of climbing here
38:55Good portion of this mile was uphill, but got it back
48:09Mostly downhill here. Love this section of the course
68.46Slow uphill and kind of out of gas
6.060.25Push it to the finish
Total Miles: 6:06 - 52:13


For the past few years, one of my favorite traditions is to do the Swiss Days 10K.  It is located in beautiful Midway, UT, about an hour from the Salt Lake Valley on the other side of the Wasatch mountains.

During Labor Day weekend they celebrate their Swiss heritage by holding Swiss Days.  They have a parade, vendors and tons of food.  In addition, they have the obligatory 10K race.

I've always had a good time at this race and it is affordable, so it wasn't too hard of a decision to run this race again this year.

The Race

I got there way early this year... I had made good time and had nearly an hour to kill.  Fortunately for me, I was able to snag pretty decent parking.  There were a lot of roped off areas and I suspect late comers had a tougher chance of getting parking.

Packet pick-up was a snap.  I got my bib and t-shirt and socialized, chilled in the car and warmed up with my extra hour.  The race started promptly at 7 AM.

The race is held on the residential streets of Midway.  You are surrounded by farm country, the entrance to a state park, a beautiful golf course and the towering Wasatch Mountains.  It is really a stunning course.

The race is well attended and seems to be a gathering point for many high school athletes.  The race wasn't chip timed and I managed to shoulder my way up fairly close to the front.

The race starts off slightly downhill before making a sharp right turn to pass the fairgrounds.  From there you slowly wend your way through the older section of town.  Also the course is a slow grind up.  It isn't noticeable or a back breaking hill, it is just a slow climb.

Entering into mile 2 is where the challenge of the race comes in.  You are leaving the residential area and coming into the more exclusive part of town.  The road was lined with golden sunflowers and the mountains came into view.  I flew by the first water stop without grabbing anything but I knew that from mile 2.5 to 3.5, it was going to be challenging.  I felt good but I definitely was feeling the slightly higher than normal altitude.

One of the painful aspects of this race is that you run up the service road to the Wasatch State Park.  It is almost all uphill and consists of two very steep paved hills.  Fortunately, once you reach the top of the second one, you circle around a cone and get to run down them.

Knowing the course, it was nice to know that the next 3 miles or so were primarily going to be fast and my legs were excited to run fast.  My pace quickened and around mile 3 or so I found my "fast gear" and turned on the jets.  It wasn't long lived but I gained some ground here against some of my competitors as we flew by the golf course, which was just stunning in the young morning's view.

Finally we got back to the 1st water stop and I rinsed out my mouth with water and dumped the rest on me.  It was refreshing.  I wasn't thirsty per say and it wasn't warm, but my mouth was dry.  Getting cooled off as I continued to zoom down the hills that lead back to town helped my morale.

The final mile on this race is challenging.  Gone are the hills and at this point my legs usually feel like rubber.  Also there is a brief stretch where you have a bit of a hill again -- nothing crazy but it certainly makes it more challenging.

At this point, the competitors were fairly stretched out and I kept trying to reel in anybody I could.  I looked behind me and I didn't see anyone but I was worried about placing in my age group.  A pair of older guys had flown by earlier and I just wasn't too hopeful.

I pushed as hard as I dared in the last half mile.  The last quarter mile or so is a gentle downhill and you can see the finish line and the cheering crowds. I had been monitoring my splits but wasn't really paying attention to my overall time.  

I expected something in the low 53's but was pleased to see a 52 and change on the clock as I crossed under the finish line.


I love this course.  It is one of the prettiest races out there.  I should go back and photograph various portions of it.  Each time I do this race I feel fortunate to have experienced the beauty of this particular area.

After finishing, I was dismayed to see that I had finished 6th in my age group.  So close -- as they award cool glass mugs for top 5 age group finishes.  Turns out I would've needed another minute off of my time to place.

To console my woes, this race does have a great post race feast consisting of super yummy donuts (I think made locally), chocolate milk, sports drink and fruit.  In the case that I would've placed in my age group, I could've just picked up my mug and gone home.  So the awards system is very efficient and without much fanfare.

For $20 this race is a bargain.  It is professionally run and had two water stops.  The race has consistently come up short over the years (at least according to my Garmin).  I was disappointed that this year's shirt wasn't of a technical material.  It is cotton and gray.  I probably won't wear it.  There are no finisher's medals at this race either but for a 10K I don't really expect one.

I'll continue to do this race.  I love the course and it is very affordable./  I do hope that next year they go back to having a high quality tech shirt. 

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