Saturday, September 5, 2020

2020 East Canyon 10KM Race Recap - Morgan UT

Official Time: 50:50
Placement: 9th overall, 1st in the 50-54 age group
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 68F and no wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: First year for me

Mile TimeComments
18:12Wow, fast start. Feeling good
28:17Continuing going. This course is flat and I am feeling good.
38:54Okay definitely paid the price.  
48:28Got a bit of a second wind here
58:55    Again, some tough miles here.
5.918.02Closing in on the finish.
Total Miles: 5:91 - 50:51


I haven't really been to Morgan Utah.  The closest I've gotten is when I hike East Canyon and I make it to the Big Mountain Parking lot.  And I always ask myself -- what is beyond there?

Well this year, with Covid in play, I decided to find out.  Normally, I do the Swiss Days run out in Park City, but the festival was shut down on account of the pandemic.  That left me with pretty much one choice today:  the East Canyon 10K put on by OnHillEvents.  

Normally I'd jump into the half marathon, but my training hasn't been rock solid all summer.  Unable to do much of my training on the bike trail and also because of the high heat, my mileage is at an all time low.  I am, however, trained for a 10K and so I ponied up the money and jumped in to give this race a shot.

Morgan is kind of in the North East quadrant of the state.  You have to take a circular route to get there -- as the crow flies it probably wouldn't be too bad, but with a mountain range in between the Salt Lake Valley and Morgan, you have to take a roundabout way there -- also at about 50 miles (one way).

Fortunately it was smooth sailing and I left just after 7 AM for the 9 AM start.

The Race

Packet pick up was a snap and by 8:15 I was ready to run.  However, with a 9 AM start, it gave me ample time to socialize and warm up.  Morgan is a definitely a small, rural town on the edge of civilization.  It was chilly (about 50 degrees when I arrived) but you could tell it was gonna be a warm one.  The sun was out and I was admiring the hills and mountains in the area.  

As I was warming up, the faster full marathoners and half marathon runners were finishing.  It was kind of cool to see them coming in and just as the 10K started, there were even more runners coming in.  It was interesting to see who was having a good race and and who were feeling the mounting miles.

The race started slightly late -- maybe 9:10 or so but we lined up roughly according to pace and the race director started off in about 10 - 15 second increments.  As soon as I started running I tore off my mask and tucked it in my pocket.

With Covid these days, I am using my own hydration -- avoiding the hand-outs they have at the race.  I had a small 12 ounce flask of water in my pocket.  It probably slowed me down a bit but it was nice to have it when I needed it.

The first mile took us out of the Morgan County Fairgrounds and had us head into town.  There were a long row of classic, old school storefronts along here.  There was definitely some history here:

But before we got into the downtown area we turned a corner and went to a residential area and finally a bike trail.

As I ran the first mile I gave some encouragement to the fast finishers of the other races and dug in deep to really push it.  I was really enjoying the cooler temperatures and the new scenery.  I was pretty jazzed to see an 8:15 mile pop up on my Garmin after the first mile.

After reaching the 5K turn around, we were on a main drag.  It was flat and kind of interesting seeing schools and some homes.  I was catching some of the runners that had started in front of me and I was still holding a decent pace.  More and more racers were coming in from the full and half marathons as well.

NOTE:  From here on out, the photos posted are of the half and full courses, which I drove after the race.

From mile 2 through 3 -- I was definitely feeling it.  I was paying a price for going out too fast.  Also, I was no longer really racing against anyone.  A woman who had started before me was ahead of me and I wasn't making much ground on her and literally no one was behind me.  

The 10K turn around was the 2nd aid station.  When I reached it, I saw the sign on it saying 10K turn around.  I glanced at my Garmin and saw that it read 2.96 miles(!).  I asked the volunteer -- are you sure this is the turn around? And she replied "yes".  I had also seen the woman in front of me turn around here as well.  Drats, another "short" race.

Oh well, I somehow found the energy to kick it up a notch as I headed back towards town.  I was really happy to see a mid 8 minute mile flash on my Garmin upon crossing mile 4.

Mile 4 to 5 has us back along the main street.  It was tough running here.  Occasionally I passed a struggling half marathoner or full marathoner but I was just hurting at this point. I did get passed by a couple of other runners who definitely had more in the tank than I did.

Finally I hit mile 5 and I was back on the bike trail and just a few minutes from the finish line.  Part of me was grateful for a short course.  This was definitely not a PR day for me but I really turned it up a bit as I turned the final corner and cruised towards the finish line.


My Garmin read 5.91 when I crossed the finish line.  Definitely a quarter mile short of a full 10K.  I did talk to a few other people and some got over 6 miles.  I'll have to re-run the route through another tool to see what it measured.

Post race refreshments included water, an orange, delicious Fat Boy Ice Creams, and string cheese.  Usually there is more of a free-for-all with post race food, but with Covid restrictions in place, there were some limitations.

I won my age group (only 2 of us) and came in 9th overall.  It was a small race, with only about 50 runners.  The medals were very nice and heavy.  The t-shirt was kind of generic and I am not a fan of the 50/50 cotton / polyester shirt (I prefer the 100% polyester "tech" shirt). 

I paid $40 for the race.  I got a decent race and a fun morning.  And I got to see a part of Utah I hadn't seen before.  I wound up making a long 100 mile route around Emigration Canyon to see a variety of sites.  I took the long way home and took some photos of the reservoirs and scenic area.  I hadn't driven that area at all and was always curious what was beyond the area I had seen before.  

Definitely worth.

The tough question is, will I do this race next year, or Swiss Days....  

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