Tuesday, August 31, 2021

2021 South Jordan Rivalry Run 10K Race Recap - South Jordan, UT

Official Time: 49:51
Placement: 1st overall out of 10
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Low 70's 
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: First year for me.

Mile TimeComments
17:50Strong start. Didn't feel this fast
27:58Solid stretch here. Was I actually going to win this one?
38:08Reality setting in.  But still a decent mile here
49:11Big hill here. Definitely took an extra minute to climb
58:21Back to the grind. Getting it done though.
68.19Hitting it as hard as I could for the finish
Total Miles: 6.02 - 49:51


I actually had an open date on my calendar for the last Saturday of August.  It was kind of light weekend for racing, and I was half expecting it to be a weekend of no racing.  However, I was informed of a small race in South Jordan -- about 15 minutes south of where I live -- that offered a 10K or 5K.

Most of the runners in the area were either putting together their last marathon training runs or opted to the Nebo race (which offered a race of every major distance).  The Nebo race would've been more expensive, and it involved an hour one way drive to the race site plus another 30 minute drive (each way) to pick up my bib.  It was also 3 times as expensive.

So it made my decision fairly easy.  I could just the South Jordan Rivalry Run race as a tempo run and get a medal and shirt.  Plus the chance to hobnob with other runners a bit was a nice bonus.  So I jumped in during the week of registration and showed up Saturday morning.

The Race

The race started at the unheard of hour of 10 AM.  It was nice to get up later than usual but at the same time, not so nice -- it was pretty warm.  Fortunately I've run through a lot hotter but the sun was pretty intense.  I would've preferred an 8 AM start.

I was forewarned that this race was lightly attended and that met expectations.  They had 10 10K runners and 25 5K runners.  It'll go down as one of the smallest races I've ever attended.

Smaller races means that only overall winners would be awarded prizes.  No worries, I came here partly for the social event and partly for a t-shirt.  

The Rivalry Run is a themed race of sorts. There are 3 major colleges here in the state: University of Utah, BYU and Utah State.  I came representing the "U", mostly because it is the one that most non-native Utahans associate with.  I'll be honest, I am not a diehard fan for any one but I do own some "U" paraphernalia.  So I go with them if given an option.

It was warm, so I kept my warm-up pretty short and sweet.  A little bit of jogging, a bunch of drills and I utilized a massage stick to hit my hamstrings and calves.

I was ready to run at 10 AM and I was off.

I quickly found myself in 3rd place overall.  I was tailing a young man and a young woman was leading the way.  I knew the young man was running the 5K but I wasn't sure what the woman was running.  

The race is primarily run on the Jordan River Parkway.  I don't normally run on this stretch of the trail but I know it well.  I've done quite a few races that have taken me along the route.  In fact, when I had my first job in Utah, after work I used to come down to this area and do my runs.  Part of the was race was run in a well-to-do neighborhood just west of the trail.

At about .75 of a mile I saw a race marker indicating I was to turn.  The two front runners kept going straight.  So I crossed a pedestrian bridge over the Jordan River and then continued going south along the trail.

I was shocked to see my watch beep 7:50 for the first mile.  I honestly didn't feel like I was running that quickly.  I looked over my shoulder to see where my competition was.... and I didn't see anyone.  Where was everyone?  Was I going the right way?

It is definitely a unique and very strange feeling leading the pack.  But there wasn't anyone behind me.  Was anyone at all running the 10K?  I hadn't studied the course at all before hand but I had been given some very rough directions on where the course ran, so I knew I was going the right way.  But there wasn't any assurances, crowd support or someone else who knew I was going the right away.

There were people on the bike trail: walkers, cyclists and other runners but it definitely didn't feel like a race.  To make matters a little tougher, my breakfast hadn't quite digested so I was biting back a little bit of nausea.

Mile 2 came up and I was approaching a park.  I had the impression I was supposed to run through the park but fortunately I saw the stickers on the ground indicating I needed to cross a pedestrian bridge and run on the west side of the bike trail.  Had I missed those markers, I would've been doing a marathon.

I was still running strong and occasionally I looked behind me to see if I had any competition.  But it was hard to tell who was in the race and who was just out for a run.  Either way, I don't think I saw anyone for the entire race behind me.

I was starting to hurt by mile 3.  I had run the first half of the 10K at 5K pace.  And there wasn't any water stops (so I was a bit dehydrated) and I was feeling anxious over finding my way along the race course.  I was terrified of missing a turn given that the course was marked by stickers on the ground.

Finally around mile 3.5 I was dumped into a residential area.  I had the vague impression it would be a quick jaunt through the neighborhood, but it wound up being a lot more than that.  I was running through a neighborhood for a good mile.

The Jordan River sits in the "valley" so to speak.  And the surrounding areas are a slow incline towards the mountains surrounding the valley.  Almost immediately I was greeted with a looming hill.  Darn it -- there goes my chances of running a speedy 10K.

I did short shuffle steps up the hill and I watched my pace plummet.  It was okay -- I didn't want to burn myself out so quickly.  Fortunately the hill was short lived; my Garmin leads me to believe it was around .15 of a mile.  It cost me nearly a minute on my pace and really fatigued me.  As a result I wasn't too surprised to see a 9 minute mile come up on mile 4.

This part of the course was new to me and it was enjoyable seeing the houses.  The course made sense and the markers justified the logic.  While I was always leery of missing a turn, I knew that I would have to run up and then back down to the bike trail to finish.  I did run into a pair of 5K runners but they were the only people I wound up seeing on the course.

I was able to regain some of my momentum during the final 2 miles.  What goes up, must come down and I got some wonderful speedy hills to assist my pace on my way back to the bike trail. 

There was a bit of crisscrossing to do with the routes here and fortunately they had people making sure we didn't get lost and before I knew it, I was back on the bike trail heading south.

There hadn't been any water stops except at the .75 mile split so I was really thirsty and could feel a bit hazy.  While the temperature wasn't insanely hot, at the pace I was running, I could've used a bit of Gatorade.  Also, while I didn't see anyone behind me, I had a sense someone was going to pass me and I really had no idea if or how close my next competitor was.

I finally returned to the 5K / 10K split point and I remember it being about .75 of a mile from the start.  I would've loved to have grabbed some water, but with .75 of a mile to go, it didn't make sense.  Also it wasn't in cups, but plastic bottles.

I looked behind me and saw a young man dressed in white about a quarter mile or so away.  Was he in the race?  I thought I had spotted him before and I thought he was.

So I dug deep for the final stretch.  It hurt but I picked up the pace to solidify my position against the guy in white.  

Occasionally I'd turn around to see if he was gaining on me and eventually he simply disappeared.  Was he a mirage? A figment of my imagination?  Ultimately he was not in the race.

I crossed under the finish line arch in just under 50 minutes -- spent and not really feeling great.


Hurray! I won.  But let's face it, my odds were pretty good.  10 runners in the 10K, 3 of which who didn't show up, and only one other male in the race.  

For my work, I was rewarded with an all-purpose University of Utah glass (good for cold and hot beverages).  And in the raffle I won a U of U blanket.  Some pretty sweet prizes for my $25 entry fee.

Post race refreshments was simply water. Fortunately I always bring Gatorade and crackers in my car.  I was sort of hazy feeling so water was about all I could handle.  I wasn't expecting much in terms of refreshments given the size and what I paid for in the race.

The finisher's medal was outstanding.  Very nicely designed and heavy duty.  I was also thrilled to get a colorful technical shirt.

So I ran this race simply "okay".  The temperature was tough and my breakfast hadn't quite settled before the start of the race.  I wasn't sure how to dial in my food but skipping or eating too light of a breakfast and attempting to run that late in the morning would've been just as bad.  The hilly section also set me back in terms of time as well as the stress of trying to find where I was to turn next.

Overall, I liked this race.  It was a fun workout and I came out ahead on what I got and what I paid for.  It is always rewarding to finish first -- I don't have many of those in my career.

I would likely run this race again if I had an open weekend next year but it would probably be a bit lower on my radar all things considered.  I mostly ran it as a social thing and something to do for a Saturday morning.  I will say that I did enjoy the course, even though I had run on several parts of it before.

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