Saturday, February 12, 2022

2022 South Davis Recreation Center Sweethearts 5K Race Recap - Bountiful, UT

Official Time: 24:10
Placement: 1st in the 50 - 54
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: low to mid 40's slight wind from the north
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2021] [2020] [2019] [2018] [2016] [2015] [2014] [2013]

Mile TimeComments
17:24Fast downhill start.  Felt good. Wish the whole race was like this.
27:58Okay, a bit of work going on a slight uphill.
38:15This mile is always the toughest. A grind uphill.
3.090:33Smash the final quarter mile.
Total Miles: 3.09- 24.10


So every year since 2013 I've done the South Davis Recreation Center (I missed out on the 2017 edition for some reason).  It is one of my favorite races and a good setup for the spring season.  The course is very consistent from year to year so you can see where your fitness is at.

Also, the race is pretty well organized and situated.  It is held at the Bountiful Recreation Center, so you have a place to keep warm, use clean toilets, etc.  Also, the race -- if you register in advance -- is affordable and you do get a lot for your money.

So it was pretty much a no-brainer decision for me to sign up for this race and make the trek north about 25 minutes to Bountiful.

The Race 

I rolled into the race's headquarters just after 8 AM.  The race, this year, was lightly attended, so it was an easy in and out as far as getting this year's t-shirt and swag bag.  I did about a mile warm-up and some dynamic drills and was ready to go.

After receiving some course instructions, the race started promptly at 9 AM and we were off.

If you've read my blog before, you know I've run this route many times.  They use the same course for their spring, summer and fall races.  It is an entirely residential run making a rectangle around the streets of Bountiful Utah.

It definitely isn't the most scenic course, but it is an honest course.  It starts off quickly with a fast decline (with about 70 feet of decline), and after about 1.25 miles, makes a right hand turn where you begin to pay for the fast first mile -- with 70 feet of incline.  The final push -- at about mile 2.25 to 2.75 is a hill where your dreams of a PR 5K are dashed as this is the steepest section.  Again, this course doesn't have a crushing hill where you are running 9+ minute miles, but it does take you down to 10K pace.

I don't remember a race on this course where I was cursing the final mile -- and I've done this course at least 20 times in my running career now.

I got off to a good start.  I was torn between going all out versus saving something for the final mile in hopes that I could beat Bountiful's Heartbreak Hill.  After initially getting hemmed in, I opted to push the pace -- but do it controlled.  

I passed a number of people on my way to a 7:24 mile.  Awesome!  But I knew that the hardest part of the course was coming up.

At this point, I think this course has gotten into my head.  I've run it too many times so maybe I play a script out.  Instead of telling myself "I am going to power up the hills" -- I tell myself "The hills are gonna hurt -- slow down".  And to some extent that is what I did.  

I passed the water station at the half way point and I could see the looming hill ahead.  It isn't a terrible hill -- a mere 70 feet of incline over the next 1.25 miles, but it is a slow grind.  

There weren't any runners behind me but I could slowly pick off a few of the runners ahead of me.  However, the latter half of the race I didn't really have anyone to work off of.  The runners who were ahead of me, were well ahead and there wasn't a soul behind me.

I occasionally got some cheering support though from well wishers who had stationed themselves in the final half mile (near the finish line), which definitely helped.

Having run the course many times before, I knew exactly what was coming and how much further I had to go.  It is a slight downhill (or so it seems) in the final stretch and even though no one was around me, I had a feeling I had a shot of going sub 24 minutes, so I redlined it as best as I could for the final push.

Could I crack 24 two weeks in a row?


So the short answer is no, but it was close.  I ran the exact same time as I ran on 2021 -- not too bad but not exactly what I was hoping for.  Once again, the hill got the best of me.

I felt good enough to shuffle back to the starting line (about a quarter mile) and grabbed my warm-up jacket that I had ditched behind a transformer.  The weather was pleasant for a February -- and I had run in a long-sleeved shirt, shorts and thin gloves. However, I knew I'd chill off pretty quickly.

Post-race refreshments

As usual, the race organizers outdid themselves with post race refreshments.  I had brought my own drink but I was able to grab some instant oatmeal, bananas, and a high-end donut, which I greedily ate.


I checked (and rechecked) the results, and I had won my age division.  I was really happy with that as they have Teddy Bears that they give out.  Larger ones for the first place winners and a bit smaller after that.  Over the years I've collected a few of these guys.  It's just a nice prize.  It did take a while before awards were handed out but it was worth the wait and the weather was pleasant.

Finishers Medal and Age Group Award and t-shirt

Overall, I paid about $28 for the race.  Quite a bargain (especially compared to last week's race).  I got a timed race, finisher's medal, a Valentine's Day t-shirt and an age group award.  South Davis continues to outdo themselves and that's why I keep going back.

I am pretty happy with my result. I would've been even happier had I smashed last year's time. I am just happy to have a solid result and the spring season continues to go off at a solid clip.

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