Saturday, August 20, 2022

2022 Provo Canyon to Pleasant Grove 10K Race Recap - Lindon, UT

Official Time: 51:16
Placement: 8th overall, 2nd in the 50-54 age group
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid 60's, cool / slight rain breeze from the south
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2021[2020] [2019]

Mile TimeComments
18:21Uphill to start. Ran conservatively for the first half mile
28:15Picking up the pace
38:31Running solo for the most part.
48:30Chasing down some half marathon runners but again, mostly running solo
58:38Pretty gassed.
68.23Quite a bit of downhill on this part. I didn't have the final kick I wanted to but I ran this mile pretty well.
Total Miles: 6:08 - 51:16


This past fall I got an offer to run the PC2PG (Provo Canyon to Pleasant Grove) race in Utah County -- about 30 minutes south of where I live.  I initially had thought about running the half marathon (I've run the 10K for each of the year's existence) but summer running in northern Utah is so iffy in regards to the heat.  The last year or two I've really shied away from running half marathons in the summer.

Either way, since I registered on a black Friday sale offer, I got into the race for somewhere around $30.  How could I not refuse?

The Race

I rolled into the race around 7:30 for the 8:15 start.  I was expecting a bit of a line-up for packet pickup, but it was a snap.  I wound up doing a very short warm-up, some dynamic drills and decided I was ready to race.

As the clouds were gathering off the starting line, I had made some small chat with another runner.  I remarked that it certainly would be nice if it rained a little.  The woman replied that the forecast said it was start around 8:15.  Sure enough, just as we were getting last minute instructions on the race, it started to rain.  Perfect weather conditions!

The race started and I knew from previous times I've done the race that we had a pretty decent hill almost from the get go.  I eased into the race knowing that I'd have ample time to make up some of the time and I certainly didn't want to spike my heart rate.

It wasn't too long before I jumped on the Murdock Bike Trail for about 2.75 miles of running.  The smell of the rain amongst the brush along the trail was really pleasant.

I settled into a nice tempo pace.  I was running hard but definitely not all out.

It was hard to judge where my spot was but I was working with what would eventually be the 2nd place woman for the first 2 miles.  3 other men were ahead of me.  It was pretty lonely running but I got some inspiration from the returning half marathoners who had started a point to point course an hour earlier.

Around mile 2 another male runner -- presumably in my age group from the looks of it (he was) -- flew by me.  And I had put on the gas to pass the woman I was working with.

The bike path was busy with morning runners and cyclists so I had to really watch where I was running at times.  The cyclists at times weren't the friendliest but I think they understood there was a race going on.

The race each year winds up being a tiny bit short (the 5K is also significantly short).  Last year it was 6.04 miles but I reach the 10K turn around at 3.05 miles.  

I had been holding back just a tiny bit as my endurance -- let alone speed endurance -- hasn't been great but I had visions I was going to really crush the final 3 miles.  After all, the first 3 had been uphill.

I was still running solo.  At the turn around there was some competition that I figured could gain on me but they never showed up again.  I was also tracking down some of the half marathon runners who were running quite a bit slower than I was at this point.

The rain, at times, had picked up as did the wind but it didn't really slow me down.

The dreams of running a negatively split.  I seemed to be running in spurts: I'd pick up the pace for 30 seconds and then drop back to a bit more of a shuffle.  I think it was my mind telling my body I had more to give but the body didn't like the pain.

Finally the final half mile came upon me and here is where I had told myself I was going to crush it.  I had a nice downhill portion and once the downhill portion was finished I had about .15 of a mile until the finish line.

The final mile was pretty meaningless but I was running for pride.  I kept looking behind me to see if anyone in the 10K was closing in on me and at times I wasn't sure if it was a half marathon runner or someone was closing in on me. 

As I made the final turn I could hear the sound of music and see the finish line.  I really pushed it here to close the final .1 of a mile and I flew under the finish line in 51:16 for what I felt was a solid 10K effort.


So compared to last's year time I was 2 minutes slower.  However, this was a pretty good race for me in that it has been since March or so that I've done a 10K race.  Due to my injury, my speed endurance isn't what it has been of late, so I was thrilled. 

Before the race, I figured I'd finish in around 52 - 54 minutes.  So I exceeded my own expectations.

I really enjoy this race.  It is low key and a good value for the money.  Post race refreshments were Powerade, water, ice cream treats, cheese sticks and oranges.  The t-shirt is nicely designed but I wish they would go back to the 100% polyester versions.  The medals are also heavy duty and well done.

All things considered this race was a success.  It was great to see a lot of my friends as well as see how I faired over a longer distance.  I seem to be making more progress every week.

Upcoming Races

09/03: 2022 Swiss Days 10K - Midway, UT (Confirmed)
09/24: 2022 Apple Harvest Run 10K - Santaquin, UT (Confirmed)
10/01: 2022 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/22: 2022 Haunted Emigration Canyon 5K - Salt Lake City (Confirmed)
10/29: 2022 Haunted Half Provo 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
11/19: 2022 Snow Canyon Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
01/14: 2023 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/26: 2023 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Saturday, August 13, 2022

2022 Bluffdale Badlands 5K Race Recap - Bluffdale UT

Official Time: 24:27
Placement: 2nd in the 51 - 70 age group, 17th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Low 70's slight breeze from the north
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2021] [2019] [2018]

Mile TimeComments
18:53Darn - right away a slow grind hill
28:17Crest the hill but the 2nd half of this mile was blazing fast
37:16Slight downhill and kept pushing.  Probably close to a 7:45 mile
Total Miles: 2.93 - 24:28


I discovered the Bluffdale Badlands races a few years ago and it's been on my list since 2018.  It is a low budget race and doesn't cost a whole lot (about $20). It is also conveniently located about 15 minutes south of where I live.  

For the price of admission you get a professionally timed race, a finisher's medal, a shot at age group awards, a t-shirt and a wonderful post race breakfast.

Normally I do the 10K but with injuries lingering in the rear view mirror, I opted in for the 5K.  I've never run the 5K but the 10K and 5K share some of the same route, so from the get go I kind of knew where I was running.

The Race

I got to the race site just shy of 6 AM.  I was one of the early birds so I had no problem getting ahold of my bib and swag bag.  It gave me a fair amount of time to warm-up and do a quick shake out run.

The race organizers start the race at 6:30 -- a great time in my opinion.  It isn't terribly hot at that point and the sun is just coming up.  

The race isn't chip timed per say.  They do catch your time at the finish (of course) but everyone's start time is the same.  So I lined up close to the west edge of the start line -- as we'd be making a sharp right turn while the 10K head west.

The race started on time this year and I started running with the other 100 some-odd 5K runners. 

I felt incredibly slow as people sped by me.  I was hoping they'd burn out and I'd catch more of them as the race progressed.  

Almost immediately we made a turn and I was greeted with the dreaded "long hill".  The hill isn't terrible but it is about a mile long and it is a slow grind to the top.  Usually I hit this hill at mile 1.5 in the 10K but here I was less than half a mile into the race and I was already working hard.

I never really looked at my watch during this time.  I knew I'd probably be frustrated but I felt in control and felt like I was taking the hill at an appropriate pace.  I was working with a fully uniformed police officer (who was probably half my age) and a couple of youth runners.  We were running along a residential street and I could see evidence of where the parade was going to run from the markings on the road.

As I was about 75% of the way done with the hill my watched alerted me that I had run a mile.  I figured 8:30 at the worst -- but instead it was an 8:53.  Initially I was shocked but the first mile is definitely the hardest and I knew that I'd get some respite on the flip side.  I didn't give up on the race but I knew today wasn't going to be a personal record type of day.

I finally reached the top of the hill and saw the glorious downhill.  My turnover increased and I felt my pace quicken.  It was also at this point that the first place 10K female runner blew by me.  

I had dropped the 2 younger kids but was still working with the police officer (who had put some distance on me) and another teen -- who every time I tried to pass would accelerate, forcing me not to overtake him.

The second mile came up at a much more respectable 8:17. It would've been faster had not the first chunk of the mile was still uphill.

Could I turn this race around?

The race was still primarily downhill but I knew it was going to ease up and mostly be flat on the way back.  I kept glancing down at my watch -- I wasn't concerned about my pace -- but how much further I needed to run.

I had mapped out the course before the race and it had come in at 3.10 miles but the route I was running seemed very different.  As with any time I run a race I really don't know the full distance. Was this going to be a 3 mile race or a 3.20 mile race?

I could see the police car in the distance and figured that was the final turn off to enter back into the Bluffdale City Park.  Also, I was remembering the final route from the times I've run the 10K race.

No one was running behind me but I was still trying to take down the teen and police officer in front of me.  But they had turned on the jets, leaving me loping behind them.

Upon entering the park I realized the course was going to be quite a bit short.  I could see the finish line and I flew by the 6 mile mark for the 10K and there was no way that was .2 of a mile to the finish line.

I pushed hard and crossed under the RunnerCard arches with a distance of 2.93 miles and a time of 24:27.


It is very hard to draw any conclusions on this race.  The course was well short and the first half of it is pretty hilly -- with the second half primarily downhill.

I do like how I didn't give up on myself and pushed hard.  From the get go, I had seen an older guy who I presumed was in my age group (this race has big age group awards) so I figured I had 2nd place locked up.  But that didn't deter me from running my all.

Translated my time comes in around 26:01 for a legit 5K -- had I run the final .17 of a mile.  Not what I was hoping for, but again the course dictates the time and with the hill as long and steep as it was, this was going to be a race that was run for positioning, not personal bests.

I managed to snag 2nd in my age group. This is the first time I've won something at this race.  Last year I think I was mistakenly given a medal.

I did miss the 10K race. I love that course as you get a better tour of the city.  But it was nice to be running with people in this race.  I also think it was wise for me to do the 5K versus the 10K.  I am ready to race a 10K but just barely.

Post race we had pancakes, eggs and hash browns.  That is one of the highlights of the race -- a nice post race breakfast.  

The course was well marked and marshalled by the police.  There was an aid station half way through the race as well.  

For the price, I am happy with my experience and am happy to walk away with some additional hardware.  I should be back next year and hopefully ready to take down the 10K again.

Upcoming Races

08/20: 2022 Provo Canyon to Pleasant Grove 10K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
08/27: 2022 Path to Opioid Prevention 5K - Riverdale UT (Maybe)
09/03: 2022 Swiss Days 10K - Midway, UT (Confirmed)
09/18: 2022 Run for the Nuns 5K - Holladay, UT (Maybe)
10/01: 2022 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/22: 2022 Haunted Emigration Canyon 5K - Salt Lake City (Confirmed)
10/29: 2022 Haunted Half Provo 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
01/14: 2023 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/26: 2023 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Saturday, August 6, 2022

2022 Roy Days 5K Race Recap - Roy, Utah

Official Time: 25:11
Placement: 59th overall, 3rd in my age group
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: mid 60's, slight breeze from the north
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2021] [2019]

Mile TimeComments
17:38Fast first mile with a bit of downhill
28:03Still holding on 
38:42Forgot how long / steep the final hill was. Was on target for a decent race.
3.110:45Not much left but pushed it.
Total Miles: 3.11 - 25:11


The last few months I've been really looking forward to the Roy Days 5K.  It harkens back to the days when I first started racing: a community event to support a local community and a fairly low frills event.  

The race is located about 40 minutes north of my house in Roy -- just south of Ogden.  The local athletic director (and I think he doubles as the track coach) puts on the race.  A lot of high school kids show up as well as past Roy alumni.

It is a quaint event and they definitely know what they are doing.  It is just an easy race to do and affordable.  With nothing else on the calendar, I figured why and take down the Roy Days Challenge 5K.

The Race

I arrived at the race site early enough to be one of the first one's there.  The packet pickup was a snap and I got a stuffed goodie bag and a t-shirt and bib in short order.

For about 300 runners they had a whopping two bathrooms.  Not a very good situation and I managed to get in twice before the race.  Unfortunately, when it came time to race, I had to go again and there was absolutely no place to go.  Kind of rough to run a 5K with a full bladder.

Either way, I got a mile of warm-ups in and I felt ready to race by the time 7 AM came up.

The race is chip timed, but when you cross the starting line is not recorded.  So I lined up fairly close to the starting line.  A lot of high school aged runners took the lead ahead of me. I remarked to the guy next to me, who I figured might be in my age group, that I suddenly felt very old.

I took off and was immediately passed by dozens of runners. This race was attended by many high school kids who clearly were faster than I was.

The race is primarily a residential run through the neighborhood of Roy.  There are some rolling hills at the start but the first 2 miles are largely flat or downhill.  

I was tempted to really push the pace as the speed demons flew by my.  I had eyeballed some of my supposed competitors in the race and one darted ahead of me and the other was within grasp.  

I aimed to run a quick first mile, hang on for the second and then hope for the best on the final mile.  I felt comfortable as I sped to a 7:38 first mile.  In fact, I was kind of surprised I managed to hammer that pace out, but I was aided by about 50 feet of decline.

The second mile is flat and we parted ways with the 2 mile walkers (maybe they are allowed to run).  I had retaken my position ahead of some of the runners that had flown by me at the start.  The other guy I was working against I had managed to drop.  I figured I was in 2nd place for my age group.

I wasn't aided by any hills as we ran the perimeter of some of the parks and made the final turn to the finish.  I actually was pretty happy with an 8:03 second mile -- but I knew the hardest mile was yet to come.

After making the final turn you can make out the finish line in the distance: at the top of a hill.  You can see the traffic lights and flashing police lights.  It appears so close, but looking at your watch, you know you have more than a mile to go.

My form was ragged at this point and I was doing some math.  My goal on this race was to go sub 25 minutes.  It would show some progress at least as I recover from my back injury and illness.  I haven't done much hill training in the past few months on account it usually irritated my back.

I really dug down deep but I was saddened to see my age group competitor fly by me.  Had my pace dropped off that badly?  I would have to settle for 3rd place.

The final half mile is really tough. The hill gets steeper and my pace dropped.  I was constantly checking behind me -- was anyone closing in on me?  I had definitely put a gap amongst everyone else and I didn't see anyone who resembled a middle-aged adult behind me.  Still, I gave it all I had.

Finally I crested the hill and saw the finish line.  My watch was showing 24:45 and I still had at least .1 of a mile to go.  I smashed the final tenth of a mile but it wasn't enough -- crossing the finish line in 25:11.  Still pretty decent for a tough course but I missed out on my goal.


So -- I felt a LOT better about my time and effort on this race versus the race I did 2 weeks ago.  The course profile is similar (I think handcart has a faster first mile and the final hill is more drawn out, where as Roy Day's is steeper).  

I didn't give up on myself and at no point during the race did I feel like throwing in the towel.  

I did wind up getting third place in my age group.  I never saw the first place winner and I suspect I had correctly identified the 2nd place and the guy who I was working with was in a completely different age group.

They were very quick to dole out age group awards.  I love it when races are organized.  The race had started a few minutes late but the awards were being called out at 8 AM.  I managed to snag a medal and a t-shirt from a previous year.  They had hats and water bottles as well.  The medal isn't anything fancy and it reminds me of the medals I used to earn 15 years ago when I first started to race.

Post race refreshments included bananas, granola bars, Powerade in a bottle, and fruit chews.  They also had bottled water.  All things considered a pretty nice race for $25.

I am fairly happy with my race performance.  It wasn't what I was hoping for, but given my current state and where I am at with my training, I was happy.  I am slowly making progress every few weeks and I am hoping once the weather cools off and I rebuild more of my endurance, I can take more time off of my 5K.

Looking forward to smashing this one next year!

Upcoming Races

08/13: 2022 Bluffdale Badlands 5K - Bluffdale, UT (Confirmed)
08/20: 2022 Provo Canyon to Pleasant Grove 10K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
09/03: 2022 Swiss Days 10K - Midway, UT (Maybe)
10/01: 2022 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/22: 2022 Haunted Emigration Canyon 5K - Salt Lake City (Confirmed)
10/29: 2022 Haunted Half Provo 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
01/14: 2023 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/26: 2023 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)