Saturday, October 1, 2022

2022 Witch Run 5K Race Recap - West Jordan, UT

Official Time: 24:20
Placement: 2nd in the 50 - 54, 10th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid 50's, sunny, no wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2021] [2020] [2019[2018]

Mile TimeComments
17:59Off to a decent start.  Things are holding up
27:45Feeling confident, feeling good.  Pushing it a bit more
37:51About to give up on myself, but running for a great time
3.100:41A lot of turns in the final stretch, but getting it done!
Total Miles: 3:10 - 24:18


Since its inception, I've done OnHillEvents Witch Run.  It is held at the end of September and it kicks off the Halloween racing month.  In years past, it was a simple 5K race, held at night.  Last year, they introduced more distances and started the race well before sunset (resulting in some warm running).

This year they went to a morning race due to capacity issues and continued on with the 5K / 10K / half marathon options.

The race is held at Gardner Village, a local collection of shops and restaurants that borders on the Jordan River Bike Trail.  It is a really nice location for a race with plenty of parking, bathrooms, and the shops are all decorated with Halloween decorations.

The race's start line is a mere 2 miles away from my house and the course is very familiar to me -- I often run in that area.

I had signed up for the race during a Thanksgiving sale and it winds up being one of my favorite races of the year in terms of the sheer number of runners and the excitement it generates.

The Race

Originally I had signed up for the 10K and I had every intention of running it this morning.  However, when I woke up, my IT-band was inflamed and my hamstrings felt tight.  They had been bothering me since Tuesday's hard workout and despite having taken some ibuprofen and running easy, they hadn't really recovered.  I took an ibuprofen before leaving for the race.

While sitting in my car massaging my hamstring I really questioned whether it was a good idea to run, let alone race a 10K.  I headed over to the race director and got switched to the 5K.  Even if my hamstring blew up, I could get through a 5K.

I did an abbreviated warm-up and deemed myself ready to start running the 5K.

The race was delayed a bit.  There was a long line of people wanting to use the bathroom and the race director gave a grace period of about 15 minutes.  By the time the race started I was kind of itching to use the restroom.

In years past, the course headed straight out of the shopping center and it was pretty easy to navigate to the paved bike trail for the out and back course.  This year we had to make an immediate left after starting and running along a fairly narrow sidewalk until we reached the service drive and managed to get out of the shopping area.

It was slow going for a bit, but fortunately I had lined up at the front and it didn't slow me down too badly.

Within a quarter mile I was running with about 10 - 15 other 5K / 10K runners (the half marathoners had started at 7 AM).

I settled into a nice pace with a few other runners.  My hamstring and IT-band were holding up and I was running comfortably.  Occasionally I glanced down at my Garmin.  I didn't have any specific goals for this race, but I'd like to have hit the first mile in 7:55 or so.

I made some ground against the people I was running with and I felt really good.  I hit the first mile a hair under 8 minutes.  A little slow for the first mile but I was just happy to be running pain free.

Digging deeper, I pushed the pace on mile 2.  Having run a lot of 10K races in the past month, I knew I had the speed endurance to get this one done.  It was such a beautiful morning as I crossed over the bridge and worked my way to the turn around point.

Hitting the 1.55 mile mark, I was greeted by a course marshal who I knew and gave me a big cheer.  It was nice to get that encouragement and to be honest I didn't expect to see them at all at the race.  The course was going to be a legitimate 5K.

I was stunned to see a faster mile 2 (7:51).  I was expecting at least an 8:05 / 8:10.  Could this be an awesome race?  I had my doubts.

This race is a bit of a fun run -- getting a lot of casual runners.  There are only a handful of faster runners that show and I knew one guy was well ahead of me (I had had hopes I would've been able to keep up with him) but as the race progressed I was running solo, with the exception of another female was I worked with for miles 2 to about 2.75.  There was no one behind me, but at this point I was holding a solid pace and I was on target for a great race.  I had had hopes / dreams of going sub 25 minutes but I didn't think it would happen.

The final quarter mile of the race has a lot of turns and I had to navigate my way to the finish line (it was well marked) through the sidewalk / service drive of the shopping area.  It is always the most challenging part of the course but I was running solo.  It was awesome getting some cheers from the course marshals as well.

I made the final turn and sprinted through the finish in a shocking 24:19.  I had totally smashed my expectations on this race.


I am simply over the moon with my success at this race.  The last few 5Ks I had turned in times of just over 25 minutes.  Prior to Covid-19 and my back injury, I was running low 24's.  It was about time that I turned in a great time.

I am not sure what to make of the soreness I was experiencing prior to the race.  Nerves? Did the ibuprofen block the pain and allow me to run?  I definitely know I had been plagued with some soreness and issues prior to the race.

I am happy that I ran the 5K though.  I've been shooting to get back to where I was this spring and this was a sign that I am there.  One of my goals this year is to run consistently under 24 minutes.  I think I would've achieved this goal if I had stayed healthy.   But I still have time.

Signing up for the race late last year, I paid about $35 for the race.  Pricey but still well worth the price of admission.

I didn't really check out too much of the post race refreshments but there was drink, oranges, granola bars and some candy.

The race was well done.  The course was well marked, accurate and had an aid station.  It was also accurate (at least to my watch).  It did start about 15 minutes late, which sort of led me to be cooled off by the time it started.  But that sometimes happens at races that have over 600 runners.

Once again, I am still really excited.  This race may go down as one of my top performances for the year.  I ran consistent splits and from the looks of it, negatively split it by a few seconds.  I am just happy that my training is leading to some positive results.

Upcoming Races

10/15: 2022 BYU Homecoming Run 5k - Provo, 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)
11/24: 2022 South Davis Recreation Center Thanksgiving Day 5K - Bountiful, 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)


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