Saturday, March 4, 2023

2023 March Madness 10K Race Recap - North Salt Lake, UT

Official Time: 49:59
Placement: 10th overall, 2nd in the 41-99 age division
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid 30's, 14 mph wind from the south
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2022] [2021] [2020] [2018] [2017] [2016]

Mile TimeComments
18:02Off to a decent start. Holding back, feeling comfortable
28:07Fatigue setting in. Wind seemed to be holding me back.
38:04Trying to save it for the second half
48:07I realize now the first half had a tailwind, now into the headwind
58:12I knew I was slowing down. Seemed to be a bit of uphill here
68:20Struggling at this point
6.15       1:07All out in the final push.
Total Miles: 6.15 - 50:01


For the past few years I've done the March Madness races.  They are a low-budget race benefiting the Bountiful Food Bank.  They offer a 5K, 10K, and half marathon distance.  If you register early enough, you can generally get in for under $25 for any of the distances.

The race is pretty low key and is held on the Legacy Bike Trail -- Davis County's answer to the Jordan River Bike Trail.  It is a fairly flat, multiuse paved bike trail that borders the Legacy Freeway.  It isn't the most exciting course, but it is an honest course.

The Race

I got the race start with plenty of time to spare for the 9 AM start.  It gave me an opportunity to snap some photos.  It also enabled me to do a solid warm-up -- going about a mile and some drills.

Knowing that I have a full schedule for March, I opted to do the 10K.  With last week's half marathon still fresh in my memory, I was going into the race in a fatigued state.  I was almost tempted to switch to the 5K. But the longer I warmed up, the better I felt.

There was a bit of wind -- turning what should've been a mild morning into one that was chilly.  I had dressed pretty heavily for my warm-up but ditched most of my clothing once the race started.  I wound up going with 2 shirts, short-shorts, a beanie and thin gloves.  I was completely comfortable for the entire race.

As stated above, I was coming in fairly tired.  I had a big question mark in my mind wondering how long I could hold 10K pace.  And I knew the wind was going to be a factor.

The half marathoners started at 9 AM and the 10K runners started 5 minutes later.  I felt comfortable as I slipped into a strong but not all out pace.  I didn't even check my watch very much in the first mile and was pleased to see an 8:02 flash after the first mile.  Exactly where I wanted to be.

Stretch of the Legacy Bike Trail looking north

There were only about 80 runners in the 10K and I wound up chasing 2 guys in front of me for most of the race.  At the turn around I was able to pass one of them but the other one eventually put some distance on me.  There really wasn't anyone chasing me down either.  

I got a sense the wind was blowing in my face on the way out.  Boy, was I wrong.  I was sort of holding back in the first 3 miles on account that I was just trying to get the miles in and work through the wind and I'd get the boost on the way back.  At this point, the wind wasn't terrible but I could hear it rushing by my ears.

Flying through the 5K half way point, I knew I was hurting.  Too early!  I was still holding onto a decent pace but not being 100% fresh was starting to catch up with me.  I tried to stay relaxed, surging at times as I picked off some of the slower half marathoners.  Mile 2 saw another low 8 minute mile.  Right on target!

As mile 2 wore on, I saw some of the leaders of the 10K returning.  I knew I was getting close to the turn around.  Mentally, it is always a relief to hit that point.  I was still running low 8's but I knew I was going to run into problems, especially if the wind was going to be worse on the way back.  The turn around cones were just shy of 3.10 miles (on my Garmin).  

As soon as I started to run south, the wind doubled down.  I had been in fact running with a tailwind, despite the feeling that it was hitting me.  Rats!

Mile 3 to 4 still saw me turn in a decent split.  I was hitting low 8 minute miles, could I turn in a sub 50 minute 10K?  There was hope but with the wind, I had my doubts.

At this point I had passed one of the guys I was chasing and the other guy clearly had been holding back.  He became more and more of a small dot in the distance.

4 to 5 saw my pace drop a bit.  I felt like I was running on fumes and at times my steady pace would come to a halt, and I'd have to regroup a bit.  I was still doing okay, with another 8:12 but I had been hoping to negative split this race.

I was dragging at the end.  I knew sub 50 minutes was within my reach but the wind had clearly doubled down.  And when the finish line came into view over the crest of a hill and I thought I'd have a fast finish, the wind hit me like a hurricane. Where did this come from?

As I got closer and closer to the finish line, I realized that sub 50 was within my reach.  When my watch buzzed 6 miles, I gave it everything I had.  And I crossed in 49:59!


So I was thrilled to get under 50 minutes.  It has been a goal of mine since 2022.  I probably would've gotten there had I not gotten sick and had a back injury.  

The course, for me, came in a little short.  6.15.  I saw another runner on Strava complete it in 6.16 and another in 6.22.  Every year that I've done this one, it has been accurate.  This year's course was different from the previous years (it seems to be held at a different park along the Legacy Park trail every year).

The race is budget friendly.  So there are no t-shirts, just a finisher's medal, and if you are lucky, an age group award.  They do have a great post race spread of food.  They had pizza, bananas, cookies, granola bars, water, and a few other snacks.  

They do have a drawing / raffle.  For each can of food you bring for the food pantry, you get an entry.  I won the best prize: a handmade St Patrick's Day wreath.  It was made by the race director's wife and it now rests proudly on my front door.  Absolutely a great prize.  

Overall, it was a tough race.  It's probably why I don't feel overjoyed about my time.  It wasn't a smooth race at all and the wind really punished me.  Also given my fatigued state, I should be happy.  Again, I wasn't fully committed to "racing" this race.  I was just giving as much effort as I could but I was okay with holding back a little.

I love this race and would like to continue doing it.  Although I suspect next year, the Las Vegas Marathon is going to conflict with it.  

Upcoming Races

03/18: 2023 Vineyard City Gold Rush 5K - Vineyard, UT (Confirmed)
03/25: 2023 Riverton Half Marathon - Riverton, UT (Confirmed)
04/08: 2023 Eggs Legs 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/22: 2023 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
04/29: 2023 Blossom Run 10K - Santaquin, UT (Confirmed)
06/03: 2023 Utah Valley 10K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
06/24: 2023 Taylorsville Dayzz 5K - Taylorsville, UT (Confirmed)
07/29: 2023 Timp 10K - American Fork, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
09/23: 2023 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/21: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/28: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
03/03: 2024 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

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