Sunday, March 19, 2023

2023 Vineyard Gold Rush 5K Race Recap - Vineyard, UT

Official Time: 23:31
Placement: 2nd in the 50 - 65, 13th overall
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 28F - breeze from the east
Course Map / Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: First year for me

Mile TimeComments
17:32Off to a good start. Feeling comfortable
27:55What seemed like gale force winds coming from the east. Felt like I was going slower
37:43Regrouped and got a bit of a tailwind
3.050:17Sprint to the finish - which seemed to come super quickly.
Total Miles: 3.05- 23.31 


I normally do the Lucky 13 Races each March on this weekend.  I needed something a little new to do, so I opted to give the Vineyard Gold Rush 5K race a shot.  They also have a 10K.  The race's course is identical to their November race, The Vineyard Blizzard Race, which I have run for the past 2 years.

The race was priced reasonably -- about $20 or $25, with no t-shirt and while it was a bit of a drive, it just offered a little variety to my spring race schedule.  I was tempted to sign up for the 10K, but with the plethora of 10K and half marathon races I have lined up, I felt that a shorter distance would be best.

The Race 

The race is held at the Vineyard Grove Park -- a community park that has summer water activities, and a skate board area, etc.  There is also a pavilion, bathrooms, and ample parking for the race.

The race course is a community run.  It was well marked and makes a figure 8 around the Vineyard community, which is mostly new construction houses.  It isn't the most exciting course, but it is flat and fast.

I got in just shy of 7:45 for the 8:30 AM start.  Packet pickup was a snap.  I got an opportunity to take some photos of the 10K start, which started about 15 minutes prior to the 5K. I got in a decent warmup despite the 28F degree weather.  It was slightly windy but didn't feel like it was going to be much of a factor.  I tossed aside my warm-up gear at 8:25 and lined up under the arches for the start.

The race started promptly at 8:30 and it starts off running west.  I felt like I was going to be one of the faster ones at the race, but I quickly was put in my place as about a dozen runners sped past me.  It is easy to get caught up with a fast start in a 5K and I find that I am usually running faster than I think I am, so I told myself to be patient.

I wound up passing a few of the fast starters and my confidence grew that I was on target for a decent race.  I could hear the wind swirling around me, but so far, it wasn't really a factor.  I knew the course, so I knew where to turn and when, which again, helped me determine where to put the hammer down.

I was shocked -- and a little worried -- after seeing the first mile's split: 7:32.  I was still breathing well and I had put in some solid efforts, so I felt like today may be my day.

Reality hit me as soon as I made the first east bound turn.  Strong winds hit me in the face. Where did this come from?  It seemed like I was running in a wind tunnel.  My pace dropped off considerably and my heart rate climbed.  

I tried to find someone to draft off of, but this was a fairly lightly attended race.  I was picking off another runner or two but I got swallowed up by some of the faster runners.  I just couldn't find anyone who was running my pace.

My 2nd mile was my slowest, hitting a 7:55.  I was expecting to see an 8-something. I could see in the distance the turn off where we'd hook around a small park and make our way back to the finish line -- and at that point I knew I'd be able to finish with a nice tailwind.

From previous versions of this run, I knew that the age group awards were limited.  In fact, only the first place runner would receive a medal in their age group.  I had scouted out my competition prior to the race and I figured that the runner directly ahead of me was my competition.  I had been chasing him most of the race and early on in the race, I had given up hope that I could catch him.

By mile 2.5, we were running side by side and a little further on, I had put a few yards on him.  I was speeding along and with the tailwind, I felt really solid.  Could I salvage the race after a slowish second mile?

As the finish line came into closer view, the runner behind me started his sprint.  I just couldn't respond.  The finish line was still far enough away that I could just gut it out.  Had I been within a 100 yards, maybe I could've given him a run for the money.  But I just couldn't find that second gear.  I think this was mostly mental, as he was clearly sprinting fast.

I crossed the finish line in 23:31.


So my watch measured the course short.  I've run this course 2 other times, coming at 3.09 and 3.05.  This race came in at 3.05.  I used MapMyRun and it came in over 3.10.  So I am not sure exactly what I ran.

Either way, 23:31 is a fantastic time.  I ran the Thanksgiving race in 2021 in 24:30, and last November I ran the same course in 24:05.  So definitely signs of improvement.

The race had a wonderful spread of post race food.  Lots of pre-packaged food: bananas, oranges, granola bars, fruit gummies, etc.  They had water and energy drinks to rehydrate with.

I think there were two water stops as well on the course. Neither of which were needed for me. I could see them being a little useful for the 10K.  

The course was well marshaled with route arrows and volunteers at important corners.  

So I should be really happy with my time. I've put in a ton of work, I ran well, and I confident coming into the race.  For a flat course, I didn't benefit from any big hills and the wind didn't really benefit me very much.  But was this a legit 5K?  Hard to say.  Either way, even if it was .05 short, I could simply add on another 20 - 30 seconds, which would still put me just under 24 minutes.  But what if this was 3.10 miles?  Is this a bigger sign that I am making really nice gains?

Either way, I was happy with my experience despite losing out to the guy who flew by me.  The race is budget friendly and it harkens back to the day when 5Ks were simple.

I didn't really have any mementos from the race, other than the bib and a $1 dollar coin.  I didn't win anything in the raffle.  So I sort of felt deflated after the race.  But I am happy with my time and the improvement I am seeing each time I run this course.

Upcoming Races

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)

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