|Finish line selfie|
Placement: 2nd in the 50 - 64, 11th overall
Race Website: Here
Weather: Mid to upper 70's / low 80s, no wind
Course Map / Garmin Route: Here
Previous Years: First Year for Me
|1||8:25||Off to a slow start. 72 feet of climbing.|
|2||8:07||A bit of a climb here but made up some ground with equal downhill|
|3||7:52||Finally, the downhill. Scorching the course at this point.|
|3.42||3:33||Had to run into a valley -- down then up. Yuck.|
|Total Miles: 3.42 - 28:00|
So this race was a bit hidden gem. For a while, I didn't think I was going to race this weekend. I know a local timer and I shot him a message asking if he knew of any races and he informed me about how he was going to be timing the Lindon Days 5K, about 30 minutes from my house. A little bit of search engine action later and I found myself registered. Something to do on Saturday morning!
The race is held in Lindon Utah, just south of American Fork, where I had raced just a week earlier. They had the course marked online and I wound up tracing it a bit and realized it was going to be a bit longer than a 5K. Perhaps I was mistaken though.
Packet pickup was held at the local community center. I arrived 45 minutes ahead of the 7 AM start. I think I was the first one there. In short order, I had my shirt and bib.
I had plenty of time to do a warm-up and it gave me a chance to survey the course. I wanted to see what the final mile looked like, so I went north. I quickly realized I was going to be in for a tough finish.
As evidenced in the photo above, you can see there is a substantial dip in the road. You get a solid drop only to be followed up with an equally tough uphill. All within a few hundred yards of the finish.
I also was able to run about a half mile in the Wadley Farms Gardens, where we'd run a lap around their orchard. It was quite spectacular actually, and it looks like a beautiful place to hold a wedding or such. I am glad I brought my camera.
During my warm-up I felt extremely sluggish. My head wasn't in the game and I was having a hard time getting anything going. I found myself making excuses to walk a bit and I just felt fuzzy. I've had the feeling before when I was tired and even before races I had this feeling, but usually I'd snap out of it once the race started. Had the races all caught up with me?
|Entrance to Wadley Farms|
Upon finishing my warm-up, I had asked the race director what they had measured the course at. I had looked at it using MapMyRun and it came in around 3.30 or above. She admitted that it was slightly over but she had to do what she had to do to get the race to fit into the start / finish. No worries, though, for me, it was just nice knowing it going in before I started to not panic if I hit 3.10 miles and to pace myself a bit more correctly.
|Wadley Farm Mansion|
The race started promptly at 7 and off we ran. We did a quick jaunt south before hanging a left and going up a progressively harder hill to the east. I was running pretty steady but I felt more winded than usual. We made our way down a residential street that was lined with a wide bicycle sidewalk. It was a gradual uphill but nothing too crazy until we reached about the first mile marker.
The race had less than 60 people in it, so it was easy to settle into a pace. Another runner in my age group flew by and I knew I was in for a bad race. Normally I can hold my own against him, but I had absolutely nothing. I was hoping I could reel him in as the race progressed.
Mile 1 saw a disappointing 8:25. Granted there was a tough hill near the end that brought my pace to almost marathon level and I felt gassed. Usually the first mile in a 5K is my fastest -- this one was hard to swallow.
Given that the course was a looped course, I knew, however, that I could get the uphill back on backside. Perhaps this race could be salvaged.
We hooked another left turn and jumped on the Murdock Bike Trail. I recognized this part of the course from the time I had run the PC2PG 10K. It was a gradual downhill and I knew once we exited the bike trail, I should have a wonderful downhill.
I felt my pace quicken but the descent just wasn't enough. I ran an 8:07. I do think I had a bit of a hill in the first part of this mile. Sadly, I wasn't gaining ground against my age group competitor either.
I did regroup in mile 2. I got a second wind and I now had a massive downhill. My stride lengthened and I felt myself back in 5K race mode! I pulled ahead of the pair of woman I was running with and started to make a bit of ground on my age group competitor. Granted, he had the same benefit of the hill as I was having.
I finally came upon the entrance to Wadley Farms, a stately and elegant orchard of sorts that dated back over 100 years. I loved this portion of the course as the entrance is a slight downhill. I also could "smell" the finish line.
We did a loop in the farm along the paved service drive before making our way out the exit, which was a bit of an uphill. Unarguably, this was the prettiest portion of the course. I loved seeing the majestic house and it was peaceful running by their orchards. My competition had left me and I was running to keep up with a pair of women, so I wasn't running solo.
I crossed the 5K mark in about 25:16. Terrible for me -- how did this happen? I was grumbling about it in my head and yet I still had "the valley" and even more distance to cover before crossing the finish line. Just how far off was this race?
I almost came to a walk but I decided to push on. I thought I had quite a bit more to go after dragging myself up the steep hill, but fortunately upon cresting it, I spotted the finish line at the elementary school and gave it all I had left... exhausted, crossing in 28 flat and a 3.42 mile 5K.
|Start of the kid's race|
So I didn't have the race I wanted. I chalk it up mostly to just exhaustion and over racing. Having run 2 10Ks and a half marathon in the last 2 weeks, just mentally I wasn't ready to duke it out on a 5K. And it wasn't until Thursday that most of the half marathon's soreness had faded.
Overall, though, I loved the course. It was scenic and challenging. I especially liked running through the Wadley Farms grounds. The course was also well marshalled and had 3(!) water stops. The race started on time and was budget friendly.
For a low budget race, I didn't expect much. There was simply water at the end and prizes for the first place winner for each age group. Unfortunately, my rival did beat me, so I lost out on a medal and some candy. The t-shirt actually is pretty nice but is 100% cotton, so not one I'd use for running.
So definitely didn't go home with a warm and fuzzy glow after this race -- and absolutely no fault to the organizers. I just didn't have a good day when it came to my running. I had a great time and I would recommend this race to those looking to get out and test their fitness in a race environment. Hopefully this race grows and I would love to see them dial in a 3.10 mile course.
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