Sunday, July 30, 2023

2023 Lindon Days 5K Race Recap - Lindon, UT

Finish line selfie

Official Time: 28:00
Placement: 2nd in the 50 - 64, 11th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid to upper 70's / low 80s, no wind
Course Map / Garmin Route: Here
Previous Years: First Year for Me

Mile TimeComments
18:25Off to a slow start. 72 feet of climbing.
28:07A bit of a climb here but made up some ground with equal downhill
37:52Finally, the downhill.  Scorching the course at this point.
3.423:33Had 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.

The Race

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.

Upcoming Races

08/05: 2023 Roy Days 5K - Roy, UT (Confirmed)
08/12: 2023 Alpine Days 5K - Alpine, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/26: 2023 Mt Nebo 10K - Payson, 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)
02/25: 2024 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/202024 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
07/242024 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Saturday, July 29, 2023

2023 Deseret News Half Marathon Race Recap - Salt Lake City, UT

Official Time: 1:56:30
Placement: 16th in the 50 - 54, 353rd overall, 254th male
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid to upper 70's / low 80s, no wind
Course Map / Garmin Route: Here
Previous Years: First Year for Me

Mile TimeComments
18:28Keeping it easy
28:53Bathroom break here, probably cost me 45 seconds
38:19Enjoying the downhill.
68:15Feels so effortlessly to speed down Emigration Canyon
78:21Mostly down with the canyon, now I've got to work.
88:48A bit of a climb here. Not used to having to work without the aid of a hill. 
98:27Some downhill. Could this be "my" race?
109:09A bit of an uphill. Still on target but running out of gas
119:12Finally the downhill!
129:31Running along the parade route. Slightly downhill but absolutely nothing left.
1311:04Debating on walking. Just shambling along. Dehydrated and wiped out.
13.121:08Hoping they aren't taking pictures at the finish line.
Total Miles: 13.12 - 1:56:31


Around the time I ran the Utah Valley 10K in June I got a coupon for 20% off the registration for the Deseret News races.  The Deseret News races are one of the most popular -- and well attended races in the summer.  It has 4 distances, the 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon and draws well over a 1000 runners.

The race has been on my "bucket list" for quite a while.  The problem is, is that it usually conflicts with other races I am interested in (looking at you Handcart Races).  And it is usually held on a weekday, requiring me to take a day off from work. It is also always held on Pioneer Day, which commemorates the time when the first settlers to the Salt Lake Valley arrived in the area.  Also, summers in Utah tend to be very warm, which isn't conducive to a fun race.

Packet pickup is held the day before the race at the University of Utah's football stadium.  It was easy in and out but had a feel of a big time race.  Blaring music, vendors, and a multitude of volunteers gave this race a big time vibe.

The Race

With a 6 AM race start, the Deseret News Half Marathon is an early day.  I was up at 3 AM, out the door by 3:45 and at the University of Utah Football stadium just after 4:15 AM.  Half marathon busses were scheduled to leave the stadium by 4:30.  By about 5:00 AM I was at the starting line.

The weather was warm and not much as far as wind went.  I was comfortable sitting at the top of Emigration Canyon in nothing more than my shorts and a t-shirt.  It was a quick hour up there as I sipped on some Tailwind and ate a few snacks I had brought.  There were plenty of runners but really not enough bathrooms -- for guys this wasn't a problem but they could've used more.

The race started promptly at 6 AM and we were off speeding down Emigration Canyon.  My strategy in going into the race was to conserve energy.  It was going to be a very hot run and in all honesty, I knew I could cover the distance, but my training has been more focused on speed than endurance.

I was working with the 1:55 pacer. Given my recent times and the downhill nature of the course I figured that was a doable time for me.

Almost immediately, I knew I had to take a bathroom break.  I like Tailwind for longer runs but it does give my bladder a workout.  Fortunately at the first aid station there was a single unoccupied bathroom.  It cost me about 40 seconds, but it helped put my mind at rest.  What upset me though was less than 5 minutes before the start I had emptied my bladder.

The first several miles were a dream. I was turning in really solid splits and it seemed very effortless as I glided down Emigration Canyon.  I was surrounded by nature, other runners, and the scenery was so pretty.  I wasn't breathing hard and it didn't feel like I was using much energy.  I was still tailing the 1:55 pacer but I hadn't quite caught up.  Around the 5K mark though I did start to feel some fatigue creeping into my legs -- given I had just raced a 10K two days prior, I wasn't surprised.

Miles 4 through 6.5 were still in the canyon and I was still going very strong.  Could this be my race?  I knew to temper my enthusiasm knowing that this was the easy part -- all gentle downhill.  Also the temperature was creeping upwards.  I was drinking but probably not enough.

Finally we reached the zoo and I knew the speedy part was over with.  Having reviewed the course beforehand, I knew it was slightly downhill but the massive 100 foot drops that the beautiful canyon had offered were over with.

I decided to pull out a gel and start working on it -- I only got about half of it down.  It was hard to accept reality now that I didn't have gravity in helping me speed along Foothill Blvd.  Somehow, I still managed to run another 2 miles at a solid clip despite having some hills to contend with.

Somewhere around mile 10 I made a turn and suddenly I realized I was simply out of gas.  My pace dropped off of a cliff and it seemed like a lot of work.  The temperature had also creeped into the low 80s.  It had been predicted to be warmer, but thanks to some cloud cover, it wasn't as bad as it could've been.

Just a 5K left but it was going to be about the longest 5K ever for me.

By the time I hit mile 11 I knew my race was going to be a tough finish.  The course was a slow grind at times and I was just warm, thirsty and just shambling along.  One of my goals on this was to pace myself to a successful finish and not be doing a death march in the last 2 miles in front of the parade crowd.  And at the rate my pace was plummeting, I was going to make a spectacle of myself.

The final 2 miles felt uphill -- especially the last half mile.  And I had absolutely nothing left.  I was dying of thirst but it wasn't like more hydration was going to fix the problem at this point.  I do have to thank a young boy who saw me with about a mile to go and he handed me a pint-sized bottle of water. It was like being gifted the nectar of the gods.  I gulped it down greedily.  There was an aid station at mile 12, but again, there was no way it was going to help me.

The final mile was the worst ever.  I felt like I was on mile 25 of a full marathon.  It took a lot of effort just to hold my head up high.  It was my worst mile at 11:04.  

I crossed the finish line and I just wanted to collapse or be sick.  It took a while for me to compose myself before accepting my medal and exiting the finish chute.


I grabbed my medal and sat under a tree for a good 15 - 20 minutes.  A few people I knew came to chat with me as I sipped on some Gatorade and water.  It was fun to watch people finish and see the highs and lows of their race.

Post race refreshments were plentiful.  Some premium food companies were there if you were willing to wait in line for a Chick-Filet thing. Being vegetarian, that was an easy pass for me.  But they had cookies, fruit, and drink.  I wasn't too much in the mood for food but I definitely got my fill of hydration and it wasn't long before I felt better.

Overall with my race performance, I have mixed feelings.  I more or less hit my goal of 1:55.  A 10 - 15 second stop at a water stop and nearly a minute in the bathroom cost me my goal. I didn't really set myself up for success for the race either:
  1. It was hot
  2. I had just raced a 10K 2 days prior.
  3. My focus on training has been more speed than endurance.
As a general rule, I rarely run let alone race half marathons in the dead of summer.

Overall, I was really happy with my experience.  The medal was super cool, the race was well supported and organized.  I do think they needed bathrooms at the stadium parking lot prior to the race and they definitely needed more at the start.

I would've preferred a 100% polyester shirt rather than the blended version.  Just not a fan of those and it'll likely not be worn much despite the cool design on it.

I am already registered for the 2024 edition and am looking for a rematch on this beautiful and potentially PR worthy course (I think if this race was held in the spring or fall, it would've finished much differently).

Upcoming Races

07/29: 2023 Lindon Days 5K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
08/05: 2023 Roy Days 5K - Roy, UT (Confirmed)
08/12: 2023 Alpine Days 5K - Alpine, UT (Probable)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/26: 2023 Mt Nebo 10K - Payson, 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)
02/25: 2024 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/202024 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
07/242024 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Monday, July 24, 2023

2023 Steel Days 10K Race Recap - American Fork, UT

Official Time: 50:55
Placement: 3rd in the 50 - 54 age group, 41st out of 189 overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid to upper 70's, no wind
Course Map / Garmin Route: Here
Previous Years: First Year for Me

Mile TimeComments
18:04Fairly conservative start. Wanted to go a bit slower
28:28Some climb here. Conserving energy. Perhaps a little too much
38:57100 feet of climbing.  Pretty tired and feeling the heat
47:44Finally the downhill!
58:07A bit of a grind at times, but still a nice pace.
68:02More gentle downhill running. Struggling with the heat but getting it done.
6.211:30Tired, defeated and ready to be sick but surprised at my time.
Total Miles: 6.21 - 50:55

Downtown American Fork Utah


Around Thanksgiving of 2022, I wound up signing for a year's worth of races from Runtastic Events.  One of the races included the Timp 10K.  However, due to some scheduling changes, the race was moved to a day that conflicted with another race I wanted to do.

Fortunately, Runtastic Events allowed me to switch races and I suddenly found myself in the American Fork 10K.

This race includes a 5K and ties in with the city's event: Steel Days.  It is a fairly competitive race and is situated right in front of the Runtastic Events office on Center street.  It also isn't far from the start of its sister race, the Run of Rembrance, which I ran back in May of this year.

Normally this weekend I do the Handcart Day Races and my heart had a pang of regret.  Although it is always nice to try something new and run a new route.  At least I'd have a new course Personal Best.

The Race

The day prior to the race, I had picked up my bib, so by the time Saturday rolled around I was ready to go.  For a 7 AM start, I got there at 6:15 and got some photos of the start, used the restroom and figured out how the course would go.

It was decidedly warm out -- and I was worried about the double whammy -- hills and heat.  I had studied the course prior to running it and saw that the first 2 miles were a gentle uphill and roughly miles 2.5 to 3.10 were the steepest part.

My plan was to go out conservatively and hold a decent but not all out pace on the first half and then smash the second half.

I did a very half mile warm up, some drills and decided it was best to conserve energy.  The race started promptly at 7 AM and I was off.

The race starts near Runtastic Events headquarters in the heart of American Fork.   We quickly did less than a quarter mile before making a series of turns that would lead us to the north end of town.  I kept telling myself to be patient and while I initially started out pretty quickly I dialed it back as the initial incline bit into my pace.

The first mile hit at 8:04, a little faster than I would've liked but it was okay.  The accumulating heat and hill was taking a toll and I could already feel like mile 2 was going to be a slow one -- and I was even into the worst of the hills.

The race is held on the city streets at this point we jumped onto a bike trail.  This was shaded and actually a very enjoyable portion of the course.  There was a creek running alongside.  I was holding my pace at this point and I felt like I was more fatigued than I should've been.  I knew I was holding back a bit, but the hills were taking their toll.  Mile 2 hit at 8:28, slower than I would've liked but still good.

Mile 3 is where the fun started.  We jumped back onto the bike trail after running some residential miles and entered another portion of the bike trail.  It was nice and shaded but I could see the hill beginning.  The hill had some breaks to it but it was definitely a climb.  I was breathing pretty hard at this point and some of the other stronger hill runners overtook me.

I kept hoping that MapMyRun had been wrong and the hill would end sooner than 3.10 miles.  Sure enough it did break around mile 3 and I got a bit of a downhill.  Almost immediately, I had to run around and run up the hill I had just gotten down.  The turn around was around at mile 3.05.

Looking determined at the start!

The next mile was extremely fun.  I got the downhill and I was ready for it.  This is what I had been waiting for.  I wound up overtaking a few runners as I zipped down the hill I had just climbed.  I had gotten a sense that I was in pretty good shape age group wise, but in all honesty, having seen last year's results, I wasn't expecting to place.  None the less, I was now in race mode.

Upon completing the bike trail portion I had to run a lap around the local park, Art Dye Park, which was littered with amusement park rides and food trucks.  This was my least favorite part of the course -- the course was coned off on the outer perimeter on the park, which went against my inclination to run on the inner portion.  It just seemed to take an eternity to make my way around the park.

I was pleased to see a nice mile pace of 7:47 -- back in the game!

Mile 5 was a grind. I was working with a group of runners and at this point we were getting the downhill portion of the race.  I was also starting to come into contact with some of the 5K runners, who had started 10 minutes after us.  I was running on fumes and I felt incredibly warm.  I could feel a slight chill, which meant I was starting to get a bit of heat sickness.

I was happy to see an 8:07 come up.  Working with others definitely helped and the gentle downhill was increasing my turnover.  Perhaps I was going to salvage this race after all.

I could smell the finish line but I really felt my pace slipping.  The group I was working with started to slip away from me (they were young-ish teens and their dad, who won my age group came back out to spur them on).  I was still hammering past the 5K runners but I was feeling somewhat light headed from the pace and heat.  I didn't want to pass out in the final press to the finish.

I hit mile 6 at 8:02 -- again surprising myself.  Solid effort.  I really pushed hard in the final .2 but at this point it was flat.  I got a brief run along Main Street and some cheers from people waiting to see the parade.

I suspected the course was going to be short but I made the final turn and sprinted as best as I could towards the Runtastic arches.  6.21 miles in 50:55.


So I was pretty happy with my time, all things considered. This wasn't an "A" race for me, but I was definitely trying.  Part of me had sort of checked out after looking at last year's race results and seeing that it would take a miracle for me to place in my age group.

I was in a bit of a bad state physically upon finishing though.  I definitely had the beginnings of heat sickness and it took a while before I was able to feel good without wanting to barf.  Fortunately, a nice touch, was the hanging cold shower at the end.  It definitely helped.

I wandered over to the results truck and I couldn't believe it. I had finished 3rd.  I kept checking the results for the next 15 minutes figuring someone who had started behind me would snag my position, but my position held!

I grabbed my phone and some snacks, which consisted of donuts, oranges, bananas, chocolate milk and water.  I greedily sucked down a water and I had brought some Gatorade to the event and that helped as well.  The finish line area was crowded -- sell out race.

So, I had a pretty good race all things considered.  I felt like I had paced it well and for the most part the race went to plan.  Mile 2 was slower than I had wanted but the others were pretty good.  My age group placement was also solid, but had I run the 5K, I would've been crushed.  I'll take what I can.

I did have a lot of negative thoughts going into the race about my performance and expectations.  One thing I have learned is that I can sell myself short.  I've got the running training down, the race experience and most other tangible parts, but my mental game needs to be upgraded.  Something to work on this year.  Too often, I doubt myself and bail out or don't give my all.

I liked this race.  I had gotten in on an early bird special.  So for a 10K it was around $25 or so.  The medal was nice and for the most part, I really liked the course. It was challenging and scenic.  There was a really good vibe and I saw a bunch of my friends.  The weekend that this race is on, though, is a crowded one.  I usually run the Handcart Races and with a half marathon looming 48 hours after this race, I really didn't know how hard I wanted to push it.  I could definitely see myself running this one again though if it fit into my race schedule but a part of me really wished I was at the Handcart races.  We'll see what 2024 brings.

Upcoming Races

07/24: 2023 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
07/29: 2023 Lindon Days 5K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
08/05: 2023 Roy Days 5K - Roy, UT (Confirmed)
08/19: 2023 Rock 'N Roll Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/26: 2023 Mt Nebo 10K - Payson, 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)
02/25: 2024 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/202024 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
07/242024 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)

Saturday, July 15, 2023

2023 Farmington Festival Days 10K Race Recap - Farmington, UT

Official Time: 51:02
Placement: 2nd in the 50 - 59 age division, 28th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Low 60's,  slight breeze
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2022] [2021] [2019] [2018] [2012]

Mile TimeComments
18:16Almost immediate hill to start the race. Being patient
27:44Nice downhill stretch here.  Gaining back some lost time
38:23Slight uphill here. Still trying to stay strong
48:23Consistent but hurting
59:03Tough mile here. Lots of turns and fighting a gradual uphill
68:14Scored a gentle downhill towards the finish line.  Managed to kick it up a notch
6.130:55Throwing everything I've got at the final stretch
Total Miles: 6.13 - 51:02

Packet Pickup


One of my favorite summer traditions is running the Farmington Festival Days races.  I first discovered the race when I first moved here in 2012 and it sort of fell off my radar.  I think it conflicted with some other races for a while.

A few years ago I decided to jump into it again.  I think initially it was a 5K and half marathon and at some point it became simply a 5K and 10K race.  They also boast "the best post-race breakfast in Utah", which is an instant "yes sir" for me.

The initial hill that starts the race.

The Race

Farmington is a small-ish, well to do town in the middle of Davis county.  The few times I visited, I initially was interested in moving there.  However, it was a bit of a commute for my job at the time.  

There is a good mix of old houses, farm land, and new houses along this mostly residential run.  It is also known for being hilly with a good mix of uphill and downhill.

The final quarter mile of the race

The race started at 7 AM and I was there to get my bib at 6:15.  It was easy and quick.  I took some photos and greeted the timer of the race, who is a personal friend, before getting my gear together and getting about a mile of a warm-up.  

I took the time to get reacquainted with the initial hill -- which is about .3 of a mile long and hits you just as you start the race.  I was conjuring a strategy on how to tackle it without killing my race within the first half mile.

The race started promptly at 7 and we started off.  We ran about 50 yards before hanging a left and proceeding up the dreaded hill. I told myself to be patient as others sped ahead of me.  I had time to make up the lost time of a slow start.

There were about 400 runners, most of whom were running the 5K.  The start was initially congested, but soon we got into a groove.  The initial hill melted away fairly quickly and we made a right hand turn onto a main street.

I could see the top of the hill and I increased my pace just ever so slightly.  Finally I reached the top and I wasn't gassed at all - and I quickly got into 10K pace.

The first mile rang up at 8:15 -- exactly where I had hoped to be.  A strong start but not out of control.  

From previous experience I knew mile 2 was going to be a fast one.  There is a strong temptation to think that the worst is over and just to smash it, but I held back a bit.  I was trying to get a sense of who my competition was as well.  I was still running with the 5K runners and occasionally someone who I figured to be my age (or older) sped by.

I was getting a sense that I wasn't going to place in my age group.  The race has 10 year age increments and I got a sense at best I would be 3rd.

Finally the 5K runners peeled off and we continued heading south.  The crowd had definitely thinned out and I hit the mile 2 point with a blazing 7:45.  

My heart rate felt good and I wasn't breathing heavy, but in looking at previous runs of this race, mile 2 to 3 was the start of the end.

This section of the race is mostly flat but is a gradual uphill.  It always feels like running through quicksand.  I had competition and found myself running with a few other guys.  I kept telling myself to be patient but strong.

Mile 3 came up reading 8:23.  A decent mile, but I would've loved to have been at the 8:15 mark.  I hoped to pick up the pace, but the problem was, I was really struggling.

We were running the 5K runners at this point, who would once again make a turn and leave us just as we were entering the final few miles. Most of them were walkers but it was nice to get encouragement from them.

The roughest mile of the race begins around mile 4.  It is also the most fun though.  You leave the main road and jump onto a bike trail of sorts behind the Lagoon Amusement Park.  It is a steady grind of turns and slightly uphill.  It was hard to get into a rhythm and I was running solo.  I had broken free of the guys I was running with and was simply eating the dust of a woman who was making ground on me.

I was a little more than discouraged when I saw a 9 minute mile come up.

Finally I got back to the main road and after a short climb up a hill I was greeted with the final mile, which is a gentle decline.  I got a bit of a second wind here as I sped down parade route.  The street was lined with mature trees and it was shaded.  I didn't see anyone behind me and there wasn't anyone to chase down, but I was hoping that I had a shot at an age group award.

Finally, I hit the strip of road behind the city hall building.  I could hear the faint din of music and crowds.  I knew the course traditionally measures a little short so with just shy of 6 miles to go, I pushed it to the finish.


I crossed the finish line in 51:02.  Not exactly the time I was hoping for (I was hoping for about 50:30 - 50:45).  I was totally spent though - and I knew it would require that level of effort given the warmer than usual temperatures and the hilly nature of the course.

There are no finisher's medals at this race -- your finisher medal, so to speak, is the post race breakfast.  After socializing a bit, visiting my car for a change of clothes and getting a bit rehydrated I made my way over to the breakfast tent.

They were already passing out the 5K awards and by the time I had gotten my food and sat down, there were starting to work on the 10K.

I was able to scan my bib with my phone and I was delighted to see that I had indeed won my age group.  Wow!  Granted, there were only 2 of us in that age group.

Post race breakfast

I was rewarded with a really cool medal.  It is the standard metal one but has an innovative chunk of wood glued to it with the name of the race. 

So, this race remains one of the best bargains as far as racing goes.  You get a timed, marshalled course with a breakfast and an opportunity for an award for about $25.  Post race refreshments were bottled water, oranges, bananas and sports drink.  There were two water stops on the course that were well crewed and helpful.  The course was well marked and supported by Farmington's police force.

I am sort of "blah" over my race time.  It is a course personal best for me, but I didn't quite hit the mark I was hoping for.  I was also a little miffed to see that I wouldn't have placed in the top 3 for both the 40 - 49 and 60 - 69.  Comparison is the thief of joy, however and I should remember I did pace this reasonably well and I did have a good time.  Despite the summer heat, it was a beautiful morning and I managed to pace the race nearly exactly what I had hoped I could do.  I just need to get better at mile 4 to 5 though.

I plan on coming here next year.  The breakfast makes it worth while and I really enjoy my visits to Farmington.  Definitely one of the prettiest places to run in northern Utah.

Upcoming Races

07/22: 2023 Steele Days 10K - American Fork, UT (Confirmed)
07/24: 2023 Desert News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
08/05: 2023 Roy Days 5K - Roy, 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)
02/25: 2024 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/202024 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)