Placement: 7th in the 45-54 age division, 56th overall out of 286
Race Website: Here
Weather: Mid 60's, slight breeze
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years:  
|1||7:45||Off to a good start. Some uphill running but right where I wanted to be.|
|2||7:29||Smashing the downhill and drafting off of another runner|
|3||8:12||As soon as I hit the walking path, I ran out of gas. Pace dwindled big time here|
|3.05||0:21||Hit the finish line hard!|
|Total Miles: 3.05 - 23:48|
|Packet pickup at Draper Days 5K|
Once again, the Draper Days 5K, fell nicely into my racing calendar. I first ran it in 2015 and just about every year since, I have had some sort of race conflict. The race itself ties in with their weekly festivities celebrating the city's summer get together.
The course has changed a bit over the years, but it still remains a highly competitive race, with some of the fastest local runners (particularly high school aged runners) showing up to compete.
Last year I ran it and had a good experience, so this year I decided to show up and see if I could better my time from last year, which shouldn't be too hard given that I was coming off of illness and an injury.
I got to the race site around 6:15 for the 7 AM start. Packet pickup was a snap -- judging from their sign-in sheet many of the runners had picked up their packets the day before.
The weather was nearly perfect for a summer 5K. A slight breeze, the sun coming over the Wasatch mountains casting shadows over the park and it was just cool out.
I wound up doing about a mile of easy running with a few strides thrown in. I found some park bathrooms to use as well -- there weren't many at the starting line. I felt pretty good while warming up, but the warm-up is rarely a good barometer as to how the race will go. I often feel a little tired / fatigued and until the gun goes off, I am not really sure what I'll get when I start to run.
After a brief race orientation, the race started off promptly at 7 AM. The first 50 yards or so I was horribly hemmed in but we had a pretty large area to start in, so the crowd quickly thinned out.
The race starts near one end of the park and you take a service drive to 1300 East before getting the entire side of the road to run on. The first mile is slightly uphill including a bit more of a climb. It isn't insanity or something that kills your race, and fortunately with it happening in the early miles, it is easy to tackle.
I rarely check my first mile, just preferring to settle in and not get worked up over my pace. I was surprised to see a 7:45 ring up on my Garmin. Right on target. And I still felt pretty good.
I knew the second mile was going to be my "go" mile. Upon cresting the hill, I remembered from last year getting a nice downhill stretch. And I took advantage of it. There had been a bit of wind and I wound up tucking in behind a guy. He was running about my pace and I used him as a buffer. It helped and it allowed me to work with him.
I have a feeling he knew what I was doing and eventually he pulled ahead and while I tried to stay with him, it just wasn't happening. I reminded myself to run my own race and I also recalled the last mile was going to be the toughest.
I was overjoyed to see a 7:29 mile pop up on my watch. Even better than I expected to be. I was hurting but it was something I could tolerate. There was a very gentle downhill at this point and I really wish the rest of the race was held on the street I was running.
But we made a turn onto the bike trail and I was greeted by the sun. It was almost blinding and I think mentally it made me feel more "hot" than it was. I wasn't wear sunglasses, which probably would've helped and I think mentally it bogged me down. I felt my legs grow heavier -- and with desperation I knew I still had .75 of a mile to go.
As much as I wanted to, I couldn't pick up my pace. I kept telling myself -- just hang on and in the final quarter mile give it all you got. Unfortunately, even at the quarter mile point I couldn't eek out much. Was my race going to be a disappointment?
|Me, All Cheers at the End of the Race|
So I crossed the finish line in 23:47. Anytime I can get under 24 minutes for a 5K, I am thrilled. My joy was a bit tempered by the fact that my last mile was disappointing -- 8:15.
I collected my medal and made my way back to my car. I was pretty well spent after the race but I was able to bounce back quickly enough. Once I got my phone I was able to scan my bib -- 2nd place in my age group.
I wound up cheering some of the finishing runners on and grabbing photos of friends as they passed by. I always carry extra hydration in my car and I wound up using that for a bit.
|Draper Days 5K medal and shirt|
During the awards ceremony there was a change in the age groupings -- to my disadvantage. Originally, I was 2nd in the 50 - 54, which would've netted me an award. But due to the change, they adjusted the age groups to be 45 - 54. I suddenly found myself in 7th. Bummer.
Post race refreshments included water, sports drink, bananas, oranges, Vitamin Water and protein bars. For a reasonably priced race, I was very happy with the food at the end (the oranges were outrageously good). Props to the medal designer as well -- very heavy and a nice addition to my collection -- especially for a 5K. The t-shirt was also a high quality, polyester one -- one I'll definitely wear.
I really enjoyed the course and it was well marshalled. Since it was an early start, there wasn't much road traffic and I felt safe while running on what would normally be busy roads.
This was an A-race for me and I came to race. My performance, despite the less than stellar last mile, was decent and I came away with a positive experience and I am trending in the right direction.
I will certainly do this race again next year if it fits into my calendar.
07/15: 2023 Farmington Days 10K - Farmington, UT (Probable)
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)
04/20: 2024 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)