Official Time: 24:49
Placement: 22nd overall, 4th in the 50 - 59 age group
Race Website: Here
Weather: upper 80's, no wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: New to Me
|1||7:43||Fast first mile. Feeling pretty good but it is warming up.|
|2||7:59||A bit of uphill. Still feeling strong but fading|
|3||8:49||Worst section of the hill. Fortunately last .4 of a mile was downhill but my pace dropped off like crazy|
|3.05||0:18||Give whatever I have left.|
|Total Miles: 3.05 - 24:50|
Well, for the Fourth of July weekend I found myself on the road. I had family business in southern California and one of the best ways to get there (and back) is through Las Vegas.
I was supposed to do the Riverton 10K here in town, but with the travel plans, I had to find a new race to do if I wanted to race on the 4th of July -- an American holiday to celebrate the birth of the our nation.
I was on the return route back to Salt Lake having spent the night at my aunt's house. It turns out she lives a few miles from the race site, so I took advantage of the opportunity to race something new.
I figured it was going to be a hot race and sure enough it was. When I arrived at the race, it was already in the mid 80's (and by the time I left it was 90). I was smart -- and opted to preregister for the 5K instead of the 10K. I had read the course descriptions and it sounded like both courses were challenging. Given that I haven't acclimated to the heat, I wanted to race conservatively.
I also knew leading up to the race, I'd likely be a bit rusty -- given my training would be interrupted and my food choices wouldn't necessarily be the greatest.
I was right on all accounts. I felt sluggish, undertrained and even after my brief warm-up I felt I needed a shower.
The race was held at the Kellogg Zaher Sports Complex. There is a paved loop that connects in with other parks / trails. The park contains picnic facilities, playgrounds and of course several soccer fields.
After receiving course instructions (it was a bit odd race course), the race started promptly at 7 AM (the 10K had started at 6:45).
If you can imagine the course being divided into thirds, the first "section" was to run 2/3rds of the course in a single loop and then repeat the loop but extend it another third. So we had to run quite a bit of the course twice.
To make life interesting, the first mile was a slight downhill. The backside of the loop was a gentle grade uphill.
The first mile went off without a hitch. I was surprising myself. 7:43 for the first mile. Perhaps I could dodge the effects of the heat.
Given I was traveling, I didn't really prep like I used to -- nutritionally. I had to wing it with water and some crackers. Not exactly race food and I was without caffeine.
Mile 2 saw a rather pedestrian 7:59. Still a decent pace, but I was definitely running on fumes. The heat was intense and I almost never grab a cup of water in a 5K, but I grabbed one this race, took a sip or two and dump the rest over me.
Starting at mile 2, though, I was now running the long uphill along the backside of the course. It was just a slow grind and my pace just wilted. I kept willing myself forward knowing that once I hit the apex and rounded the corner I'd have time to regroup and smash the final leg of the race.
I grew discouraged though as I looked at my watch. I saw paces that were about near marathon pace. I wanted the race to be over: it was hilly and hot. And part of me was questioning whether I should just walk it.
I was still passing some people and those around me were suffering just as badly, but I wasn't having a great race.
Finally, I hit the top, rounded the curve and was greeted with a fast downhill finish. I was able to recover and bounded ahead. My pace quickened just like I knew I was capable of. The finish line arches came into view and I just focused on finishing strong.
I was expecting to just collapse when I finished and roll around in dramatic agony, but I was able to walk it off. I had definitely used everything I had though in the final half mile to salvage the race.
I had finished in 24:49 -- a far cry from last week's race of 24:03. I had to give myself a bit of a break:
1) Poor nutrition leading up to the race.
1) Poor nutrition leading up to the race.
2) Not a lot of running from Friday through race morning (Tuesday)
3) A lot of sitting / driving.
4) Emotional wear and tear
5) It *was* hot and hilly.
I got my medal and they were handing out frozen popsicles as refreshment. Fortunately, I had brought my own water bottle, but I was a little perplexed by the post race stuff. It was hot and I expected some sort of cold water (they had an aid station on the course), especially for the price of the race.
I loved the shirt. Very high quality and nicely designed. I'll definitely wear it again on a 4th of July race (and for training).
I was told that the race director usually has some sort of award system but I didn't see it. I guess overall winners might receive something. Either way, I did finish 4th, so I wasn't eligible.
Overall, I liked the vibe of the race. It was well attended and the course was actually sort of fun. I wasn't alone in having a poor final mile. Just a smattering of comments led me to believe people had a slow final mile.
This one was definitely a character builder and I was fortunate to find a race so close to where I was staying. It was a new and challenging experience and I was glad I got the opportunity to race in a new area.
07/08: 2023 Draper Days 5K - Draper, UT (Confirmed)
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)
03/03: 2024 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
04/20: 2024 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)