Sunday, August 27, 2023

2023 Nebo 10K Race Recap - Payson, UT

Official Time: 48:19
Placement: 3rd in the 50 - 54 age group, 17th male, 26th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid 60s, no wind
Course Map / Garmin Route: Here
Previous Years: First Year for Me

Mile TimeComments
17:49First quarter mile was uphill and at elevation. Not warmed up. Rebounded immediately at the turn around
27:06Wow. Fast mile!
37:37Still holding steady
47:59Snapping back into reality.
57:54Came back a bit but mostly flat and running with the 5K runners / walkers.
68:14Tough mile here.  Not a lot left.
6.221:37Surprised myself here and really turned it up a notch.  So happy to finish
Total Miles: 6.22 - 48:19

Waiting for the start


I've never run the Nebo 10K race before.  I've seen the race pop up in my calendar from time to time and I've never signed up.  The effort seemed a bit much for me -- getting up early, getting on a bus, etc.  Also the cost of the race as a late entry always tipped the scale.

This year, I had a friend doing it and we decided to carpool.  It was still pricey but with a friend doing it, it seemed worthwhile.

The race is held in Payson -- a solid 45 minute drive south of where I live.  The race is also a fast downhill race.  I have yet to race in Payson and I've driven a bit through the canyon so I knew it was going to be a pretty run.

Final turn

The Race

I got to the race site around 5:45 -- at the local city park.  The race was busy and the 10K was the last race to load on the bus.  I was able to find a decent parking spot.  The full marathon runners had already left and the half had mostly disappeared.  There was a good line-up for the 10K buses.  It took a while to load the buses -- as many of the buses hadn't returned yet from dropping off the other runners.  In fact, this was probably my biggest complaint about the race.  It wasn't until after 6:15 that I was finally on a bus, making the 5 mile drive to the race start.

I got to survey the course as we wound our way up the canyon.  There were a few rolling hills to content with, but it was mostly downhill.  I could definitely tell I was in for a fast time.

I arrived on the second  bus and the line for 3(!) porta-potties was already 30 - 40 people deep.  I immediately jumped in line and barely made it through the queue before the 6:55 AM start.  The race was slated to start at 6:45, but with the bus miscue, we started late.  Suffice to say, my warm-up routine was scraped and amounted to a few jumps / arm swings.  

Finish line photo!

The race did start and we headed out of the campground parking lot. My impression of the race was that we'd swing a left and be greeted with the descent back down to Payson.  Instead, we hung a right (as the race arrows directed us) and proceeded UP the canyon.  What?!?!  

I thought it was a mistake and part of me was filled with dread.  How much of an uphill chunk did we have to do?  I was breathing pretty hard with the higher elevation and the hills and I certainly hadn't warmed up, 

The uphill was short lived and within about a quarter of a mile, I saw the lead pack coming back down the canyon.  Whew, the race organizers hadn't screwed up.  There was a large cone to turn around at and I was greeted with what I came to run:  a fast downhill.

The next 2 miles or so was spent barreling down the canyon.  It was so easy to run and I hit some fast miles.  It was cool out, shaded and I loved running down the canyon with a little stream off to the side and some pine / canyon shrubbery on either side of me.

I hadn't really come in with a strategy on this one, but I knew that I had roughly 4 miles of downhill and then about 2 of rolling hills to the finish.  I wasn't sure how to pace this -- being that if I held back, my quads would still be shot for the final 2 miles.

I wound up pushing the pace, hitting a 7:49 and 7:06 split.  Those splits are definitely not 10K paces, but more like 5K or 3K paces.  It seemed pretty effortless as I let gravity and a little extra kick power my run.

Awesome crowds at the end

Miles 3 and 4 -- the canyon opened up and I had a few uphill sections to contend with.  There were meadows with cows in them and more flat running. I was still surrounded by the towering mountains but they were further away, giving way to more intense sun.

Part of me got a little frustrated in that the pace felt slower and I actually had to work for it.  This was a mental hang-up though.  My pace was still rock solid for a 10K.  I took it easy on the uphill parts, cruised on the flats and relished the mini downhills.

I could feel myself fading though.  The downhills had smashed my quads and with all the miles, races and training I've done, my legs were begging for mercy.  I wasn't sure who I was running against but the crowd had thinned out and not many runners were behind me.  I just knew that the race was fairly competitive and that if I wanted to place, I'd need to bring my A game.

The final third of the race was mostly run in Payson itself.  It is kind of a rural community with ranch style homes, big yards, and an older atmosphere.  When I first moved to Utah, it was at the edge of civilization.  Now, it isn't.

It was also at this point that I joined up with the 5K runners.  Most of them were walking but as I got closer to the finish I got mixed up with the running ones.  I also got overtaken by the speedy half marathon runners who had had a 30 minute head start on me.

I was running on fumes but I knew I was still running 10K pace.  It took a bit of extra effort as well to dodge parked cars or wide berths of 5K runners.  

The mile markers - for the most part - we spot on.  Although, I was about .03 of a mile off with them.  They had markings for the marathoners (which aligned with my race) and the half marathon runners.  It was nice to see consistency and reassuring I wasn't going to have a shortage or overage in miles.

As I got closer to the finish line, I started to gauge if anyone was coming up behind me, but the coast was clear.  I could hear the announcer and the I got a sense of where I was in regards to the finish.  The final push is a gentle downhill and I quickened my pace.  There was a really good crowd lining the finish line too, so that only encouraged me more.

I made the final turn and gave the last .1 of a mile all I had.

Pretty happy with my finish


I finished in 48:19, for a legit 10K race.  With the full marathon being certified, I figured the 10K would be as well.  Either way, my Garmin rang up a 10K.

I figured I had run well and my watch alerted me that I had PR'd in the mile, 2-mile, 5K and 10K.  I have run better in my life but I think these are over the age of 50 personal bests for me.

Finishers Medal and age group 3rd place medal

My phone had my results for me (I had carried my keys and phone in my FlipBelt) and I was happy to see that I had placed 3rd in my age division.  However, I was bit a hesitant to take credit for it -- since so many runners had gotten a late start with the bathroom situation.

For the next 15 minutes, I was busy refreshing my browser -- but I am happy to report that my place held up.

Waiting for the awards

It took a while to get the awards out but I've certainly experienced worse.  It was a beautiful day though and I was able to socialize with some runners.  Post race refreshments were oranges, bananas, sports drink, water and chocolate milk.  They also had muffins of some sort as well.  It was a bit better than normal in terms of post race food.

Overall, I was happy with my experience.  Runtastic Events always does a good job with their races.  There were plenty of water stops, the course was easy to follow and everything went well.  My only gripe was the late 10K bus loading.  There really wasn't ample time between drop off and race start.

Performance wise -- I am happy with my time and running on this one.  I pushed it hard and gave it a solid effort.  However, it does come with an "asterisk" on the day.  The course was just a massive downhill and it was hard not to have a great race.  I think in comparison with other races I've done, it comes in on par, or slightly better than usual.  It does look good on Athlinks though.

I would certainly do this race again next year.  The half marathon certainly looks enticing as well, given that that race is even more downhill than the 10K.  

I was sore after running the race - including the following day. Physically, you do pay a price for this one but my finish time feels really good, even though I was definitely aided by the course.  If you are looking to run one of (if not the) fastest 10Ks in Utah, you should give this race a try.

Upcoming Races

09/02: 2023 Swiss Days 10K - Midway, UT (Confirmed)
09/23: 2023 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/06: 2023 Antelope Island Race - Syracuse, UT (Maybe)
10/07: 2023 Apple Harvest Run 10K - Santaquin, UT (Maybe)
10/21: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/28: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Can't Make It)
11/18: Snow Canyon Half Marathon - St George, UT (Maybe)
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)

No comments:

Post a Comment