Saturday, August 5, 2023

2023 Roy Days 5K Race Recap - Roy, UT

Official Time: 24:33
Placement: 1st in the 50 - 54, 47th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid 60's with slight breeze from the south.
Course Map / Garmin Route: Here
Previous Years: [2022] [2021] [2019]

Mile TimeComments
17:30Fast start. Right where I want to be thanks to the downhill
27:55Let off the gas a bit.  A little uphill here but mostly flat.
38:28Grind uphill. False summit. Hard running here.
3.090:37Speedy finish
Total Miles: 3.09 - 24:32

Packet pickup


One of my summer traditions is doing the Roy Days Royal Challenge 5K race.  It is paired with a kids race and a 2-mile walk.  The race also coincides with the city's festival, Roy Days.  So the event is kind of a big deal and lots of alumni from the high school show up to run the race.

The race is run by the local high school running team / coach.  Having done the race a few times now, it is a well oiled machine and the race always comes in on my Garmin as a 5K.  The race is really competitive for the younger crowd and it is bargain priced, making it an easy decision for something to do on a Saturday morning.

The start line

The Race

The race starts at 7 AM and I got there around 6:15 to pickup my bib.  It was easy but unfortunately they were out of my size of shirts.  I really like their shirts as they have the polyester sport brand that are great for running.  Supposedly they'll be mailed out next week.

I did about a mile warm-up and a lot of drills.  It was pretty warm and I kept the warm-up pretty modest.  There were only two restrooms for the entire race, so I took advantage of them early and often.

The race started a few minutes late due to announcements, but it wasn't a big deal.  The race doesn't have a chip timed start (but it does have a chip time finish) so I was near the front when the starter's gun went off.

The first mile on this 5K is fast with a net downhill start.  It isn't a massive downhill but it definitely is a confidence booster.  

I was quickly swallowed up by the younger crowd.  I had surveyed some of the competition that I suspected were in my age group, but the over 50 crowd was definitely thin.

A lot of memories hit me as I cruised through the first mile.  I've run this race now 4 times and I can remember many of my visits to Roy. The first mile goes through an older part of town and races along a school.  It isn't a glamorous part of town, but it is quaint and I love running through neighborhoods for a 5K.

I didn't really pay attention to my watch for the first mile, must running by feel.  I know that the first mile of a 5K is always the easiest and I am usually running faster than I expect.  I hit mile one in 7:30. 

Mile 2 -- the race became more "real".  We exited the neighborhood and onto a park lined street.  It is flat here and I knew from previous that this mile was mostly flat.  I pretty much disregarded my watch and again ran to feel -- pushing when I can and passing by a few runners.  I didn't see anyone my age but had guessed that at this point I was in whatever place I was going to get for my age group.

The latter half of mile 2 had a bit of a hill that took the starch out of my pace.  And I knew it was going to get even hillier.  I was heading my pace on mile 2 in preparation for the final mile.  I hit mile 2 right at the mile marker in 7:55, decent, but I felt like I had run it faster.

You can see the hill that the final mile comprises

I was really determined on the final mile. I knew it was going to be the hardest.  I was hurting but I wanted a good time.  My best time on this course is 24:13 and I felt completely capable of breaking that time.

The final mile is uphill and it starts off gradually. You can see the hill in the distance and a pair of traffic lights sitting at the top.  And I couldn't remember for the life of me how much further after the top of the hill that the race ended. I did know that the race would come in at around 3.10 miles.

It was also at this point that we got mixed in with the 2 mile walkers. So the race route up the main street was a little more crowded.  There was some crowd support people as a few people had set up camp for the forthcoming parade.

Occasionally I glanced at my watch and saw some embarrassingly slow paces.  I had to give myself credit though -- this was the worst patch of the race.  It also isn't terribly scenic running by gas stations, 7-11's, and banks.  

Finally, upon summiting the hill, I had a much shorter, less steep second hill.  I could see the flashing lights and hear the announcer's voice.  I was breathing hard and at this point I am questioning whether I am going to have a heart attack or not.

The finish line sort of snuck up on me.  It seemed like seconds after my watch beeped 3 miles but I gave everything I had in the final stretch to pass a few people.  I was expecting to see a very low 24 minutes upon crossing the finish line but I saw 24:30 - 24:31... what? But I cruised through and looked at my watch for confirmation... 24:32.

Pretty happy at the end of the race.


So I had set up my goal pre-race with a finishing time of around 24-flat.  I think I would've been happy with anything in and around 24:10.  I had missed my goal by around 23 seconds.

I managed to snag a bottle of Gatorade and cooled off a bit before circling back onto the final mile to get some photos of the final stretch and finish line.  I also stuck around long enough to get my finisher's card -- I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had finished first in my age group.  Score!

Age group award

It took a while to get the awards sorted out but once they got them going it was quick.  They also had an epic raffle drawing with some incredible prizes. I think I have yet to win a prize but they were giving away new shoes, $150 gift certificates and restaurant offers.  Post race awards included a medal and a free pick of a t-shirt or hat (see below).

So, I wasn't super upset with my time.  The course is a tough one, with a fast start and a painful finish.  I just felt like I was in better shape to get a course personal best.  

The race was $25 and you got a shirt, a finisher's ribbon, professionally timed, a shot at awards, an awesome raffle (for the winners).  Post race refreshments included water, Gatorade, granola bars and bananas.

I really enjoy this race. It is a bit of a drive for me (about 45 minutes one way).  But I like the community vibe and it brings back memories of my early days of running when most of the races I ran were community-based 5Ks.  I plan on being back next year.

Upcoming Races

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)
09/02: 2023 Swiss Days 10K - Midway, 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)

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