Monday, September 25, 2023

2023 Witch Run 10K Race Recap - West Jordan, UT

One of the bridges at Gardner Village

Official Time: 50:08
Placement: 1st in the 50 - 54, 10th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Low 50's, sunny, no wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2022[2021] [2020] [2019[2018]

Mile TimeComments
18:05Right on target. Just getting settled
28:02Still feeling good.  Need to bump the pace up
38:08Can't wait for the turn around.  A few frost covered bridges to cross though!
48:04A bit of an allergy attack and some frosty bridges.
57:58Intermingling with the 5K runners.  Crowded stretches. 
67:57Really hurting here but surprised that I managed to get this pace
6.241:52Very congested and lots of turns.  Not really a fast finish.
Total Miles: 6:24 - 50:09

Packet Pickup on Friday


Since 2018, I've done the Witch Run race held by OnHillEvents. The race is held at the last weekend of September (or the first weekend of October) and is the first race in a series based on Halloween.

The race offers a distance for just about everyone: a 5K, 10K, and half marathon.  The run is held on the Jordan River Parkway, about 2 miles from my house and one I consider my "home course".  I don't often run that far south, but I am not unfamiliar with the route.

The race's headquarters is an eclectic local shopping area that decorates its stores with Halloween decorations.  It is a nice place to have a race and has easy access to the bike trail.

Typical stretch of bike trail

The Race

I had picked up my bib the day before the race and I had heard a rumor the event was charging for parking, so I managed to get dropped off about a quarter mile away and do a warm-up to the race site.  I got some pre-race photos and tucked my phone away into my Flip Belt and warmed up.  

The race was chilly but not terribly so.  I wound up going with my short-shorts, a t-shirt and some light gloves.  This choice worked really well -- I hate cold hands.

The race started about 10 minutes late.  Due to a snafu with the half marathon start time, we had to let them go at 7:30 and we followed a few minutes later.

Early morning mountain view in Midvale, UT

The initial start is quite congested.  Almost immediately you make a turn down a narrow walkaway and do a series of turns before entering the shopping center's parking lot.  You do a well marshalled crossing before jumping onto the bike trail.  From there it is still another hundred yards of undulating turns before you can finally settle into a pace and get racing.

Entrance to the bike trail

Fog over the river

I eased into 10K pace, periodically checking in on my watch.  The leaders had blown by me and I wound up overtaking some of the faster starters.  I hadn't spotted anyone in my age group at the starting line and knowing from previous editions of the race, my age group usually wasn't that stacked.

I was on familiar bike trail and I was enjoying the crisp air.  As usual, I felt in control and I sped through the first mile in 8:05.  A little slower than I had hoped but no complaints.

At about 4 points we had to cross wooden bridges.  Due to the chilly air, they had a very thin layer of frost on them.  I had to slow down at each one to avoid risking falling.

Mile 2 and 3 saw fairly consistent splits.  I was hurting by mile 3 though and I began to wonder if the return trip was going to see my paces drop off a cliff.

As I got closer to the turn around I got a sense of where my competition was at.  I was in the top 10 with a potential person in my age group (although he appeared to be a bit younger).  He was going to finish in 2nd overall, so even if he was in my age group, I didn't think he was going to count against me.  If I really had an amazing finish, I could perhaps top 3 the race, but I wasn't counting on it.

I finally hit the turn around and it exactly where it should've been.  I didn't even glance at my watch to see what the total distance I was going to have to run, but it felt spot on.  I was running with one of the lead women and there were about half a dozen runners within a 100 yards tailing me.  Time to dig deep!

Banner for the Gardner Village Witchfest

I felt like my pace was dropping.  There were a few turns and I was running near the Sandy golf course.  It is actually a nicely shaded area with lots of trees and shrubbery.  And I got a lot of encouragement from those behind me.  It was much needed.

My pace didn't fall off a cliff though.  I was running in the low 8's but there were times I had to dial it back.  I also started to get an allergy issue.  I've noticed it comes on when I am running hard and in cold weather: I can't clear the junk in the back of my throat.  And it starts to ball up and I get almost like a suffocating experience.  I either have to slow down or just deal with it and wait for it to pass.  It is usually an awful 2 - 3 minutes.

Pre-start finish line.

Right on target, I hit mile 4 and knew I just had 2 more miles.  Time to dig deep.

There was only one aid station, just near the 5K turn around and while I didn't need it, it mentally served as point where I felt close to the finish.  I suspected I was going to be close to going sub 50 minutes but I'd have to speed up a bit.  My splits were mostly on target but I was just over 8 minutes.

Post race celebrations

I finally hit the 5K turn around and I was greeted with a line of walkers, both coming and going.  They had started probably about 10 minutes behind me but the slower ones were still making their way throughout the course.  The group I was working with (and myself) had to navigate our way around them.  It wasn't terrible, but I definitely had to find the best spot -- and often the least advantageous.  It was nice to get encouragement and cheers from friends in this area too.

I was shocked to see a sub 8 minute mile.  Just what I needed.  Was it enough though for the time I wanted?

The final mile was still congested but I mostly had a wide open lane when I needed it.  I was closing in on a great race and while I was running out of gas, my splits had been surprisingly consistent.  

I still had some runners in my view, particularly the first and second place women, and I didn't sense anyone was close behind me.  I had looked a little and didn't sense anyone was close.

I knew from previous races along this course it is hard to have a great, fast finish.  Usually I can cruise along here but there were quite a few 5K runners finishing.  Not to mention in the last quarter mile there are a lot of turns and some hills.  You have to run along a wobbly, plank boarded underpass and then up and over a short but steep hill into the village.

I did what I could to push but this was no ordinary fast finish.  There were too many places where I had to slow up, watch where I was running and ultimately the last 50 yards was lined with people.  I had been cruising at 7:30 minutes per mile and suddenly had to slow to a job to wait for an opening.

I resigned myself to not being able to fly through the finish -- which is a very tight right hand turn followed by literally 20 steps  (or less).

Smiles after the race


So I crossed the finish line in 50:08, officially.  The course came in at 6.24 on my watch, so perhaps a smidge long, but I want to say it was spot on.  The course was flat, so I knew I wasn't going to nail an over the top time.  

Medal and t-shirt

I grabbed a finisher's medal (which were very nicely designed and felt heavy) and took a seat out of everyone's way.  The air temperature was cool and I was radiating steam.  

I had mixed feelings about the race.  I was pretty happy that I won my age group and all things considered, I had run fairly well.  But I didn't really hit my "A" goal, which was 49:30-ish.

There were just a few miscues along the way: icy bridges, a crowded final half mile, and my allergy attack.  I think these cost me a few seconds. Still, though, this race is likely to be my last 10K race of the year.

Lama from the petting zoo.

I did finish first in my age group, so I went home with an extra medal.  They were nicely designed this year and felt heavy.  The t-shirt was reminiscent of their first t-shirt, but not polyester like I like.  They had a nice spread of food at the end: oranges, granola bar, ice cream, candy and drink.

Overall, I like this race. I've done it every year since its inception and there is a really nice local run vibe to it.  I saw so many friends and it was nice to catch up with people.  

I do miss the night runs though, but I think with the morning version, my times are better.  It is also nice to have 3 distances to choose from.  I still enjoy the simple 10K -- it's further than a 5K but not as exhausting as a half marathon.

I plan on attending next year.

Upcoming Races

10/07: 2023 Apple Harvest Run 5K - Santaquin, UT (Confirmed)
10/21: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/28: 2023 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Can't Make It)
11/04: Vineyard City Blizzard 5K / 10K - Vineyard, UT (Maybe)
11/11: Sandy City Turkey Trot 5K - Sandy, UT (Maybe)
11/18: 2023 Snow Canyon Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
11/23: 2023 South Davis Recreation Center 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
01/13: 2024 Virgin River Half Marathon - St George, 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
09/07: 2024 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)
10/XX: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)

Monday, September 11, 2023

2023 Cedar City Half Marathon Race Recap - Cedar City, UT

Anticipation Before the Race

Official Time: 1:51:02
Placement: 7th in the 50-54 age group, 178th overall
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: mid 50's with slight tailwind
Course Map / Garmin Route: Here
Previous Years: First year for me

Mile TimeComments
18:01Off to a decent start. A little bit of up hill and at 8200 feet altitude.
27:35Letting gravity pull me down. Feeling so good.
37:36Actually a decent mile here despite the climb.
68:06Slowing coming back to reality.  Some down, but course definitely flattens out.
88:34Felt like at this point, I was tired.  Knew the last 5 miles were going to be a struggle
98:50Gentle downhill but definitely not in the game
109:09Hit the 5K starting point, on a bike trail now.
1210:04Just shambling along
1310:14I'd walk around 30 seconds and then run .1 of a mile.  Never again.
13.100:51Crossed the finish line at 13.06 miles, but kept running to make it official.
Total Miles: 13.10 - 1:51:48

Packet Pickup 


So with me having a serious case of race fever, I had absolutely nothing on the calendar for this past weekend.  I searched for a race -- high and low.  It had to be worthy of doing, age group awards, not super expensive, no major headaches, and it had to be fun and different.  There was a big race in Salt Lake, but I knew that was expensive and I've already driven up the route, so it wasn't terribly new.

My searches did take me to the Cedar City Half Marathon.  It was in southern Utah, something new, and it was a race I had put on my "to-do" list for quite some time.  Most every year it popped up on my radar and I just never pulled the trigger and said "I am doing this".

This year, I made the decision to do it.  I did some research as to what it would cost me in terms of gas, hotel, food, etc and came to the conclusion it was in the budget.  It wasn't cheap -- the week of registration was $100, but I was willing to take the plunge to have a new adventure this week.  Also, the promotional video they had on their site was the kicker: what a beautiful course.

Pre-start starting line

The Race

I managed to pick up my bib on Friday evening.  It was crowded but not terrible and I got a giant swag bag for my troubles.  I don't think I've ever gotten a bag so full of "things" before but already the race was off to a good start.  And the stuff wasn't just "junk" but product samples and things I'd actually try and use.

I had serendipitously gotten a hotel that was near the bus loading and packet pickup.  In fact, it was about a block and a half walk (pro tip: stay at the Best Western in Cedar City) It made it convenient in that I didn't have to fight for parking, let alone move my car in the morning.  So the bus loading process was easy and stress free.

The initial start of the race

The bus ride took about 20 minutes to read a campsite.  They had a plethora of bathrooms (again props to the organizers) and they also had pit fires, music and heating areas.  I had brought a light jacket and tights / gloves but I only wound up using the jacket and tossed on the gloves for a little while.  I had about a 45 minute wait (or less) before the start.

People assembling pre-race.

Wood Ranch starting pen

The race started at 7 AM and we made our way out of the camp and onto the service road that would eventually take us back to Cedar City.

The course is closed to traffic, which means we could take the curves on the street as efficiently as possible.  I had studied the course via their video and knew we were in for a beautiful morning -- with majestic rock formations lining the winding canyon road.  

The initial 5 - 6 miles are a crazy fast downhill and with a slight tailwind, I felt that the running was light and easy.  Especially on race fatigued legs. 

Leading up to Cedar Breaks -- we did not run this wya.

I always have a hard time figuring out how to run these downhill races, but I let gravity assist and monitored by breathing.  Despite the high elevation, I wasn't breathing hard, but I did feel a bit more tired / lethargic than I should've.  I knew I was running fast --- even faster than my normal 5K race pace - but it felt effortless.

Beautiful start to the race.

I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and was completely comfortable with the temperature.  They had a bag drop prior to the race and I didn't have much to begin with to drop off.  I had thought about wearing more cushioning shoes, but decided to go with my trusty Saucony Pro 2's.  They hadn't let me down before and I feel like they were able to withstand the blows of the descent.

The initial miles were stunningly beautiful.  The sun was coming up, we were mostly in the shade and I could hear the river (Coal Creek) to the left and right of me.  Sometimes it was well below me and sometimes nearly next to me.  The race was a big one and I was always surrounded by other runners.

Bag Pipe players on the course

The first 6 miles flew by effortlessly and I knew I was in range for a fantastic race time-wise.  I was worried about the final 5 miles, as it looked like the massive drops were going to end and I'd be back to reality.  I was hoping, though, that my body would be able to at least manage a decent pace for the remainder of the race.

The had 7 aid stations on the course -- serving Powerade and water.  One of the last stations had pickle juice -- which I thought was odd. I'd rather see that in the middle miles.  The crews running them were amply trained, although some of the water stations had lukewarm water, which didn't really help quench my growing thirst.

One of the treats too was the bag pipe players around mile 5.  It was nice to be greeted by them and hear them play.  It is one of the highlights of the race and one that the organizers appear to celebrate.

Eventually, the good times must end though and eventually the massive downhills stopped and reality hit me hard.  My effortless 7:30 miles turned into low 8's and eventually more typical 8:30's.  I was okay with that but the work it took to hit those paces seemed harder.

I figure I was still at 6500 - 7000 feet elevation, which would explain the effort.  Also, I don't think I was consuming -- or had consumed enough hydration prior to the race.  I was drinking, but it didn't seem to be enough.  I did eat a Gu with caffeine which perked me up a little, but not as much as I would've hoped.

By mile 8, I knew the final 5 miles were not going to be pretty.  The crowds had thinned and so had the excitement.  The canyon was still pretty but I could tell it was less "wild".  I definitely wasn't bored but now it was work.

Crowds at the finish line.

I somehow made it to the 10 mile mark -- not exactly feeling great.  I still had hopes that I'd be able to turn it around or at least run low 9 minute miles for the remainder of the race.  but I was in desperation mode.

The course had left the canyon's road and onto the local bike trail.  The first mile of the bike trail was really nice -- it felt like I was still running in the wild but eventually it gave way to more traditional, urban bike trail.  It was still pretty but in a less wild way.

By the time I hit mile 11, I knew I just wanted to finish. Part of me told myself that I'd never run this one again.  I hate downhill races.  I don't train for them and they always make me feel like this.  I just have nothing left in my legs and I was mad at myself: did I go out too fast? Was it because I let gravity have its way with me?  Should I have purposely slowed up?  I can just never figure out downhill racing.

Finish line photo

The final 2 miles were a grind and the closer I got to the finish line, the worse I felt.  My legs felt heavy and mentally, I was just done.  It was also embarrassing, to me, to be shuffling as slow as I was while the Southern Utah University track team marshalled and supported the course.  I bet they saw me coming and laughed internally.  

The last mile, I did something, I don't think I've ever done in a half marathon:  I started to do a walk run method.  It was either that, or be sick or pass out.  I was still running at higher than normal elevation: about 5700 feet according to my Garmin.  I'd run for about 30 - 45 seconds -- often times too fast - and then walk for 30 seconds.  It worked -- mile 12 to 13 was no different than mile 11.

I was alerted I was about 400 meters from the finish, and I forced myself to just run it.  I slowed up a bit more and I fell into a rhythm.  It stuck -- I wasn't going to finish walking.

Somehow, I did make it and I looked at my watch: 13:06 and I was 1:51 and change.  I wound up grabbing my medal and hurriedly continue to run -- for another .04 of a mile.  As soon as my watch read 13.11, I stopped, doubled over and gasped for breath. 

I do believe the course was 13.10 miles.  With all the canyon stuff and taking the most advantageous route in terms of running the curves, I suspect my watch marked me a little short.  Either way, my watch alerted me that once again, I had set a record in the 10K and half marathon.  Despite my less than "great" finish, I still managed to run well.

All Smiles once I got rehydrated


So one thing I loved about this race -- there is a massive party at the end.  There was more food, drink, and entertainment than I've seen at most races.  The turnout was really good, so there was no shortage of people to mingle with (I didn't know a soul there).  

I managed to snag a spot to sit and sipped on some Powerade.  It took a while to get back to "normal". And it took another jump in time before I was willing to sample some of the food.  The event was catered and they had an ice cream machine.  They also had protein drinks, an assortment of energy / granola bars and candy.

Live band at the end

Prior to the race, I had visions of running back to the my hotel.  It was only about a mile but I just had no energy to do much of anything.  My legs were just cooked -- and I think it was mostly from the descent and not the actual distance.

Fortunately, they did have shuttles to make the drive and it dropped me off within a block of my hotel.  Again, props to me for picking a hotel so close to the finish line.

Overall, I loved the race.  Despite what I may have said up above in the final 5 miles or so, the course was absolutely stunning.  It was fast, well supported, and just done almost perfectly from start to finish.  

I had paid $100 for the race, which is definitely NOT cheap.  With the service fees, it turned into about a $110 race.  Granted, I did sign up for the race the week of, so I expect to see that level of pricing.  I did receive a coupon for next year and I wound up signing up -- so I am in for 2024 for $40.

Medal and shirt from the Cedar City Half Marathon

The medal is one of the bag pipe players and it has moveable parts.  Definitely unique and custom made for the race.  Very cool.  The t-shirt (the back is shown in the photo above) is of nice quality, technical fabric, and one that I'd be proud to wear while running or at another race.

I definitely felt that this race went over the top in terms of what you got for your registration.  The bus ride, aid stations, swag in the bag, everything.  I was happy from start to finish.

My performance -- I still have very mixed feelings.  It wasn't a "great" race for me.  I felt like the course defeated me and while my time was outstanding, the way I ran the final 5K didn't sit well with me.  Again, I am a little undertrained for the half marathon distance and I certainly don't do a lot of downhill training, so I sort of got what I prepped for.  My time will probably be the best of the year for a half marathon, but it probably won't go down as the best race of the year for me, just on account I didn't run the final portion of the race the way I envisioned I could've.

I do plan on coming back next year and am looking forward to doing this race again.  Despite my misgivings (about my performance), I had a great experience and several days later I am still buzzing about it.  

I am hoping for improvement in 2024.

Upcoming Races

09/23: 2023 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/07: 2023 Apple Harvest Run 5K - Santaquin, UT (Confirmed)
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: 2023 Snow Canyon Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
11/23: 2023 South Davis Recreation Center 5K - Bountiful, 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
09/07: 2024 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)
10/XX: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)

Saturday, September 2, 2023

2023 Swiss Days 10K Race Recap - Midway, UT

The hill climb near the end of mile 2.

Official Time: 50:45
Placement: 73rd overall, 2nd in the 50 - 54 age division
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Mid 50's, damp, little to no wind
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2022] [2021[2019] [2018] [2017] [2016]

Mile TimeComments
18:04Decent start. Initial downhill and then a grind uphill
29:11A couple of hills here.  This is the slowest mile of the race
38:38One last hill, then down it and into the flats. Trying to rebound
47:50Love this mile.  Downhill and get back to 5K race pace
58:05Just wrapping up the downhill, but now the flats until nearly the finish.
68.29Grind uphill then mostly flat until the finish.  Just wanting to be done.
6.060.25Sprint to the finish!
Total Miles: 6:06 - 50:45


For many years now, I've been toeing the line at the Swiss Days 10K.  Swiss Days is celebrated Labor Day weekend (the first weekend of September) in Midway, UT.  The day commemorates the city's Swiss heritage.

The city has a massive fair that is very popular, resulting in a lot of people showing up to shop at local craft vendors, eat food, and hear music.  There is also a popular parade.  The event lasts several days and Saturday is always the busiest day of the festival.

The final day of the fair kicks off with a 10K, which has been running for many years now (I heard a rumor from the late 70s).  Usually it is popular with the local high school cross country teams but several hundred people show up for the hilly race -- along with a contingent of kids for the kids' run. It is budget friendly and the course is simply beautiful (but challenging).

Starting area

The Race

The race is an early one -- it starts at 7 AM at a local LDS Stake.  I always get there early to snag a prime parking spot and get settled in.  It is just less than an hour drive from the Salt Lake Valley to Midway and it was raining lightly most of the way.  I think I've run the race before when it was raining prior to the start, but this was probably the most prominent.  

Being one of the first one there, I managed to get my bib in short order.  I did a quick shakeout run and some drills.  I felt okay but not super springy.  I had to keep in mind that I was up about another 1000 feet compared to where I usually live (5300 feet).

The race started about 10 minutes late.  It isn't chip timed and I had managed to jockey myself into a pretty good position.

I started off strong but in control.  I knew the first half of the course was primarily uphill and going out too fast would cost me in the second half.  I had found some other runners who were running a similar pace to mine and I tucked in behind them.

I wanted to get off to a good start, so I pushed it more than usual, netting a fast first mile (8:04).  I had studied my splits from last year and I knew I was ahead of schedule.  Good news, since I was attempting to run better than last year (50:53) and potentially beat my best time (49:40).

Mile 2 is where reality sets in.  This is where the bulk of the hills are on the course.  I felt like I was redlining and my breathing went from "working" to taxed.  I slowed up a bit and the runners who I had passed overtook me.  I felt like the race was slipping away from me but I also reminded myself this was my weakest area and that I would probably rebound once I got through this section.

The nice thing about this part of the race, though, is that you are greeted with some majestic views of the eastern facing Wasatch mountains.  They were cloaked in clouds and there were hundreds of wild sunflowers lining the roads.  Mile 2 came up over 9 minutes -- definitely slower than last year.

I grew a little despondent.  This wasn't going to plan.

I ran a little further up the final hill and was finally greeted with the turn around.  I could've hugged the sign.  Normally I don't run terribly well uphill and my training neglects that aspect -- so when I do run uphill, it is a matter of just getting up it, no matter the pace, and then rebound when I am done with it.  

As soon as I turned the corner, I felt my pace quicken and those that had passed me suddenly found themselves being pursued aggressively by me.  Perhaps I could salvage this race!

Having dealt with the uphill and now getting the downhill, I was okay with getting an 8:38.  Not where I wanted to be, but the worst of the course was now over and the rest of course was primarily downhill.

I began overtaking other runners as I gained confidence in being able to gut out the second half of the race.  We had left the outer limits of the Wasatch State Park and were returning back into the well-to-do neighborhoods of Midway.

Mile 4 was hit at 7:50 -- fabulous! But to be honest, I was expecting to do a bit faster.  At this point, I wasn't sure if I was on pace to meet or beat last year's race.

I kept an eye out for my competitors -- and I wasn't sure what the age divisions were this year -- so anyone over the age of 40 was my competitor.  I was running solo for the most part, but I knew I had masters aged runners behind me.

With about a mile to go, I was still running low 8-minute miles.  I had benefited from the remaining downhill and my confidence was buoyed that I could at least come out ahead this year.

Unfortunately, I hit the skids, so to speak in the last mile.  I knew it would happen.  I was running on flats and my legs were shot.  Last week's downhill race could still be felt and I had used up too much energy on the uphill portion of this race.  One of my competitors passed me and I knew I didn't have anything to keep up with him.  I hoped he wasn't in my age group.  

I knew another runner who I suspected was going to be in my age division was closing in on me.  He was surrounded by several other runners of various ages.  Last year the age division was 50 - 64 (normally it was the typical 5-year splits) so I had no idea where I stood.  Fortunately the race is generous with awards up to 5 deep.  I turned the final corner and I knew the finish line was close, but still far away.  I knew the guy ahead of me was likely unreachable -- I just needed to solidify my position.

The mile markers were mostly off after about mile 3 or 4.  My Garmin's alert usually came in several yards after the mile marker and it was growing with each segment.  The course always comes in around 6.10 but this time I must've really run the tangents well, as I was coming in at a low 6 miles.

In the last quarter mile, I dug down -- recalling all the strides / speed sessions I had done in the months prior to this race.  I knew I could handle it, just get it done for another 90 seconds or so and shave off a few additional seconds.

Finally I crossed the finish line. I put on a brave face though, knowing that the finish line is recorded for YouTube.  So I managed to get past the camera before bending over, hands on knees, gasping for breath.


All smiles at the finish


So going into the race, I came in with the attitude that this was an "A" race for me.  I was all in and I was striving for the best time possible for this course.  Having run the course a bunch of times and having trained for the 10K most of the summer, I felt that today was a good day to break 50 minutes on this course.

While the weather was great, my body just wasn't ready to smash the course.  I was on vacation for the first 3 days of the week -- eating too much food and I've done so many races of late.  I wasn't rested enough and I am probably heavier than I should be - or want to be.

So I am not totally surprised by today's outcome.

I did, however, manage to finish 2nd in the 50 - 54 age division.  The race has gone back to the 5-year age increments, which are standard for most races.  They also were giving out their giant glass steins as age group awards.  I have a few of them and the 2023 edition will be a nice add to the collection.

Post race refreshments included, bananas, chocolate milk, fruit and of course high-end donuts.  Half the reason why I drive nearly an hour to this race is for the post race donuts.

Mmm.... post race food!

The race did start late, but overall I was happy with my experience.  The price of the race has gone up over the past few years (what hasn't?).  But I love the course and there is a good vibe by all the participants there.  I also like how the race's award system is pretty simple.  Just show your RunnersCard timecard and pick up your award.  

I love the age group award.  The t-shirt, is nicely designed, but it is cotton.  I likely won't wear it much except to bum around the house.  

After the race I did circle the fairgrounds a bit.  It isn't really my thing to shop for that sort of stuff, but I checked it out.  They had a lot of food offerings, but I had made a mini meal on a donut and fruit.  

After last year, I thought this year might be my last year doing this race.  But after this year, I'll definitely be back and hopefully next year I can crack sub 50.

Swiss themed city hall in Midway, Utah

Upcoming Races

09/09: 2023 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)
09/23: 2023 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/07: 2023 Apple Harvest Run 10K - Santaquin, UT (Confirmed)
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 (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)
09/07: 2024 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)