Thursday, November 23, 2023

2023 South Davis Recreation Center Thanksgiving Day 5K Race Recap - Bountiful, UT

Bountiful Thanksgiving Welcome Sign

Official Time: 24:12
Placement: 2nd in the 50 - 54, 78th place
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: mid 30's, slight breeze from the east.
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2022] [2021] [2018] [2017] [2016] [2015] [2014] [2013] [2012]

Mile TimeComments
17:28Hemmed in at the start, but went wide and got into a nice pace
27:56Some uphill here.  Still doing okay though
38:15Mostly uphill. Felt like I was running faster
3.090:31Speed to the finish
Total Miles: 3.09- 24:13

Welcome sign at the race


Some time, over a decade ago, when I first moved to Utah, I discovered the South Davis Recreation Center race series.  They offer 3 races throughout the year and the last one  is their Thanksgiving Day Run.

It is an affordable race held at the South Davis Recreation Center and I know the course very well -- in the last decade I've probably run it over 25 times.  

I've always run the 5K and it is a good test of fitness as I can easily compare race times from previous years.  

It is a low stress race with a nice environment and a place to stay warm at before and after the race.  The race has grown over the years and it is nice seeing this one became a big event.

The Race

I showed up about an hour before race time (8:00 AM) and I managed to snag a decent parking spot.  With the race this well attended and people showing up at the gym, parking was at a premium.  

I managed to get my bib and put in an order for a t-shirt. Apparently they were out of stock of men's shirts:

I wound up doing a quick warm-up -- I'll be honest it wasn't terribly inspired.  My legs were still shot from the Snow Canyon Half Marathon that I had just run days before.  I did get loose though and just shy of 8 AM I lined up and got ready to see if I could hang on for a 5K.

It was chilly and during my warm-up I had worn a light jacket, but immediately before the race I had ditched it behind a barrier. That left me with a long-sleeved shirt, short-shorts, and thin gloves.  This was perfect for the cool but fast feeling weather.

The race started off about 5 minutes late which sort of took away from the benefits of my warm-up.  Also, the first few hundred yards are tough to get off to a good start: a  lot of newer runners crowding the front.  But I was patient and soon enough I swung wide into the middle of the 200 N and kept running fast.

This race starts off fast -- with a nice, gentle downhill through the residential streets of Bountiful.  Both the 5K and 10K race start at the same time and after about a mile, the 10K runners fork off to the left while we continue running north.  I was running comfortably hard and as usual, I felt in control.

I ran the first mile in 7:28, about where I expected I would.  

Was this my day? I still felt strong, I wasn't dying, but I also knew the rest of the race was going to be challenging.  

Bountiful Park

Around mile 1.25, we head east and we begin the ascent.  The course has a net uphill and this was just the start.  A few runners passed me as my pace dropped a bit, but I felt like I was still running strong.  I just kept picking landmarks and working towards them.

The first aid station is exactly half way through the race, and I flew by it.  I patted myself on the back, as most times I am usually dying at this point.  Granted, my pace had slowed, but I didn't feel like I had a monkey on my back.

Finish line area

The first traffic light on N Main Street is where my Garmin rings up 2 miles.  I was a little shocked to see 7:56.  Not terrible, but I felt like I was still running sub 7:50.

I still had the hardest part of the race coming up.  I could see another traffic light in the distance and I knew once I hit there and a little further, the finish line would be in my grasp.

A few people passed me but I didn't let it get me down.  I had the power to get through this and I worked on keeping my form good and my turnover fast.  It was hard and I had no idea what pace I was running, but I knew I had more to give.

Closing stretch of runners

Finally I reached the summit of the hill, jumped onto the sidewalk and started to push towards the finish line.  I could hear the rumble of the crowds and a few people had lined up in the final quarter mile or so of the race.  It was nice to get some cheers from people.

With the hills over with I pushed the pace.  A few of the people I had been working with overtook me, but they clearly weren't in my age group.  I glanced at my watch and saw that I probably wasn't going to break 24 minutes on this course -- which was my A-goal.

Finally I made the final turn and sped through the finish line.

All smiles at the finish


My official time was 24:12 -- about the same time as I ran in February and last November.  Not quite what I wanted to see, but at least I am consistent.

After studying my Garmin, I did realize that my heart rate seemed significantly lower.  Was it that Garmin was off or am I making fitness progress?  Throughout the race, I never really felt like I was dying, and at times I felt like I was holding back in anticipating that I was going to fade out.  There seemed to be another gear that I was just afraid to switch into.  So I have mixed feelings about my performance, as per usual.

Medal + Pie!

It took awhile to figure out that I had placed 2nd in the 50-54 age group.  I managed to snag an apple pie.  The finisher's medal was very cool -- as to be expected.  My shirt will arrive in the mail soon.  They seem to regularly run out of shirts.  

They had an epic spread of food -- some pumpkin pie, muffins, bananas, oranges, hot chocolate, sports drink / water.  Although by the time I got there it was largely picked over (I was too busy socializing and getting photos).

Post race photo

Overall, I was happy with my experience.  This race is well organized for the most part.  The start was a bit late and the awards took a while to tabulate, but there is place to stay warm and the race generates a good friendly crowd.


Upcoming Races

01/13: 2024 Virgin River Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/25: 2024 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
03/02: 2024 March Madness 10K - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/30: 2024 Eggs Legs 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/202024 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
04/27: 2024 Apple Blossom 10K - Santaquin, UT (Confirmed)
05/27: 2024 Run of Remembrance 10K - American Fork,  UT 
06/01: 2024 Utah Valley Half Marathon - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
07/242024 Deseret News Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed
08/17: 2024 PC2PG 10K - Lindon, UT (Confirmed)
09/07: 2024 Cedar City Half Marathon - Cedar City, UT (Confirmed)
09/28: 2024 Witch Run 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
10/19: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
10/XX: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)

No comments:

Post a Comment