Saturday, March 2, 2024

2024 March Madness 10KM Race Recap - North Salt Lake, UT

Official Time: 53:33
Placement: 10th overall, 1st in the 50-59 age division
Results: Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Low 50's, 30mph winds from the south
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2023] [2022] [2021] [2020] [2018] [2017] [2016]

Mile TimeComments
17:55Strong start. Feeling really good
27:42Enjoying the wind at my back. 
37:46Last of the fast miles
49:18Reality setting in.  So difficult
59:55Wind would make my pace turn into a slog.  
69:22Just trying to close out the race
6.17       1:34Just shuffle in and cross the finish line
Total Miles: 6.17 - 53:38


One of my spring traditions is to run the March Madness races held in the Bountiful area each March (about 15 minutes north of Salt Lake).  The race offers a variety of distances: 5K, 10K and a half marathon.  

The race is run along the Legacy Bike trails and supports the local food bank.  Over the years the race has changed locations a few times, but for the last few it has settled in at the Foxboro North Regional Park.

Usually around Thanksgiving timeframe they offer an incredible deal on their race.  If you sign up it is basically $20 to $25 for their races.  Granted, there aren't a lot of frills (i.e. no t-shirt) but it is a fully supported race, professional timed, offers finisher awards and there is food at the end.

The one gotcha with the race is that the weather conditions are always a wildcard -- hence the monitor "March Madness".  Most of the time, wind is a factor and like past years, it came into play this year.

The Race

I made the trip to the park and arrived around 8:15 AM for the 9:00 AM start.  I was able to quickly get my bib.  I had plenty of time to kill and I wound up kicking back in the car for a bit.  I was trying to get an idea of how much of a factor that the raging wind was going to play in today's race.  

I was also feeling a bit fatigued and still had some soreness from Sunday's Half Marathon in Las Vegas.  I knew this wasn't going to be an "A-race" given the weather conditions and my condition.  The plan was to start running and if I felt good, push it, if not, just bank a solid effort.  

I wound up doing a very short 15-minute warm-up pre-race.  Mostly drills.  I knew I needed to save my energy for the return trip of this out-and-back 10KM race.  

There was a roaring wind blowing from the south and with the race starting us heading north, I knew I was going to get off to a decent time and then crash and burn on the way back.  On the plus side, the weather was warm-ish despite the wind: sitting at about 50F.  Lots of people were bundled up and I felt out of place as I waited for the race to start dressed in my Chicken Legs short-shorts, a short-sleeved t-shirt and thin gloves.  I was in race mode with my Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 shoes.

There were about 50 of us in this race and with little fanfare, we started off over the archless start line (too much wind for inflatable arches).  

It felt effortless to run north with the constant push at my back thanks to the wind.  The lead back quickly took off (mostly younger folks). I found myself running with the 2nd place woman and another guy.  For the first mile we were constantly trading spots and eventually I managed to drop the other guy and I was running side-by-side with the woman.

The race is held on the Legacy bike trail.  On your left is the Legacy freeway (which is basically a bypass for the I-15) and on your right suburbia-like houses.  It isn't the most glamorous of courses, but it is flat and well maintained.

The first two and half miles went by in a blink of an eye.  I banked 7:55 and 7:44 splits and while I felt the pace was intense, it wasn't killing me, again thanks to the tailwind.  

I've run the course many times and the same course is also used for several other races throughout the year.  So it was all very familiar territory.  

The course was marked well and the mile markers were marked just about matching my Garmin's output (I was ahead of it by about .02 of a mile).  I started to encounter some of the faster 10KM runners at about mile 2.5. It was nice to give them some encouragement.

I smashed through the 3rd mile in 7:46 and I knew that was about the last of the "fun" miles.  It was definitely going to be work heading back.

I was still running with the 2nd place woman but she had pulled ahead of me and I was trailing her by about 15 yards.

Sure enough, at the turn around my pace dropped off a cliff as I was blasted by dirt / dust and sand infused wind.  I tried to tell myself it wasn't bad -- but it was bad.

Oddly enough, the 2nd place woman wound up making a turn and exited the course.  I could've sworn she was lined up with us at the start of the race but I think she was just out for a training run.  I suddenly found myself running solo -- no one in front of me and tiny specs of people behind me.  I hadn't seen anyone close to resembling my age group on those who were making the return to the start line and the nearest person behind me was probably a quarter mile away.

I still wanted to solidify my position, so I soldiered on despite the roaring winds.  

I knew my pace was going to be terrible and I was too surprised to see 9:XX come up.  There were moments when the wind ceased and I could generate a bit of energy to push the pace, but occasionally I'd pass by an open field with absolutely nothing to break the wind and my pace would drop to a shuffle.  I didn't get too worked up about it.  Fortunately no one was near me, this race was a run hard type of effort and mentally I was ready for this.  Just keep pushing forward and eventually I'd finish.

Despite my clothing choices (or lack thereof), I was comfortable and was never cold or too hot.  I eventually encountered some of the 5K runners who offered words of encouragement.  I knew I wasn't running great but it felt like I was since I was "an older guy" in the top placement.  Granted the race was small as well.  But it was the mental image of myself that really helped.

I tried not to look at my watch at all during the final 5K.  I didn't want to get frustrated with my pace.  The mile markers were still off by about .02 but they seemed to come up quickly and I knew the race was going to be done.

The winds got their worst with about a quarter mile to go.  With the finish line at the south end of a field, I was blasted by the winds.  I had been watching behind me -- I didn't want to get overtaken -- and someone was gaining on me but I had just enough time to push it the final bit and cross the finish line.


I finished in 53:33.  Definitely my slowest 10KM time in a very long time.  I honestly expected to be around 55 given the wind conditions and the general soreness / fatigue I had leading into the race.  So on one hand I was happy with the results, but at the same time, disappointed.  This race wasn't conducive to a fast time though -- with the wind conditions.  I think a bunch of us commiserated that it would be awesome to have the race start where it did -- you run 6.2 miles north and then have a bus take you back.  I think I would've easily broken 50 minutes.

I wound up winning my age group, so I netted two medals for a morning's work.  I wasn't surprised about it given the small race size and not seeing anyone close to my age running the race.

Post race refreshments included oranges, bananas, cookies, pizza and chocolate milk.  

They do collect food for the panty and I donated some.  I also won an outdoor folding chair type of thing.  Should come in handy for outdoor activities.

This race is quite simply "a race".  It is bargain priced, the course is well marshalled and marked and it offers a great opportunity to try for a personal record, without having to contend with a large field or overcrowding.  It is well done and simple.

I hope to do this race next year. But this race will go down in my books as one of the windiest races I've ever done (and grittiest with all the dust).

Upcoming Races

03/16: 2024 Vineyard City Gold Rush 5K - Vineyard, 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)
06/29: 2024 Taylorsville Dayzz 5K - Taylorsville, 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)
10/26: 2024 Haunted Half 5K - Provo, UT (Confirmed)
02/23: 2025 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

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