Sunday, March 17, 2024

2024 Vineyard Gold Rush 5K Race Recap - Vineyard, UT

Official Time: 24:17
Placement: 2nd in the 50 - 59
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 43F - slight breeze from east
Course Map / Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2023]

Mile TimeComments
17:41Wow, lots of fast runners.  New course as well. Solid start to the race
28:02A few rolling hills here. Nothing major, but definitely feeling some lactic build up
38:09Felt like I was running faster. A little headwind here.
3.070:25Turned on the jets when I saw the finish line.
Total Miles: 3.07- 24.19


A new spring tradition for me is running the Vineyard Gold Rush 5K.  Vineyard City is a burgeoning community near Lindon / Orem in Utah County.  They have 3 races each year and I wind up attending their Thanksgiving race and their spring race.

It is a bit of a haul down there (about a 30 minute drive), but the $20 price tag makes it an easy decision and it is in an early I don't often get an opportunity to run in.  The race is well run and low stress and usually after the race I like to get some photos of Utah Lake, which is stunning looking in the spring.  It is a low frills race (no t-shirt) but it does offer age group prizes, finisher medals and usually a decent spread of food at the end.  It makes it a budget-friendly, easy decision.

The Race 

I arrived at the race site -- Vineyard Grove Park -- around 45 minutes early for the 8:30 AM race.  It gave me ample opportunity to find parking, grab my bibs, get a solid warm-up and use the facilities.  I noticed right away that they had a good turnout -- especially when lining up for the race. At last year's race they had the kids race (1k) and a 5K and 10K.  This year they had the kids race and a 5K.  I think word has also gotten out that this race is solid, so there were definitely more attendees.

I was dressed in my Pro 2's, shorts, thin gloves and a t-shirt.  I was comfortable despite a little bit of a breeze.  I had high expectations of myself -- wanting to go for around 24 minutes.  I had done my strides and I felt pretty good.

The race started off with us heading west towards Utah Lake.  I expected the race to go the same direction as it always did -- hang a left on Main Street before ducking into the neighborhoods and doing the same course I've done each time this race.

Instead we hung a right.  Had the race organizers messed up?  I hadn't even bothered to check the map of the course figuring it would be the same one.  As I followed the other runners, I saw that the spray chalk did indeed point right (and there was a police officer at the intersection as well).

The start was congested but within a quarter mile I was able to get around a number of people and run the pace I wanted to.

Prior to the race I had sized up the competition and saw one guy I presumed was in my age group.  The age groups are in 10 year increments and awards were given to the top 3.  It is always nice to go home with an extra medal and I wanted to keep after anyone who was in my age group.  I quickly lost site of him.

I tried to stay comfortable as I could and I knew I was pushing the pace -- mostly racing against a number of smaller children. I felt strong and felt like I was on target for a decent race.

The first mile -- flat as a pancake -- and coming in at 7:41.  If I could just hold this pace!

At this point we were running along the public bike trail along the shores of Utah Lake.  I had visited this area before but never actually run on it.  In fact, after the race, I was planning on doing a cool down along here.  What a treat to run along the beautiful boardwalk.

I finally saw the guy runner I was targeting who I figured might be in my age group.  He had about a 20 yard lead on me but I was slowly gaining on him.

The boardwalk has some rolling hills.  Nothing terrible but there were segments where I had to dial it back a bit.  But as soon as I crested the hill I immediately went back to my 5K race pace.  I was working hard and I felt like my pace was dropping.

After about .75 of a mile, we exited the boardwalk and I was blasted by the eastern rising sun.  I scolded myself for not wearing sunglasses.  We were heading east and I had expected to be hit by the wind that I experienced during my warm-ups, but it didn't seem that bad.  I knew where we were at this point and the mile markers were ringing up fairly close to my Garmin -- I hit mile 2 in just over 8 minutes.  Although, I don't think I even bothered looking at it.  I was so focused on pushing the last mile.

I had overtaken my competition and felt like I was in a good spot.  Occasionally some speedsters passed by me, but I was working with another runner or two who had a slight lead on me -- neither of which seemed to be in my age group.

I had completed dropped the other guy and occasionally I'd look over my shoulder to see if he was rebounding and coming after me -- and there was no one for quite a while.  Still, I wanted to hang onto my position.

Daring to stress myself out, I looked at my Garmin -- and breaking 24 minutes was definitely going to be a challenge.  I'd have to run an absolutely blistering last half mile.

Finally, we hung a left onto a public walkway that would eventually take us back to Grove Park.  I could see again.  In the distance, I could see the arches of the finish line.  So close, yet so far away!  My legs were just overloaded with lactate and I just couldn't get going.  I felt like I was running fast but my pace wasn't matching my perception.

At this point, I was frantically doing runner math trying to figure out how fast I'd need to run with the time I was currently at and the distance I had yet to cover.  I didn't dare look at my pace -- I think I would've only infuriated myself.  I kept recalling all the hard stride sessions and final blasts of speed I could throw down in some of my interval workouts.  

I hung the final left and the finish line was less than a tenth of a mile away (at this point the 3 mile marker was quite a bit off).  The finish line looked so far away though as I sped down the flag lined finish line.

The guy I was chasing took off and I just couldn't track him down.  I did finish strong though.  Twenty meters from the finish I saw that I wasn't going to break 24 minutes, but at least I was in the low 24's.


Upon finishing, I leaned over the wooden fence and caught my breath.  I was disappointed with my time -- some of my sessions of late indicated my fitness was a bit better.  Still, I had done better than February's 5K.

I had a blog follower introduce themselves to me -- which made my day.

I congratulated some other finishers, chit chatted with a few more people, and thanked the race director,  before making my way over to the results trailer.  I punched in my bib number and found I was 2nd in my age group.  Hurray -- an extra medal!

I meandered over to my car -- knowing it would take a while to get the awards dolled out (and there is usually a long line to collect them) I put on my non-racing shoes and re-ran the first 2 miles of the course, nabbing the pictures you see here.  It was so nice to get photos and enjoy the spring morning.  And by the time I got back, I was able to grab my medal and enjoy what was left of any snacks with a light crowd.

The snacks were pretty well worked over -- but they had dried fruit, oranges, granola bars, water, and fruit juice.  A lot of the snacks were kid friendly as the 1K race was well attended.

Overall, I enjoyed myself. I liked the new course and it was such a beautiful day.  I just wish I had been able to turn in a better time.  In the past, I've run really well here and I had higher expectations.  This was, however, a new course and hard to judge my time versus the other edition.

I really enjoy this race. It is budget friendly and I love racing some place new that I don't often get a chance to visit.  The pictures I got were simply breath taking and I loved the views while running this race.  It is also well organized -- from the course marshals to the aid station.  It was also well marked and they had police at major intersections assisting with traffic.

I am looking forward to their Thanksgiving race and hopefully I'll be able to break 24 minutes (or better)

Upcoming Races

03/23: 2024 Riverton Half Marathon - Riverton, 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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