Monday, May 27, 2013

Out Running....

I get on a roll with my blogging and then I fall off the wagon. My best and most fun ideas come to me while I'm running. I then finish my race and forget what I was all about. I'm going to get you all caught up on what's been happening from a race point of view and maybe share some of my more creative thoughts while I'm at it.

Salt Lake City Marathon (4:00 finish time pacer)
This was the marathon's tenth anniversary and as such they decided to make the race more interesting by making it rain the entire time. They also lowered the temperature so that runners were wet and cold. I planned accordingly though and wore two shirts and a jacket. For the marathon, they had two pacers for each time which makes pacing a whole lot more enjoyable. It rained steady for the first 18 miles and then on and off to the finish. I packed an additional set of clothes to change into once I finished. I'm glad I did, because it was cold and wet. This year they changed the course of the race and finished in a local city park. I'm sure when the weather is nice, the park will be a nice change, but this year it was just wet and muddy.

A couple things stand out about this race. First, Adidas was the race sponsor and as such, each pacer received a pair of shoes and a pacing shirt from them. I chose the Adidas Adios shoes and they have been AMAZING. At the time of this writing, I've put in more than 100 miles in the shoes with ZERO blisters. The fit is just perfect and they are super light weight. The only downside to the shoes is that they got rather muddy after the marathon and just aren't as nice looking. If some kind Adidas rep finds this, I'd be very grateful if you could send me a new pair that are clean–thank you!

The next thing that I took away from this race is everything I took away from this race. What do you get when you have race sponsors who have been out in the rain all morning? Sponsors that are very anxious to give away all that they have so that they can get out of the rain. Dannon Yogurt was a big sponsor and had tons of supplies. I left the race with multiple cases of yogurt.

Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon (2:05 finish time pacer)
This is one of my favorite races in the area for a few reasons. The course is not a typical downhill course. It's hilly and challenging, but not overly steep. The course start is 10 minutes from my house so I don't have to wake up super early to get there. The race team and director put on a fabulous race. I was originally going to be pacing the 1:55 group, but a last minute change put me at 2:05. I was okay with it because I wanted to rest my legs after the previous week's race.

At the expo the day before, I told everyone who stopped by our booth to expect a good course, but to take it easy. Because a lot of the course was on a golf course, the elevation chart didn't show all the rolling hills. I had a few people stick with me until mile 9 then I was on my own. The weather for the race was fantastic. The previous three years of the race it has been rainy and cold.

Provo City Marathon (3:50 finish time pacer)
I would love to like this marathon, but I just can't say that I do. The race company that puts it on does a good job and it's well marked, but I just don't enjoy the course. The first 13.1 miles of the course is fine. It starts up Provo Canyon and then descends down the canyon for 7 miles. The last 5 miles have a gradual downhill to the half finish. The hard part about this course is that the marathon participants have to run by the finish line knowing that they still have 13.1 miles to go. You have all these cheering people and lots of energy and then it becomes a whole different course. The remainder of the race is relatively flat and ugly. The support for the back half is pretty lean and there aren't a whole lot of volunteers on the course or spectators. This year I did have an additional pacer with me and that made things more fun, but overall not a great course.

At the finish line they did have a sponsor that had an oxygen booth set up. They had a 10 minute
session for free and you could choose the "flavor" of oxygen you received. When my brother in law (he paced the 4:30 group) and I got to the booth they just let us stay as long as possible. We took a self portrait of us looking tired and needing oxygen and sent it to our wives. The wives didn't appreciate us telling them that we needed oxygen.

Vigor Cottonwood Half Marathon (1:50 finish time pacer)
The director of the pacing group I belong to told us after the Provo Marathon that we were invited to pace a new event and he was giving priority to the full marathon pacers. I jumped on board and paced the 1:50 finish time. We got to be at the bus loading no later than 4:00 am which meant that we left my place at 3:00 a.m. Getting up at 2:15 a.m. to get ready for a race is not my idea of fun.

The course was steep and fast. I think I could have paced the 1:40 finish time group without much problem. The coolest thing about this race was that people were with me until mile 12 when I told everyone to speed up and finish as fast as they could. One man had been with me at Thanksgiving Point, but had crashed at mile 9 so this was exciting for him to be under 2 hours and feeling great at mile 12. A fellow blogger, Whitney from It's What Moves Me, was with me the entire time so we caught up on the racing scene a little. As I was approaching the 13 mile mark, the pace director ran by me and told me to stop or slow way down because the course was about 1/4 mile short. I stopped and cheered on runners just before mile 13 to wind down my time and finish within 10 seconds of what my 1:50 finish time.

That's it for up Utah Valley Marathon, HOMM Half Marathon and more....


  1. Wow, you are pacing up a storm! Doing any competitive racing these days?

    1. I was slated for Ogden, but I had another gig come up and I couldn't do it. Nothing else is on the books.