Utah Valley 1/2 Marathon – 6/9/20122June 10th, 2012
Pepper and I decided to do the Utah Valley 1/2 marathon a while ago. We signed up for a girls only trip. Fun stuff. Friday we left at 11:30 am and drove four hours North to Provo, UT. I originally thought it was three hours until I googled it. Oh well. We split the drive up and it wasn’t too bad. The Marriott was booked and found a decent room at La Quinta Inn. I loved staying there because it was right across the street from the mall where the buss loading zone was for the half.
We arrive in Provo, checked in the hotel, unloaded all our stuff and headed to the Expo at the Marriott. I got there at a perfect time because someone was leaving as I arrived and we parked for free right across the street. Quick and easy! Awesome!
The Expo had a couple of rows filled with vendors. A ton of people too. 7400 runners between the full and half marathon. There was also a 10K and a 1K kids run as well. Everyone who finished got a medal too, even the 10Kers. Five years ago was the inaugural race with only 240 entries. Pretty good numbers.
After we got our goody bags, which included a bunch of race flyers, sponsor ads and the event tech shirt. We found a little Mexican restaurant, Los Hermano’s. We split chicken fajitas with rice and beans and of course chips and salsa and lots of water. The food was good, they just forgot to give us the chicken on our fajitas- so it took a little longer. The restaurant was in downtown and the inside was decorated really nice. We then headed back to the hotel and was in bed at 7. Turned the TV off at 8 and maybe asleep by 8:30. The alarm was set for 2:45am!! Yes, sounds pretty early. I woke up at 12:50 and was wide awake!! What?? Fell back asleep and woke up at 2:43. The AC bugged a little for turning on and off. Oh well. We felt pretty good for being so early though. It was nice not having to worry about putting the kids down or worry about waking anyone up so early.
I ate oatmeal at 3:30 and a half of a bagel at 3:45. I brought a banana for later and put on my throw-away jacket and gloves. We walked across the street to the mall and waited in line for the charter buses to take us only halfway up the mountain. So glad I wasn’t running the full. Oh, and it was a little breezy. The bus dropped us off and we had an hour and 15 minutes! So we head to the bathrooms right away. The scene looked like Woodstock to me. Not that I would know first hand, but there were campfires all along the grassy/weedy hill. The Southbound lane was completely closed to traffic. People were sitting on the street with their backs to the k-rails to block the wind. People were up on the hill all over. Sitting, standing, lying down. Some people brought blankets. I wish I had brought a disposable warm blanket. While in line for the awesome port-o-potties that flush! Our friend Joe spotted us! It’s still pitch black out with spot lights here and there. He had just posted on FB how he was lame to go run a race by himself, (wife is injured). So now he is cool because he has two hot chicks. Haha! We stood by a fire and it was so warm but I didn’t like the smoke the wind kept putting in my direction from other fires. The air wasn’t really that cold but the wind made it seem colder than it was. The volunteers are yelling for last call to check I your bags at the start line. Joe had a bag to check. We walked about a half mile to the start, where there were no bathrooms! Really!? I’m not walking back. As it was getting closer to the start time neither were a bunch of other people climbing onto the hillside to find a spot in the trees.
We took some pictures and stood by the 1:50 pacer. The next pacer was 1:40. They counted down and we were off for 13.1 miles. Everyone’s pace seemed pretty accurate to where they started, didn’t have to weave in and out of too many people. I was excited in the beginning and took a few pics. We descend 1700 feet. BUT, with the unfriendly headwind it felt like it was a flat course with a few rolling hills. I was waiting for the downhill. Once we got to the top of the biggest hill at mile 5ish there was a sign that said 7% downhill grade. But really I don’t even remember it. How sad is that?? I did feel really strong on all the hills. I passed a ton of people going uphill. My pace always seemed to be 8:15 or 8:20. I was having cramps early on and did make a bathroom stop at mile 6 and my average pace was 8:11. But I lost at least a minute. I continued running.
We got to the bottom of the canyon and it was really pretty with lots of green grass and trees and spectators! I loved the buildings in downtown. There were a few fans watching along the canyon route, but not many. There were also misting systems setup. The first one was by a car wash and I wondered if just a random fan did it. Then there was at least one more. I didn’t go through it, didn’t want to mess up my sun glasses or feel wet. The race was almost 100% in the shade. That was sooooo nice. I was glad I didn’t wear my pink compression sock because I thought I would have felt too hot. The weather was just about perfect for running though.
This course has no turns. Just one long straightaway besides the curves of the road in the canyon. We never made any left or right hand turns. So when I saw the finish line it was about 2 miles out I think. With about 3 miles to go I asked the guy next to me where he was from. I was feeling a little not motivated and needed someone to get the time to pass. He was an older gentleman from Spokane, WA. His son came from CO to run also, but was somewhere behind us. He’s thinking about the Valley of Fire marathon. So we chatted a couple of miles then we hit a small incline, he slowed down and I kept going. Those last couple of miles I seemed to have looked at my watch a lot. 1.5 miles seems like a piece of cake! But I was having some small side stitch issues. I kind of felt them the whole way, just not bad. But the last mile it was getting really bad. I was trying to stay with certain runners by me but started going really slow. I was trying to take deep breaths but it just hurt too bad. With about .6 miles to go I took a short walk break for maybe 15 seconds. It didn’t seem any better, so I continued to run and just wanted to finish. I tried to go faster, then we got to the last stretch and the 1/2ers go to the left and the full marathoners go right down to the finish line. I passed one girl who had just passed me a quarter-mile back. I had no idea what my time would be. My watch said I went 13.17 miles with a 8:21 pace. I was pissed when I saw 1:50 something. I really was hoping for a faster time. I was really hoping to PR. I can’t believe I was slower than Dogtown which was 1:46. I didn’t stop my watch to try to have a good finish photo. We’ll see. Finally #11 done.
The finish line refreshments were awesome!!! There was water, sport drinks, chocolate milk, ice cream, bananas, oranges, peach & mango smoothies in a tiny cup, wheat tortillas from Costa Vida. I had an orange, popsicle and chocolate milk. I found Pepper and Joe right away. They finished in 1:54. We took pictures and walked the expo area. All the venders at the expo were setup in this great shady area. There was a long line for the massage tables so we went and watched a few people finish. At that time I saw the famous, ‘Nacho Libre’. So I got a great pic and posted it on his FB wall too. We also saw the Marathon winner cross at 2:28. We walked and found a great place to eat a second breakfast.
Gurus Cafe. The design and artwork in the restaurant was pretty neat. We ordered at the register and they brought you the food. Good thing I put some money in my water belt. The eggs tasted weird, but the wheat toast and potatoes were good. After we ate we went to watch the runners finish around the four-hour mark. I saw my friend Brooke finish in 3:54 I think. I saw people laughing, crying and hugging. We found the yellow school buses to take us back to the mall, walked to our hotel, took quick showers and drove home. We didn’t have to check out until noon. Pretty nice not stressing about time.
My family met me at Peppers and we went swimming for a while. I even practiced a few short laps. I will now keep my goggles with me at all times. We had dinner and headed home. What a great day!
I was looking forward to going to bed early. Well, if you are my FB friend then you know I didn’t go to bed until midnight. My neighbor’s house two doors down caught on fire. It started in the garage around 9:pm. They pretty much lost everything except for clothes that can be washed. Even their mini van. At least no one got hurt! They all stayed at my house and the LDS church is so helpful to help out in any way possible. Mike took some pretty good pictures during the fire as well. Evan asked if we could roast marshmallows. Lol. I walked the boys down there today and said this is why we don’t play with fire. Anything could happen. I should know. I burnt down my bedroom when I was three. Ahhumm. Next subject.
Well my next race for sure is the Hurricane Trails River Run 7/7/12. A fun 4 mile trail run that I definitely have to beat my time from last year. It’s local, small and has lots of prizes and give-a-ways. My kind of race.
The St George Marathon is in 17 weeks!!! I also signed up the for St George 1/2 Ironman next May. My first triathlon is Sept 15th. I always have a reason to keep training….ahhhhh.
Thanks for reading!
AmberCategories: Race Reports, Running, Traveling
Great job on the race report and the race! I had similar thoughts: that was insanely early to get up for a race, AND I was so thankful I wasn’t doing the full.
Congrats on pushing through despite the wind. And thanks so much for sending the Nacho Libre picture!
Sounds like the race was great and I think your time is awesome! I heard it was super windy and I now wish I would have signed up for it! Next year for sure. I can’t believe that there is only 17 weeks left till the marathon! I better get serious about training for it. Since I live in Hurricane I am sure I will see ya running around. Happy training!