Thoughts on the ocean, the environment, the universe and everything from nearly a mile high.

Panorama of The Grand Tetons From the top of Table Mountain, Wyoming © Alan Holyoak, 2011

Friday, February 10, 2012

Smithfield Health Days 5K 10K

Originally posted 5/15/2011

On Friday afternoon we drove down to Smithfield, Utah, to run in the Smithfield Health Days 5k and 10k races. This makes five years in a row for us to run this race.  This 5K was the first race I ever tried...that was back in 2007!  Wow, I can't believe I've been running for five years!!!!

I highly recommend the Smithfield Health Days races to all runners.  The races are well-organized, the course is beautiful, and it still has a small, hometown feeling to it.  Lots of the runners know each other, and even if you are an out-of-towner like me, you are welcomed warmly.  In fact, when I picked up our packets for the race the organizer recognized our names from participation in earlier years and asked if my brother-in-law was going to run.  Wow!

If you participate you are sure to find someone else there who runs like you.  There are jackrabbits that can give anyone a good bit of competition, and lots of casual runners who are there mainly for a fun outing and to be part of the event.

Here we are in our "before" photo for this year's race.  If you look in the background you'll notice that we are parked next to a cemetary...heh heh.  It's close to the park.

The 5K and the 10K races both start at Mack Park in Smithfield. The course winds its way up beautiful Smithfield canyon in an out-and-back route for the 5K, and a mostly out and back route, with a small diversion, for the 10K.  The road is closed for the race, there is plenty of police presence to keep any motorists under control, and there are lots of volunteers to keep the runners on the course and to provide support (there were at least two water stations on the 10K route this year).

Smithfield really amped up the races this year.  In addition to VERY nice running shirts like the ones they gave out last year (these are my favorite running shirts, by the way), they added chip timing.

Here's a link that will take you to a page that contains information about the event:

The morning of the race was absolutely perfect! It was clear and calm, with temperatures creeping up on 55oF by starting time. It did feel a little chilly in the shade for the first mile or so, but after that it was great! In previous years we've had to brave frost and temps in the 30soF on race day mornings. This time, though, we ran in shorts and short-sleeved t-shirts. Yes!

This was my first outdoor run of 2011.  Until now I've put all of miles in on the treadmill. It felt good to be outside. Kat, on the other hand, has been running outside all winter long, as is her habit.

The race was scheduled to start at 7:30am, and the gun went off about 5 mins late. The 10K racers started first, and the 5K racers were released 5 minutes later.  Some of the 5K sprinters caught up to us before we reached the 5K turnaround point...but not many.

This link will take you to a map of the 10K course:

Kat and I ran together for the first mile or so.  My only goal for the day was to finish in under an hour. That meant I needed to maintain about a 9 min pace in order to beat that goal easily, and that's my training pace on the treadmill.  When I checked with Kat about a mile into the race she told me that we were running at an 8 min/mile pace, so I cut her loose tp run her own race, as we usually do any way, and I slowed down a bit.

Here's how we did:

Kat (10K): 52:14 mins = 8:25 min pace
Al (10K): 55:44 mins = 8:58 min pace
Grant (5K): 22:51 mins = 7:21 min pace
Matt (5K): 23:01 mins = 7:24 min pace
Emily (5K): 35:12 mins = 11:19 min pace
Olga (5K): 47:30 mins = 15:16 min pace

You can use this link to find your time if you ran in this year's Health Days runs/races:

It was a fun day.  I didn't burn up the course by any stretch of the imagination.  I realize now that I should have taken GU with me on the run. I figured that since it was just a 6-mile race that I wouldn't need any.  I guess was wrong about that.  About the time I hit the 4.5 mile mark I sort of pooped out - my energy felt wasted.  I pressed on anyway, and once I got up on the upper road toward the end of the race I got an additional boost of energy from somewhere and was able to finish strong.

Everyone enjoyed the morning. Grant was especially pleased, and Matt was surprised to reach the turn at the 1.55 mile mark for the 5K and see Grant right there with him. Grant, however posted a slightly better finishing time. Grant loved that!

One thing that worked really well for me was my Smithfield 10K music mix. Here it is:

1) Always Know Where You Are - BBMak (Treasure Planet Soundtrack)
2) All Again For You - We The Kings (pace)
3) Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills, and Nash (pace)
4) Stir It Up - Diana King (pace) (Cool Runnings Soundtrack)
5) Sweet Jamaica - Tony Rebel (pace) (Cool Runnings Soundtrack)
6) Caught in the Crowd - Kate Miller-Heinke
7) Cool Me Down - Neville Marcano (pace) (Cool Runnings Soundtrack)
Turn and head back downhill
8) Dolly My Baby - Super Cat (pace) (Cool Runnings Soundtrack)
9) These Are Days - 10,000 Maniacs
10) I'd Rather Be With You - Josh Radin (pace)
11) Days Are Numbers - Alan Parsons Project (pace)
The short but steep hill on the 10K where it splits off of the return route
12) Take On Me - A-Ha (pace)
13) Take It From Me - The Weepies (pace)
14) Hello Sunshine - Barlowgirl (pace)
15) Check Yes Juliet - We The Kings (pace)

Just in case you are interested, this mix lasts for just under 57 mins.

We went, we saw, we ran, and in at least one sense we conquered the canyon.

See you there next year!

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