Race Recap: Utah Valley Marathon Race Series (10K, Half, Marathon, Kids 1K)

So, the race. Like last year, my family was heavily involved in the Utah Valley race series. My dad ran the half (his first) as did two of my sisters and a brother-in-law, and a brother and sister ran the full marathon as well. Manchild and Squish ran the kids 1K, and Micah and I ran the 10K.

The racers, minus Manchild who was asleep. 

The 10K finished first, so I’ll start with that. It was perfect weather. Cool and clear, and not windy on our part of the course (though I hear it was rough farther up the mountain). The course was pretty flat, and though we started out slow to let my body warm up, by halfway through mile 2 I was feeling pretty good and knew that my ligaments were going to be fine. And, double bonus, I wasn’t even going to have to stop at a porta-potty. Even better was the fact that we basically ran negative splits the whole race – each mile was faster than the one before.

I know some people are concerned about running far and fast this late in the pregnancy. I will say this: my body handles it well. I definitely didn’t push myself too much during this race. I was not trying to beat anyone or any time. I thought I could run a 53:00ish 10K, but I wasn’t going to get all bent out of shape if it took me longer than that. I just ran the best I could without making myself uncomfortable. When we crossed the finish line the clock said 54: something, which was fine. But our chip time had us at 50:08, which was way better than I expected. I came in as the 13th woman, Micah was the 22nd man. It wasn’t a huge field for a 10K, but we feel good about how things went.

(And for those who are concerned about the baby, she’s very active, growing well, and as of my last appointment had a strong heartbeat. Everything indicates that she’s handling things well, too.)

We finished our race just a little bit before my dad was hoping to finish the half-marathon. (The 10K started an hour after the half and full marathons.) He’d had some ankle troubles the past two weeks and was a little anxious about being able to run, but run he did and came in with an extremely respectable time of 2:08, despite the ankle acting up the last 3 miles. It was clear that he was in pain as he crossed the line, but he not only finished, he beat his two daughters and son-in-law by a long shot. My sister Jess came in at about 2:20 and Sarah and her husband Paul crossed at 2:36. Both of my sisters ran PRs (personal records) and were really happy with how they’d done.

After that we waited a while for my brother Isaac and sister Abby to finish the marathon. Isaac had a goal of running a sub-4:00, so we started looking for him about 15 minutes before that, just in case things had gone really well. We waited and cheered and cheered and waited and then Isaac came cruising past us like he was being chased by a pack of rabid dogs or something. He thought he was a little close to his goal time for comfort, but ended up beating it by a solid 2 minutes, coming in at 3:58 and beating last year’s time by more than half an hour.

We weren’t sure what to expect from Abby. Isaac had passed her at mile 5 and she said her stomach wasn’t feeling well and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to finish. We hadn’t seen her at the finish line yet, so we kept our eyes on the finish line chute and our fingers crossed that she wasn’t vomiting in some porta-potty somewhere. She wasn’t. She looked strong as she crossed the finish line, beating her previous marathon time by 18 minutes.

Things were going well for the family so far, but we still had the best race to come: the Kids 1K. Manchild and Squish were pretty excited about it, but Manchild was super tired from our busy week. Late flight + no naps + late bedtimes + early rising = one tired little 5-year-old.  As we walked back and forth from the finish line chute to the finish line exit meeting people as they finished the races, he kept telling us that the more we walked the more tired he would be. So we were expecting a lot of walk-running for the race. And we were pretty sure Squish would lose interest and want to be carried along the course.

But they defied our expectations. Both of them were super serious about this race. Micah accompanied Manchild and I ran with Squish. Manchild weaved in and out of all the strollers and smaller kids and their adults, and was so focused on speed that he turned too soon and missed the finish line chute. We lost him for minute or so, and by the time we found him, he’d crossed the finish line 3-4 times, or, as he said, he “won the race three or four times.” Squish, bless his little heart, ran the whole thing. And he only fell down once. Sometimes he looked like he might be slowing down, but then he’d surge and get back on track. He totally had his game face on as we approached the finish line. He got a chocolate creamy as a reward, which would have been awesome had he not been so distracted by the chocolate milk that he let the creamy melt and drip all down his hands. In true Squish fashion, he spent a good portion of the day covered in sticky-sweet chocolate.

So there you have it. The Utah Valley Race series 2012! We were all pretty wiped out. Some of us have been limping, some of us have been sore, and some of us just totally crashed on great-grandpa’s couch during our post-race picnic.

Finally, I need to give a shout-out to Jolena and Bill for letting us stay at their place the night before the race while they were camping, and to Isaac’s fiancee, Amber for watching our kids for us while we ran, and taking pictures of us as we got started, and to my sister-in-law Summer for taking pictures as we crossed the finish line. Thanks for helping us so that race morning was as smooth and worry-free as possible!

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