Aaron and I got up around 7:00 a.m., got the kids dressed and fed, and bundled up in our multiple layered running attire. The kids stayed at Grandma’s and played with their cousins from Fresno while we drove the 10 minutes to Farmington, checked in for the race, and jogged the course (slightly altered from their posted map online because of icy conditions on one section). It was a very beautiful, sunny, seven degree Utah morning. The course was mostly clear with some slippery snowpack/ice around the corners and one final quarter mile of crunchy ice chunk covered path and grass to the finish line. We did a nice long warm-up with some strides and stretching mixed in. The race started a few minutes late and went out fast down a slight decline for the first mile. A bounding rabbit in baggy pants and a hoodie sweatshirt, a fit-looking man in his 30s, and a high school runner who made no sign of actual effort being put forth went out in the lead. I stayed on their heels and Aaron was a few strides behind. The bounding rabbit had already fallen off pace and started running backwards after the first half mile so it was down to me and two men pushing the first mile. The less young of the two men fell off just before the first mile and I ran with the high school dude(correcting him twice for nearly turning off course) for a comfortable 5:35 through mile one. The second mile was a gradual incline and we slowed to 5:45. Right when my watch said mile two the course turned right and shot us down a steep decline back towards the race finish. One loop around a neighborhood and up the chunky/icy final quarter mile and we were finished. I think my final mile was 5:32 and the sprint to the finish was 5:20 pace for a finish time of 17:20. The high-schooler finished 10 seconds ahead of me. I found out he is a member of the Davis High school cross country team and they are going to a big national event in a couple of weeks. I commented to him that he appeared to be jogging out there and he said he ran 15:50 last week so yes, 17:10 was quite comfortable for him. He thanked me for keeping him on course. The course map he looked at last night online was obviously not the same course they had laid out today so it was good that Aaron and I had gotten there in time to read the updated map and jog the actual course beforehand. A few minutes after Aaron finished, we left to jog the course one more time for our cool down and completed our day at 10 miles. After the race we chatted with Jun and his son for a minute and also happened to bump into our Stake President from the Boulder Stake along with his wife and 5 of his sons. It was fun to catch up with them and enjoy the coincidence of traveling all this way to end up in the same lil’ 5K.
The post race food was donuts and hot chocolate which hit the spot as we started to cool off again in the now nine degree Hawaiian Holiday we were experiencing. We went over to chat with the race director, Darrell and he gave me a prize for winning the women’s race; a $50 Chase gift-card, fresh apple pie, and some rockin’ orange “Sock-Guys” socks with a turkey on them. What a generous race director!! The funny part about the award was that just a week ago, I had suggested to him that he give at least $50 to the race winners and I also suggested pies for the age division winners. Hey, he ASKED for prize suggestions on his website, so why not? You only get what you ask for. And you better be careful what you ask for too because you often get exactly what you ask for which is why I didn’t suggest a large obnoxious plastic turkey trophy, a free 15 lb. turkey (which would be leaking blood and stinking up our car on the long drive home), or even a 64 oz. glass beer mug (one of my favorite prizes through the years…I just don’t need another one).
The race was really fun albeit, cold. Darrell did a great job of lifting spirits with the music and hot chocolate and I think all in attendance were happy to be there.
I was pretty happy with running a 17:20 considering where I’m at in my training and also considering the less than perfect racing conditions.
The remainder of the day was spent cooking, chatting with family, eating delicious food, playing card games, and thinking about all the many things I have to be grateful for. I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude as I consider all the wonderful blessings in my life; my brilliant, supportive, good looking, ambitious husband, my obedient, kind, cooperative, smart kids, my good health and strength, our new home in Boulder, our many friends and associations with wonderful, inspiring people, our siblings, in-laws, and parents, as well as our Faith in God and testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We got news this afternoon that Aaron’s 96-year-old Grandpa passed away at 1 p.m. He lived a long, full life and set forth a legacy of Faith and hard work to be followed by his 50+ grandkids and even more great grandkids. He is a kind, gentle soul whom we will remember fondly.