RACE #105: Murdock Half Marathon


With this being my 105th race I can say one thing is certain about races … you don’t always know what to expect. Some races are fairly predictable. Others? Not so much. Well, maybe I should say, most?

This race definitely falls under the later description. Not only was this the first time I’ve ran the Murdock Half Marathon, but also my first time running on the Murdock Canal Trail altogether. I’ve ran on small segments of the trail during some races, but nothing as exclusive as this race was.

Since I was also sweeping the course, I REALLY didn’t know what to expect. I never really do. I never know who I am going to run with or what will happen to me or them. It’s kind of my favorite part about the job. Well, meeting new people

Going into the race I didn’t know exactly what my pace was going to be as the sweeper. That’s the hardest thing to prepare for in this role, because some races are at a walking pace, while others are around a 2:50-3:10 hour finish. It all depends on the number of runners at the race or if there is a cut off time.

This race concerned me a tad, because there was NOT a cut off time, but there were also only 130 or so runners. So I really didn’t know what to expect. Especially my pace is as fast as the last runner.

While, I thoroughly enjoy the unexpectedness of sweeping, I am also Mr. Plan It and like to know what to expect and prepare for. I guess there’s a lesson in there that God is trying to teach me?

The course started at an elementary school in Orem, meandered around some neighborhoods before dumping us on the Murdock Canal Trail for the majority of the race until it ended in American Fork. Since this was my first time along the trail I didn’t know what to expect other than it was rolling hills and not much tree coverage.

Luckily with a 7am start time and the fact that the trail was hugging the mountain side we got shade for a good chunk of the race. The rolling hills were definitely present. As it is well known, they are not my favorite but necessary especially when training for speed. But, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

The first three miles of the race I kept a pretty decent pace since I lingered long enough at the starting line to make sure everyone was off and running. I do that for a couple of reasons … one, as the sweeper I feel like it’s my job to be the race’s cattle dog and, two, because it gives me a few miles at my pace.

Around mile three I met up with the last runners. They were two older women. I wasn’t too sure if they were a part of the race or not because I hadn’t seen them at the starting line. What caught my attention though was one of their shirts that read, “Dear God, Please let there be someone be behind me to read this!” Needless to say it made my day. I had to stop to get a picture of it. Once they turned around I saw their bibs I knew I was going to make some new friends for the next 10 miles.

As we got to talking and getting to know each other, I quickly was in awe of both of them. They were both in their 70s and had been running for over 30+ years. Marj alone had done over 30 marathons and countless half marathons. And, both of them run nearly every weekend at a race here or there around Utah or wherever they can find one around the country.

Again, I was in awe.

I’ve fun over 90 half marathons, but I loved the fact that they didn’t know how many they each have ran. I kinda aspire to that. I know that seems somewhat odd to say, but I love that their love of running hasn’t left them over the years. I want to make that my 40 year plan!

It was fun to share running stories and it made the time pass by quickly. Especially as the heat of the day raised and we escaped the shade of the mountain. We even found out that we ran many of the same races. It was a lot of fun. I really felt like it was an honor to run with them.

It was a very memorable and inspiring run for me. And, of course I found out that I would be seeing them again the following week at the Nebo Half!



Welp her prayer was answered … I swept her race. #murdockhalf #race105 #running @running180 @fight4phat @mejosher A photo posted by Joshua Snow Hansén (@mejosher) on

Sometimes when you’re the last runner to cross the finish line you get a WHOLE box of Corn Thins! #cornthinsfordaayysss A photo posted by Joshua Snow Hansén (@mejosher) on


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 198.5 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 276.75 miles
2015 Race Miles – 306.4 miles
2015 Total Miles – 781.65 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  131.15 miles
July  101.65 miles
August  108.2 miles



YEAH! I am looking forward to this race! I am always looking forward to running Nebo! This is by far my favorite course here in Utah. It’s downhill, fast and gorgeous! This is the course that holds my PR (2:08) and last year’s YB (2:19). Though I am slower this go around I am still looking to set a Year Best time on the course.

The goal right now is for a sub-2:35. Totally doable. And, depending on how I feel come Saturday I think I could even do a sub-2:30. That I would be ecstatic about. But, I would be extremely happy with just that sub-2:35 time.

So this week I am keeping spot on my diet and exercise. I am planning on doing a light run on Thursday before a rest day on Friday. Mentally, I am preparing myself and I feel like I am getting myself in a good place to do this. More than anything I am just excited and ready to let myself go and just run down Payson Canyon and I can’t wait!



Thank you to all of those that donated to Elsha and my fundraiser for the Kyle Pease Foundation this past month. Initially our goal was $1200, but we UPPED that to $1700 to allow us to get TWO carts for local assisted athletes.

We had a goal deadline of today, but we reached the new goal of $1700 this past Friday! I am beyond humbled by the response that we received and the donations great and small. Humbled, humbled, humbled … especially since we are able to get the two carts.

These gifts will allow us to give the gift of running to those that can’t … and that’s priceless!


Stay tuned within the next couple of months once we get the carts built and to the new owners!




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