RACE #119: Ogden Half Marathon

I’m writing this recap with about 24 hours of retrospect about this race. And, I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about it. It was wet. It was tough. It was painful. But, at the same time, it was exactly what I needed — emotionally, physically and to some extent — spiritually. It was a truly a test for the whole body.

I’ve ran Ogden the past five years — and the last 3 of 4 years it’s rained. In 2013, it was a constant rain throughout the race. I was soaked to the core and somewhat unprepared for the elements. Last year, I was prepared when I saw rain on the forecast. So, I brought a complete change of clothes with me. I am glad I did, because it was not just wet, but much colder than 2013.

This year when I saw a 20% chance of rain in the forecast — I knew better than to take a chance on being caught unprepared. So, I packed a complete change of clothes with me — even if I didn’t need it, it was there. And, man, I am glad I brought what I brought. It saved my life.

Facing 30MPH monsoon-like headwinds was something that I’ve never faced before — in training runs or a race. Mentally, I don’t know how I could have endured through the race without the assurance that I was prepared with warm clothes at the finish line. I really believe in the adage “if you are prepared, you shall not fear.” Preparedness really gave me the courage to tough through the race.

I had bought a bib a few weeks ago after I had to sell my Vigor BC Half bib because of a wedding. Since the wedding was originally set for this weekend and moved that opened my day for Ogden. So I got a bib since Ogden is one of my favorite race.

Plus, I can never say no to a race — let’s be honest.

I was planning on running solo, but my friend Tim decided to sell his marathon bib in order to find a half bib. And, of course, we planned on running together. Then this past week our friend Jill picked up a bib — and joined the party.

This wasn’t the first time we ran together — we’ve ran a few other races together, but most notably the Big Cottonwood Marathon in 2014. Which was also Jill’s first marathon. So, we’ve had plenty of experience in party running.

Going into the race, our goal was simple — sub-three hours. Specifically, a sub-2:55 (my Provo time) for me. I really wanted to build on that. But, as you can tell from the weather — that was very much an unrealized goal for all of us. My official time was 3:33:15 — which is by far my worst time in a half I wasn’t pacing.

But, that time doesn’t even paint the picture of my run. The way I was feeling — physically, mentally and emotionally — going into the race was much better than the Provo City Half. I was ready and prepared to run the task at hand. And, for the first couple of miles before getting slammed by the weather I was doing great. I climbed the hill from Eden strategically with a run/walk method and just beasted up it.

Plus, I felt great.

The weather started really picking up around the time we got to the dam. We ran into our friend Dulci and her goddaughter before trying to fly down the canyon. But, we got slammed — my hat saved my life. It gave me some protection from the wind, but my glasses were worthless, so I took just took them off instead of trying to windshield wipe them every 500 feet.

The wind was a headwind and soon gusts of 30MPH were hitting us. It took full effort trying to run through it, but that soon became too difficult to push through, because it just ZAPS you to the core. Not fun.

So instead, we ran what we could and sped walked or pushed through the headwinds. Even at this point I was still mentally strong and doing well — the experiences from year’s past and knowing I was prepared after the run really kept me going. I realized I probably wasn’t going to get my time goal, but I didn’t feel bad about that, because I was leaving everything out there.

Around the mile five aid station Jill was running a little ahead of us as Tim and I stopped to refuel. We didn’t see that Jill had kept running — especially since I didn’t have my glasses on and couldn’t see further than 10 feet in front of me. We thought she stopped for a port-a-potty, so we stopped and waited for her.

We waited there for about five or so minutes. We were worried she was sick so we didn’t want to ditch her. So we decided to start walking thinking she would catch up. We stopped a number of times to look back in search for her — vain. It really ate up a little time (like I said, the 3:33:15 time isn’t an indicator of the effort).

But, luckily, she was ahead of us the whole time. I was really worried that we ditched her and I knew that mentally that could have eaten her up. So when I saw that she finished around 3:10 — I was excited and proud of her. She really earned it. Especially being her first race back post-pregnancy.

If it was possible, once we lost Jill, the weather seemed to get even worse. I was just praying it would stop sooner than later, especially as we got out of the canyon. Which, luckily, it did. It was still sprinkling once we got of the canyon, but the wind was gone.

This really made the last three miles feel like cake. My energy was zapped fighting the elements, but I just wanted to finish. I was ready for some bananas, warm clothes and a nap.

It was really cool, once we got a couple blocks from the finish line we were handed American flags. It was really touching — and sure it could have been because of the mix of emotions I had been feeling for the past three and a half hours. But, it was awesome running across the finish line with my flag. It felt like I was waving the flag of victory (which, really I was).

Anyways — after I crossed the finish line, I got myself some water, downed an orange (SO GOOD!) and a couple bananas before running (limping) over to the bag pick up for my dry clothes. I quickly (and by quickly, I mean it took me probably half an hour) changed in the handicapped port-a-potty. I then collapsed on one of the green lawnchairs near the stage, ate my apple and just sat and watched everyone around me. I was beat.

The cool part of the post-race afternoon though was going out to lunch with my friends Angie Pace, Tim, his wife and … Bart Yasso! Yes, THAT Bart Yasso! It’s not every day you get that opportunity and it was a great time listening to a number of his stories running around the world. Awesome guy!

Overall, I feel great about my race. My time is no indication of how I felt, what my effort was or whether or not I was progressing as a runner. It was the perfect race for me at the perfect time that I needed it. I am sure glad my friend moved his wedding so I could run Ogden. I’ll always run Ogden.

Now the focus is on Alpine next week and Drop 13 (June 11) — plus, a good training run on June 4th. Just trying to figure out a good place for one — maybe Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood or Millcreek? I just feel like I need another canyon run here soon.

Anyways — HAPPY RUNNING! Who else ran Ogden? How’d you do? Was your experience in the rain and wind? Leave a comment below!

120 - alpine classic.fw

Next week I am sweeping the Alpine Classic Half Marathon — appropriately located in Alpine, Utah — for RYR Pacing. It will be a good little training run. Not pressure on time, just a matter of getting distance in. It’s a smaller race than most I’ve paced so I am expecting to finish under four hours with some good stretches of running for me. But, that’s not my top priority — that’s to get everyone across the finish line.

This will be my second time running the Alpine Half. I ran it back in 2013 with Susette — it’s a hilly course. But, I finished around 2:30 — a time I’d kill for these days. Anyways — it’s not an easy course or for one faint of heart. It’s technical and fun. One characteristic of most Utah Run races that I like — think of it as almost a trail race … on pavement.

As I mentioned above — my focus now is doing well at the Drop 13 Half (June 11), so with a couple weeks of good running, the paced half and a good long distance training run between the two races — I should improve my time goal from Provo quite significantly. At least that’s the goal.


Most guts? WE WIN! #prefontaine #race119 #ogdenhalf #running @ogdenmarathon @joshruns180

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How are these cheeks NOT bruised? They’re so pinchable! #littlemangabica

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I’m dedicating my 13.1 miles tomorrow at the @ogdenmarathon to @race2erace @theabolitionistsmovie, @ourrescue and the children currently held in the sex slave industry around the world. Child sex slavery is our biggest social ill to date. We live under the assumption that slavery ended with Lincoln. It didn’t. Just institutionalized slavery here in the US. There are currently over 27 million slaves worldwide and two million of those are children. More often than they are trapped in the sex trade. This MUST stop! That’s one too many. With movies like @theabolitionistsmovie and organizations like @ourrescue and @race2erace we can make and be that difference. If you’d like to donate your miles towards the goal of running two million miles tag your social media running posts with #run2m. Every mile counts and gets us closer to rescuing all two million children. #race119 #ogdenhalf #running #rescue2m #run2m

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I call this piece of artwork “50 SHADES OF BANANAS” #bananaart

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These kids — love them all. #prouduncle

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Miss Thalia and Mister Tatum — it’s kinda fun being an uncle to these two. #prouduncle #misschicka #chubbingtatum

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on


The latest episode of the Runcast USA went live on Friday — it went live a little bit later than usual, so you might have missed it. But,  it’s a special music episode where I share some of my favorite running songs.

Well, I have a few of my favorite running songs — a few from the listeners — and a few new songs I’ve recently discovered. It’s kinda fun. Hopefully it’s something we can do again and so far from our numbers it’s one of our most popular shows.

Anyways — give the podcast a listen on Podbash.com or download it on iTunes and take it for a run!



106.05 miles


64.8 miles


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1868.61 miles

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