Tag: hobbler half

RACE #153: The Hobbler Half

Some race reports are easier to write than others. I won’t lie, this is one of those race reports that isn’t easy to write. I feel like if I wrote — I came, I ran, I finished — I’d be happy with that report. Especially since I swept the course. But, of course, there is much more to my race than just the basic facts.

This was the second time running the Hobbler Half — well — more accurately swept. Two years ago I swept the course solo on a day that I also ran a nighttime trail race. It was a loooooooooong day of running for me that day.

But, I enjoy this race. It’s a pretty canyon. It’s one that doesn’t get much attention here in Utah. It’s got a good golf course, but as far as running goes — it’s not your typical Utah canyon. Meaning — it’s not really down hill. Not like Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, American Fork or Provo Canyons — to name a few. It’s a rather rolling hill canyon.

But, as I mentioned beautiful nonetheless.

After a couple hour “nap” — I’m horrible at getting to sleep when I need to — I carpooled down with Carla and Reese. We’ve carpooled a couple of times, which is convenient because we only live about a mile from each other. And, since Reese and I pretty much race all the races — it works out perfectly. Plus, if it’s a bussed canyon race, I get to miss the whole shuttle up the canyon — something I don’t mind.

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The canyon was actually a tad chilly, which I won’t lie — was nice. With the valley temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, I wasn’t going to complain. Especially, knowing it was going to get hotter than hell once we got out of that canyon.

Gun time was at 6:30am, which kind of surprised me being a mid-summer race, but since I was sweeping the course, Molly and I waited until the 600+ runners all started before crossing the starting line. I haven’t run with Molly before so I always enjoy these encapsulated moments being able to meet and talk over 13.1 or longer miles.

Playing yo-yo with the runners ahead of us, we carried on a fun and often deep conversation while walking the rolling hills and taking what downhill we could. All while giving the runners ahead of us some space. It was a great way to spend the run, especially considering when I swept it in 2015 I did it solo.

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Sweeping a course is much different than pacing a certain time. Sure, most times, the final pacers are on a certain pace. But, no one wants to see the sweeper early in a race, especially before miles 6-7. So, I’ve learned to keep my space unless they’re obviously struggling or around miles 10-13 when the race is wrapping up.

There’s kind of a science behind all of that. Because, you really don’t want to stress out the runners in the back. They’re rocking it and to see a sweeper sometimes gives them a sense of failure, which is the last thing I want to do.

Anyways, it wasn’t until mile 11 that Molly and I caught up to the nearest runner. You could tell he was struggling a bit, mainly because of the heat. But, he was plugging away like a champ.

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This was his second half marathon, after running Utah Valley last month, and he admitted that he accidentally signed up for this race — THINKING — it was the Hobble Creek Half Marathon (that happens in August). Even after signing up for the Hobble Creek Half, he still decided to do Hobbler.

We finished the last couple of miles with him as we mainly talked about hunting and fishing. Molly’s husband hunts so most of that conversation geared around them. But, I kind of fixated on his reasoning — to get in shape for hunting season. I just never heard of that reasoning before. But, I shouldn’t be too surprised living in Utah.

But, it’s a great illustration for the many reasons that bring us to the starting line of these races. We all run for different reasons. We run for the podium, we run for a PR, we run to do our best, we run for therapy, we run to get in shape, but ultimately — as well all should — we run for us. There’s real beauty in that.

Anyways, once we got done, I grabbed a couple of waters and down them pretty quick before heading over to Jorge’s to record an episode of The Runcast with the rest of the gang. Which was a lot of fun. I don’t want to spoil the episode, but it centers on guilty pleasure songs. One of my favorites so far.

But, looking forward, I have the Handcart Days Half Marathon coming up next weekend. It’s hard to believe that this time next year I will be done with my 180 (the goal is to finish my 180 at the Handcart Days Half in 2018). I am 27 races from that goal, so there will be a lot of running to do in the next year.

Still … lots of retrospection happens at this race and what it means to me. This was the starting of my journey and now that I am nearing the conclusion of my 180 — it will also be my last. I’m not a betting man, but I sure would place a bet on the fact that I might cry sometime during the race.

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But, anyways — lots of running to do. I am still healing nicely. I’ll get where I want to go, even if it takes me a bit longer than I usually take.

Which is fine. I’m just grateful to be doing what I love.

One step at a time.


Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 8.5 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 24.77 miles
TOTAL MILES — 46.37 miles
Race(s) this week — The Hobbler Half.

July 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 16.6 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 26.87 miles
TOTAL MILES — 56.57 miles
Races in July — The Hobbler Half, DesNews Half and Handcart Days Half.

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 289.05 miles
Race Miles — 256.22 miles
Walking Miles — 690.64 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1235.91 miles
Races done in 2017 — New Year’s Half Marathon, Sweethearts 5K, Jackpot Running Festival, SL Tri Club Indoor Half, March Madness Half, Lucky 13 Half Marathon, Emigration Canyon Half Marathon, Riverton Half, Saltair Half, Provo City Half Marathon, Jordan River Half Marathon, Drop13 Half Marathon, Bear Lake Trifecta — Idaho, Wyoming & Utah, AF Canyon Race Against Cancer and The Hobbler Half.

So, I tried making paleo banana pancakes, but neither my skill nor patience was enough to save the attempt … soooooo … I ended up with a banana omelet instead. NOT GOING TO LIE, it was pretty good. I might be making this again soon. Talk about a happy little mistake. —————————————————— #fight4phat #fitness #wellness #health #running #runnerslife #runner #run #weightloss #weightlossjourney #hashimotos #hashimotoswarrior #thyroid #hypothyroidism #workout #wod #instarunner #run4fun #runningcommunity #paleo #diet #banana #eggs #strawberries #food #breakfast #bananapancakes #happyaccident —————————————————— @fight4phat @josherwalla @joshruns180 —————————————————— Follow my blog at www.phatjosh.com

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The moment your niece realizes you gave her a sandwich for her birthday. I only give things I hold close to my heart.

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This should be my 2017 race schedule …

Okay, I think I’ve got my complete 2017 race schedule figured out.

I think.

Which is a definite maybe.

But, let me explain it a little bit. I have a race each month except December. I might add a race in December, but I am not planning on it. It’s a good rest month after a long year of running.

My busiest month is June. I have seven races planned for the month. Yes, seven. I have Ragnar during the first weekend, the Utah Valley Marathon on the 10th, the Bear Lake Trifecta (three half marathons in three days) the following week and then the Utah Midnight Run (Friday night) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (Saturday morning) the following weekend.

I have three total back-to-back races planned. My first being the Salt Flats 50K (April 28) and Tulip Festival (April 29), Utah Midnight Run (June 23) and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer (June 24) and then the Utah Midnight Run (July 7) and Hobbler Half (July 8).

The biggest of those back-to-backs the April one with my 50K and half marathon. Not sure how that’s going to go, but I am betting I’ll walk a lot of the Tulip Festival Half. A lot.

In total I have 32 races planned — 23 half marathons, 5 marathons, 2 ultra marathons, a 25K and the Ragnar Relay. This includes one indoor race, 5 trail races and the rest road races.

Lots of running.

And, if you’re trying to estimate miles — that’s about 525-530 miles. Just in racing miles.

So, yeah — it’s going to be a big mileage year.

Anyways here is my schedule … what’s on your schedule?

RACES #98 & #99: Hobbler Half and The Dam 15 Miler

IMG_8110Sometimes I feel like I should question by sanity. Seriously. What is it inside me that THINKS running a 15 mile trail run hours after completing a half marathon is a good idea?

I really am of the believe that runners have a built-in amnesia that makes them forget past “horrible” experiences. Because, if I’ve done a feat similar to what I did on Saturday and hurt for days afterwards … why would I want to do it again?

Well … for the bling and t-shirt, right?

Well, okay it’s deeper than that.

One of the reasons why I raced 28.1 miles in one day was because I kinda had to, so I could make the Handcart Days Half Marathon my 100th race over 13.1 miles. I made the decision to make that race my milestone race about a month and a half ago and had to add a couple races to my docket to make it work.

It just happened that I had to do a couple double-double races. A couple of weeks ago I did a night-morning race which honestly felt a bit harder than Saturday’s feat. Fatigue was very much a factor during those races. At least on Saturday I got a nap in between races after a good night’s race.

But, still, that’s 28.1 miles I had to forge through one step at a time. And, it wasn’t easy. Even now as I am writing my review my feet hurt and my calves have been threatening to cramp since I grabbed my medal at the Dam 15 Miler last night. But, I also have a huge feeling of accomplishment that makes those physical pains secondary.

I did a lot of reflecting while out on the road and trail. My mind kept going back to my first few races and thinking of the biggest differences between now and then. The biggest thing is my involvement and friendships I have gained within the running community. To me that has been the biggest blessing in my running. The people I have met, befriended and ran with have all become a part of me and this little journey I have undertaken.

Luckily, I spent a lot of time running solo on Saturday, because there were a number of times I got a tad emotional about it too. I thanked God a lot for those friendships and my experiences. My mind also went a lot to my Grandma. Sunday was her birthday and she passed away just five months ago, if I had a number one fan of my running … it was her. I knew and felt she was proud of my accomplishments not just from Saturday, but in my whole effort of getting to my goal.

Anyways … this post isn’t about that. I’ll be writing more about that later this week actually. So stay tuned.

Let’s get to my race recaps.


I don’t know if I would have been able to do both races if I wasn’t sweeping Hobbler. But, sweeping isn’t easy. And, depending on the course it can be rather challenging. Since my job is to be as fast as the slowest runner that can vary from race to race.

But, sweeping is an easier recover than pacing or just running mainly because you aren’t going to complete exhaustion. There is a fatigue to worry about and for me I need to worry about my feet, because being on my feet for nearly four hours hurts my feet.


Since the race was in the Springville/Mapleton area I crashed at Jorge and Holly’s place. The original plan was to camp out in their front yard with other pacers. But, since a number of pacers found other places or just drove down the morning of the race, it was just me. So, Jorge and Holly let me crash inside on the couch.

Since the race started at 6:30am (unlike 6am for most summer races) the bus pickup wasn’t until 4:45am. This made for a leisurely morning with a 4am wake up call. Which was nice. Especially considering if I drove down from Bountiful that wakeup call would have been closer to 2am. I am really appreciative of Jorge and Holly’s generosity.

Doing a little shopping. How does the saying go? One runners’ throw away jacket is another runners’ treasure? Something like that?!

The bus ride up the canyon wasn’t a fun one for me. I didn’t realize how bumpy the canyon was and because of that I started getting some motion sickness. Not fun at all. Luckily, the drive was shorter than other races.

After hanging out at the starting line for about an hour the race was ready to begin. I brought along my back pack as my drop back, but because I was too busy talking with others I missed the announcement to get my drop back to the bus. So, I was forced to run with my pack.

Yeeeeeeeah … there’s no crowd.

It wouldn’t have been bad if it was my usual running bag, but it’s just a simple back pack with no extra straps or anything fancy like that. Luckily I wasn’t going too fast so running with it wasn’t too burdensome, it was just annoying. But, it came in handy have my full gambit of running supplies because I was able to share some Aleve and salt tablets with others.

Since I was the last runner I hung back at the starting line for the last runners to cross the starting line. This was nice because I didn’t have to wait in line to use the Honey Buckets. This is one real perk to sweeping. Of course that perk also has a downside … aaaaand … it’s safe to say that goes unsaid.

I have a feeling I’m being stalked.

Once out on the course I kept my distance from the last few runners. I do this on purpose for a couple of reasons. One, I’ll play catch up so I get some good running in during the race (basically fartleking) and, two, usually the back of the pack runners aren’t struggling and more so enjoying the run. I’ll support where and when needed. But, the last thing I want to do is interrupt ones’ race.

For being a canyon race, the course was nothing like a typical canyon race. This meaning, there’s not much downhill. And, in the case of Hobble Creek Canyon, it’s more of a rolling hill course. Which isn’t BAD, just not a typical Utah canyon course.

When people give you a pan of french toast you document it … with a selfie.

The first six miles of the race were fairly well covered in shade, but once the sun came out it got hot pretty quickly. That’s where my salt tablets and Aleve came in handy. Not just for me, but for a couple others as well. I also focused on water and Powerade at each aid station. The last thing I wanted was heat exhaustion before my second race began.

The last three miles were the toughest. The sagging wagon joined up with us by mile 10 and closely followed me as I ran behind the last runner. The best part of this was the driver was listening to The Newsies soundtrack. I won’t lie, I was entertained and thankful. It was a good diversion.


During the last couple of miles I ran with the last runner just ahead of me. I could tell she was struggling some as she slowed down quite a bit. It turned out she was suffering from shin splits. Not fun. She was apologetic for being so slow, but I told her this was her race, not mine. My job was to help get her to the finish line.

Which we did.

Since we were the last runners across the finish line I grabbed my medal and beelined it over to get some french toast. The biggest perk being they gave me a WHOLE pan of it which I ended up taking home for my family. Talk about a perk, right?


After stretching out some and coming to, Jorge and I went and got our Slurpee for National Slurpee Day and I started to physically (meaning I took a nap) and mentally prepare for my next race.


I will admit, coming into the race I was a tad unprepared. Part of it was my fault and some of it was circumstantial. But, it turned out well.

After taking a nap at Jorge and Holly’s place and getting some food in me, I was ready to tackle the second leg of my adventure at Deer Creek Reservoir near Heber City. Even though I was rested and refreshed I was still worried about this second race because it was a 15 miler … on trails.

Not a good combination for speed in my book.

But, I knew I could do it and would do it.

Jamie and I right before we headed out early for our trail race.

The race began at 6pm and I had checked in at 4:45pm. But, since this was a low key race I didn’t really want to wait around for an hour. So I asked if I could start early. Which I was given the go ahead to do so. This made a lot of the anxiety I felt about being the last one on the course go away.

Jamie and I started out together and got the jump start. It might have been a little bit hotter starting at 5pm. And, it took me a little bit to get acclimated to that with salt tablets, water and some gels. That wasn’t as bad as when I almost stepped right on top of a snake. Luckily, it was just a gopher snake and not a rattler, but … still … it was a snake. And, if it wasn’t for Jamie’s keen eye I would have stepped on it for sure as it looked like a twig or divot in the middle of the course.

Ugh, I hate snakes.

I was trying to come up with a witty caption for this picture. But, the only thing that comes to my mind is … I hate snakes.

It took Jamie and I just under two hours to get to the turn around point with about 3-4 runners who started at 6pm ahead of us. Jamie went ahead of me while I stayed at the aid station stretching and refueling. By this point the majority of the runners were catching up at the turn around station.

It was fun to run into a number of my friends along the course. Both as they were heading to the turn around point and back. I ran with a few of them for as long as my legs would allow it. But, after 20+ miles of running during the day the only thing I was going to be able to catch up with was a lethargic snail with a cold. And, I was fine with that.


My preparedness for this race was ruined with two things. One, I forgot my hiking pack. I could have sworn I had packed it, but alas it was right on my bed when I got home later that night. So I was forced to use my back pack again. Not comfortable.

And, two, my head lamp was dead. I tested it the night before, but when I went to use it at dusk I noticed it was completely dead. I think it may have accidentally turned on and ran out of battery? Luckily, I finished around 10pm when there was still a sliver of light left. Enough to see if I was going to step on a bunny or horse poop.

This just made me more grateful that I started an hour early.

Me and Ruthie! I am pretty sure it’s physically impossible for this woman to frown. Impossible.

The last couple of miles of the race were EXTRA tough. By this point I was above 26.2 miles, the most I have ran and I was just sore. I was tired. My race plan for this course was to walk up the hills and then run the down hill to give me some kind of consistency. But, mile 13-14, I was so tired physically and mentally that I forgot that game plan and I swear I was starting to run up hill and walk the down hill.

But, it was also during this time that my heart and mind seriously began to reflect upon the breadth of what I was doing. I started getting super emotional about it too. I am glad I was running alone because I have no doubt I would have looked like a hot mess.

I literally swept Janet off her feet. But, what’s most impressive … I didn’t drop her after had run about 24 miles.

I guess you could have called this HITTING the wall, but I am pretty sure I hit that miles earlier. This was almost like I went back to the wall to get hit again? It was a crazy experience to say the least.

But, once I got to the home stretch and saw the lights of the finish line … I was done. Just like that.

I lingered around the finish line for a while kind of bemoaning my hour or so long ride home. I won’t lie, I wish I could have called a cab to drive me home. But, after getting some water and bananas down me I mustered the strength to get myself back to my car.

I’ve got 99 race medals and this is one of them!

After the hour long drive home I stopped by my Subway for a foot-long sandwich because those bananas and couple of cookies after the race didn’t cut it. I needed serious food. Luckily, my local Subway is a 24/7 location (how did my hometown get so lucky?) and I enjoyed myself a midnight footlong (that sounds questionable) before crawling into bed for a nice long sleep.

And, yeah, so that’s the story of the time I decided to run 28.1 miles in one day over two races.

My FitBit numbers for the day. I calculated that 481 minutes is just over 8 hours of active minutes. EIGHT HOURS!

And, the worst part about it all? I think I talked myself into running a 50K in November. Yes, a 50K. I’ve been wanting to become an ultra marathoner and of course I decided this around mile 18 or so of my miles.

I really have a problem.

But, I love it.



THE GOAL! Well, not THE goal, but a HUGE milestone towards that goal. And, this was been a goal I’ve been leading myself up to this summer. It’s only fitting to hit my 100th race over 13.1 miles at the race that started little adventure, right?

The race is turning itself into a little party. I am pushing Elsha during the race and this past week Tim Gill signed up and is planning on running alongside us. There are also a few other friends who are planning on signing up as well. I am not sure if they’re planning on running with me. But, it’s going to be a party pre-race, mid-race and post-race regardless.

I am just really excited about this milestone for many reasons, but more so that I get to share it with my friends. The last time I ran this race I did so all by myself and by doing this with many of my friends is just a testament of how the running community has affected myself.



Bugout Challenge Logo

There is still time to register for The Bugout Run this weekend. The event will be held in somewhere in Davis County on Saturday morning. Here are some more details about the run.

Register now so you don’t miss out on updates.

Oh, and did I mention that the race is FREE?!


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 209.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 213.65 miles
2015 Total Miles – 610.65 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  36.6 miles


The 80th Fartlek Friday™ – Since this is the 80th installment can I now get senior discounts or something?

fartlekfriday54FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY! I’m kinda excited about this Friday for some reason? Part of it is because of my running adventures tomorrow, but also it’s been my first five day work week in … like … almost a month.

I’ve been pampered too much apparently?

But, at least I get to run off that angst this weekend. Tomorrow morning I am sweeping the Hobbler Half and then in the evening I am running The Dam 15 Miler in Midway. My last race is about 150 people deep … soooooooo … I’ve kinda resigned myself to coming in last at that race as well.

But, hey, that’s still 28.1 miles of running/walking/wishing I had a Slurpee, right? And, it still beats the person who didn’t get off the couch all day. Sooooo … I’m just going to give it my best effort and knock out races #98 and #99!

And, then in two weeks … RACE #100!

Which I am getting more and more excited for! As you might already know my 100th race is going to be the Handcart Days Half Marathon in my hometown of Bountiful. The race holds a place in my heart for a couple of years.

First, this was my first half marathon, which happened four years to the day and, two, the Handcart Days celebration is something my family was intricately involved in for a number of years.

My Dad was the chairman of the event for over 7 years. This included roping the WHOLE family into the planning, execution and even clean up of the event. It was a lot of fun. We did everything, made a lot of friends and FOREVER tied ourselves to the community.

So, yeah, I am excited.

But, what’s taking that over the top is I am also pushing my friend Elsha in the race. And if that wasn’t enough, my friend Tim decided to run the race alongside us. It’s basically going to be a party! And quite a stark contrast to when I ran it four years ago … by myself.

Elsha and Tim are two reasons why I love hopelessly fallen in love with running and it will be fun celebrating my 100th race with them. It really seems fitting. Well, because it is.

But, lots of fun things happening this month. The Bugout Run is next week which we’re ready for. Jorge and I mapped out the course yesterday. The event is free so sign up! You can read more about it here.

Also, I am starting to solidify my fall race schedule. I am really debating on running Big Cottonwood in September. A part of me kinda wants to just volunteer and cheer in my friends at the finish line. Or maybe go buy a bunch of Slurpees from 7 Eleven and start handing them out to friends and runners.

Oh, that would be fun.

Either way, I have also decided to run Cory Reese’s Bakers Dozen Half Marathon in December down in Hurricane. But, I am still debating if I want to run the Ultra Marathon on Antelope Island? I want to, but I don’t know if I want to be ready for by then? Either way, I’ll run the ultra or half marathon that same day.

And, we won’t start talking about my October races yet. I’m going to be getting LOTS of miles on my shoes that month. Layton Marathon, two Haunted Half races, two Howloween races and a 25K to boot. And, that still leaves me a free weekend over the 3rd of October.

Oy. It’s going to be fun. It’s roughly 96.6 miles of racing. I should find a 10K over October 3rd to run to get over 100 miles of racing for the month.

Why am I giving myself these thoughts and temptations?

Anyways, fun times this weekend! Lots of running! Lots of friends! Lots of Slurpees (tomorrow is National Slurpee Day … if you didn’t know)!



Just of note, this past week I did a little reshuffling of my social media. Specifically with Instagram. I tried to clean out my personal account and it ended up getting deleted. Still trying to figure that one out. So I was locked out of my @thegr8joshby username.

I am back on Instagram with @mejosher, I also brought back @running180. I wrote about it all here earlier this week.

But, to make note, I did end up bringing back @back2phat by popular demand. And, by popular demand, I mean … one person asked me, I have brought it back. I think I am good with the social media shuffling for now?



utah runcast logo

Just any FYI, we’re going to be recording soon. So stay tuned. I am hoping to get the podcast up before the 24th of July. But, we’ll see. I am not doing the editing soooooooo no specific date yet.

Stay tuned.


Here are a few things that caught my attention this past week …


My ‘Murica Weekend


This will be a short entry, mainly because I have no race to report or running for that matter. After three tough weeks of running and racing, I decided to rest my weary legs this past week. So that’s what I did.

I worked out a couple times and I walked quite a bit, but no running. I am going to run a couple two milers this week before my two races this upcoming Saturday. I am sweeping the Hobbler Half in the morning and then running The Dam 15 Miler in the evening. That right there is 28.1 miles of running, which means I’ll get about 32ish miles in during the week.

Lots and lots and lots of running.

But, I need to crank out these races so I can then get race #100 on the 24th of July which will be my 4th anniversary of running my first half marathon. I am not too worried about Saturday mainly because I am sweeping the morning course and then my evening run will be pretty cool since it’s not only in the evening, but up in Heber City and not in the valley.

Plus, it will be another fun challenge. I’ve never ran more than 26.2 miles in a day so that will be different. Luckily, it won’t be a back-to-back race overnight like last weekend. So, I am sure I can live through it. It’s just one foot in front of the other, right?

But, this is going to be another busy fun busy week. Besides the races and running, I am also have a couple of fun family activities. Most notably tomorrow my c’niece (cousin + niece … a term of endearment we use in our family, because they are pretty much my nieces) is having her birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.

I am not sure who is more excited for the party … me or her? It’s been a number of years since I was there last. Well … okay … three years. But, that’s a long time. If it wasn’t for that stupid rule of being accompanied by a child I would spend more time there.

Okay, that sounds a TAD creepy. #iamnotacreeper #promise

Also this Sunday is my Grandma’s birthday. She would have been 89 years old. I am trying to think of a few ways I can celebrate and commemorate it. I definitely plan on taking some flowers to her gravesite. I also think making some baklava or spanikopita is in order. The last time I made spanikopita was with her a few years ago.

Even though it’s been over five months since her passing she’s still constantly on my mind. Her bedroom has been pretty much untouched for the most part so sometimes I will wander in just to smell it. I know that sounds kinda weird, but as long as that smell still lingers it will always bring back a flood of memories.

It’s time like these I am glad my Grandma didn’t stink. As she would say, “it’s because she bathes with soap.”

Anyways … fun weekend … fun week ahead … funner weekend ahead. Here’s a little recap of my 4th of July weekend.

Thursday, July 2nd

Typically not a big party day in the 4th of July weekend, but not in our household. The 2nd is the my niece’s birthday and this year she turned seven years old. I mentioned a little bit about her and the party on Friday’s post, but really I can’t believe she is already seven years old. The day she was born really seems like yesterday.

I flew up to Seattle with my Mom to be there with my sister-in-law and brother during the delivery and the following week. I really didn’t need to be there, but my brother let me come up because they had some extra space and I just wanted to always hold the fact that I was the first uncle to see and hold the first niece against my siblings.

Baby Hansen 018
Me holding Little Miss Sweet Cheeks for the first time. I’m not quite sure what to think of her at the moment.

I spent the night before she was born in the hospital waiting room. There was a cardboard couch with a thin knitted blanket for sleep. I didn’t sleep. Instead of watched the little TV they had in the room that wasn’t hooked up to the local stations, just a VCR with my choices between two Elmo movies.

I watched them both.

Through that fatigue and sleeplessness I was able to hold myself together once my brother came in and told me my niece was born. And, yes, I was the first uncle to hold her. It was kind of a surreal experience. She was both the most adorable and frightening thing I’d ever seen. I don’t know how a doctor can look at a newborn baby and not want to put it back in because it doesn’t look quite yet done.

maya card
This is one of the reasons why I am the favorite uncle. What other uncle gets their niece a Cat Birthday Hat Card?

Regardless, over the past seven years it has been fun watching her grow, start reading, writing and come into her own. Luckily, my brother has since moved back down her to Utah so we get to see them … A LOT.

And, to think that next year she’ll be getting baptized as well. CRAZY! I am kind of laughing because I’m writing this almost like I am a proud dad. Just a proud uncle. Some day I’ll get around to having kids. But, for now I am happy being the awesome uncle.

Of course Koko is in the background being the free spirit she was born to be. I love that kid.

But, on Thursday she had a little friend party that all of the uncles and aunts attended. Well, most of them. Since it was over 90 degrees outside it was a pool/water party. I made some snow cones for the kids and of course we had the traditional cake and ice cream as well.

It was a fun little party and the most important thing is that she loved my gift and card.

Friday, July 3rd

Thanks to the 4th being on a Saturday I had the 3rd off from work. And, in a true strange Davis County tradition, most of our festivities are usually on the 3rd anyways. This is mainly so it doesn’t compete with festivities in Ogden and Salt Lake City. I won’t complain because that just means you get two of everything, right?

Since my niece’s birthday party was mainly a friend party we decided to have the big family party on Friday in combination with the North Salt Lake Fireworks. It worked perfectly too since we could see the fireworks from my brothers’ house.

Little Miss Sweet Cheeks and her birthday cake. Can you believe this kid doesn’t like frosting? Her brother on the other hand would rather have frosting than cake. Go figure?

We did the traditional 4th of July BBQ dinner with a few exceptions. My sister-in-law is Mexican so in addition to the chicken, burgers, watermelon and corn on the cob we also had some Spanish rice and pico de gallo that her Mom made. Their family’s pico de gallo is the best and I’d eat it during any holiday. Yum! Yum! Yum!

I loaded up on LOTS of watermelon, strawberries, melon and grapes. Maybe a little high in sugar for my diet, but I didn’t really feel guilty because how can you on a hot summer day? It was the perfect family party.

My Mama jumping on the tramp. This right after she biffed it on her first try. You gotta love her for the great youthful attitude she always carries.

The fireworks were great, but the commute home was horrendous. What is normally less than a 10 minute drive home it took us over an hour to make. The city had blocked a couple of streets and redirected traffic in the most stupid way. It was horrible. If I wasn’t in flip flops I was half tempted to run home.

Other than that it was a fun day and evening spent with family. My favorite way to spend any holiday.

Saturday, July 4th

Since 1976 … so for the past 39 years our neighborhood/ward has held a 4th of July breakfast each year. We’ve been a part of the ward now since 2006 so we’ve participated the past nine years, but this has turned into a tradition I not only love, but look forward to each year.

The breakfast usually consists of waffles or pancakes along with ham, eggs and fruit. But, what’s being served doesn’t matter as much as the program we have. We always start with the Boy Scouts posting the colors and the audience reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and then some sort of other patriotic program.

What’s more American than a Chuck Wagon Breakfast? Maybe hot dogs? But, hot dogs are gross.

This year the Boy Scouts recited the Bill of Rights while posting a new flag in a semi-circle on the lawn of the park. It was really neat. And, I will admit, I kind a little emotional over it. I will never be apologetic about my love and allegiance to my country. No matter how others view our current situation, it is still a beacon of hope and freedom to the world.

So when it comes to being and showing patriotism, I don’t ever believe there is such thing as TOO much. My patriotism is a prayer of gratitude to my God for the freedoms and liberties that millions gave their lives for. Those sacrifices have given us the freedom to choose our happiness, our lives’ direction and purpose. How can you not thank God for that?

Anyways, off my soapbox.

The flags posted by the Boy Scouts. I kinda wished I recorded the program.

After the breakfast I ended up mowing the lawn and attending to a few Saturday chores before going to dinner with my friends Dave and Brad. It was my free meal so I had what I love most … pizza! Well, a calzone. It wasn’t the best calzone I’ve ever had, but it hit my pizza craving just right.

We then went and saw Jurassic World. This was my second time seeing the movie, which I didn’t mind at all. In fact, I am the type of person that benefits from seeing a movie twice. It probably has something to do with the Special Ed “thing.” But, it helps me understand the plot and storyline much better. I am the same way with books too.

But, it was a fun 4th of July weekend. Lots of family, friends, fireworks and food. Lots of F-words apparently?



Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 200.5 miles
2015 Race Miles – 185.55 miles
2015 Total Miles – 579.05 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  7.25 miles


RACES #96 & #97: Utah Midnight Run and AF Canyon Race Against Cancer


Go ahead and push play on the AC/DC video above. I might have gotten this song stuck in my head two to too many times the other night. But, it is a fairly fitting theme song for the back-to-back feat. Because there was NO sleep going Friday night. Just running. Along with some Denny’s, but mostly running and waiting around for busses.

This is the third time I have attempted this feat. And, the second time I have accomplished it. Back in 2013 the Gabicas and I were going to do the Utah Midnight Run in Davis County and then drive up to Idaho Falls for the half marathon there. But, we had to scratch the second leg of that trip after Jill got a migraine after the Midnight Run. You really can’t do anything about those kind of situations so I attempted it again last year.

So last July I did the Utah Midnight Run and Farmington Days Half Marathon back-to-back. In fact both courses overlapped SLIGHTLY. And, I mean slightly. But, the starting lines for both races were literally only 0.7 miles away from each other. It was very confident to say the least.

It wasn’t an easy challenge. I had gotten sick during my first run … eventually throwing up (my first time doing so in a race). It was HOT. And, then once I started my second race I was STIFFER beyond STIFF and by mile four I wanted to quit. It was tough.

But, here I am doing it again.

I swear us runners just block out all the pain. It’s a gift the running gods have given us. You can have the worst and most painful run in the world and by the time you are done with it you forget about that all. Within hours you can’t wait to do it again.

And, I needed to tap into a little bit of that this week after getting heat exhaustion after Ragnar that knocked me out of work for a couple of days. In the back of my mind I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able run my back-to-back half marathon. But, further back in my mind I knew that wasn’t an option. It might turn out to be miserable, but I knew I can power through it one step at a time.

So this past week in preparation of this race, I didn’t run at all. It wasn’t entirely on purpose, but half of my week was wiped out because of my illness and it just happened that way. I did get a three mile hike in on Thursday evening with friends, Jorge and Joycelynn, but that was the extent of my running and workouts this week. I needed the rest. Both from my illness and for my back-to-back.

It was a good decision.

On Friday, my plan was to drive down to American Fork after work to pick up my packet for Saturday’s race in route to Provo for my Friday night run. The traffic was horrific after there was an accident on I-15. So what is usually a 40-45 minute drive took me just under two hours. Not fun. I was anxious enough to get to packet pickup on time. Luckily, I got there with about 10 minutes to spare before they closed shop.

After getting to Provo for my first race I met up with the Gabicas for dinner. Neither of them were running of my races, but since Jill is pregnant and not running as much we don’t see each other as often. I chose a simple dinner of an egg white and cheese six-inch sub with Powerade to drink. I usually drink water, but not wanting to tank out during my race I was bound and determined to pump myself with electrolytes and sodium throughout the night.

And, as you can tell from the tone of this post I succeeded in that goal.

Anyways, I’ll tell the rest of the story of my all-night marathon through my race reports …


Of the races I was doing, I was most nervous about my first race, the Utah Midnight Run in Provo. It basically set the tone for how my second race went and how I felt after the feat was done. Going into the race I wanted to take my time and not push it too hard. I knew I was going to be over three hours, but as long as my legs stayed fresh that my biggest concern.

There were about 300 racers running so it was definitely small compared to most other local races. The Legacy Midnight Run (run by On Hill Events as well) is much larger, but that’s been around longer compared to the Provo race. I believe this was only the third year of the Provo version? Don’t quote me on that, but it’s been around shorter than Legacy.

The starting line of the Midnight Run with a lovely shot of someone drinking some water.

So, I had a pretty good idea I was probably going to be one of, if not, the last runners to cross the finish line. And, I was okay with that. Heck, I am always okay with that. Having swept a number of races I’ve realized the miracle sometimes is JUST finishing what you started.

Since the race started at 10pm, I brought my head lamp along with me. I also strapped a couple glow sticks on my ankles for decorations and safety. We weren’t running on public streets so cars weren’t an issue, but running along the Provo River Trail there was the possibility of bikers and other runners. I probably should have worn a reflective vest for extra safety? Good thing this wasn’t Ragnar I would have been kicked off the course.

Pre-race selfie. The head lamp really accentuates my manly features.

I didn’t run with my Garmin again. I just went by feel. There were some uneven stretches of trail where tree roots had bulged through the road. That kind of broke my stride a couple of times. But, I just kept running along. I felt pretty good about my pace for the first five miles, but then the sweeper caught up with me. Which was totally fine because it was Laurie Pope and I knew her.

But, still, the sweeper caught up with me at five miles. I was kinda expecting more of a buffer of people between me and Laurie. But, that’s the thing you run the risk against at these smaller races, most who sign up I’ve sound are between 2-2:30 finishers. Not too many back of the packers.

Good thing there aren’t laws against running and texting … 😉

Apparently there was a three hour course time limit. I wasn’t aware of it, so instead of taking my time I picked it up a bit and stayed with Laurie for the rest of the race. I laugh about that, because I never thought I would (even mildly) complain about running at a three hour pace. But, I really, really, really wanted to keep myself fresh for the morning’s race.

Laurie and I had a lot of fun though. Especially after I got attacked by a giant moth. She laughed at me. But, I kid you not, this moth was the size of a small bird. It was a monster. MONSTER. But, that is the price I guess I had to pay for wearing a headlamp?

Picking up trash along the race brings new meaning to the term, “Sweeper”

Also along the way we picked up trash from the runners. I am somewhat surprised at how careless us runners are with our trash. I get throwing your cup down on the side of the road at a large race, but at a minimally supported race or trail run … why throw your cup in the brush half a mile from the aid station? Larger races have LOTS of volunteers that work on sweeping the cups and cleaning the area up. The smaller races don’t. It creates more work per volunteer.

Just throw it away in the provided trash can at the aid station. It’s not that hard. Or use your own water bottle. Because, not all trash is found, so if you throw it off the beaten path … don’t expect it to be found. Keep it until the next aid station or plan better.


Sometimes you just ask to get photobombed.

But, the run wasn’t that bad. Running in Provo past midnight is … um … interesting … to say the least. We did run into some “interesting” individuals along the trail as well. All I am going to say is I really don’t understand the night culture down there. I’ve walked around downtown SLC past midnight, but Provo is just different. I wish I understood it better.

Either way, we finished around 3:18 hours, which is actually where I wanted to finish anyways. So it worked. I was tired and sore, but I pumped some Advil and Sports Legs in me along with a lot of Powerade and that seemed to help carry me into my next race.


I had a couple of hours between my two races. I finished my first race around 1-1:30am and had bus pickup for my second race at 4am. I thought about sleeping in my car for a couple hours before catching the bus, but instead I opted for probably the best option. Food.

I headed to Denny’s with the Provo Midnight Run’s race director and I am glad I did. I loaded myself up with biscuits n’ gravy, hashbrowns (extra crispy of course) and sunnyside up eggs. It was a perfect re-carb meal that I knew wouldn’t upset my stomach before my second race. Plus, Denny’s in Provo at 2am is quite an experience to say the least. Like I mentioned above, I wish I understood the Provo night culture better. But, it’s probably best that I don’t … right?

I got TWO raffle tickets for being on the early bus. And, I missed out on winning my BlendTech. Some jerk won it instead. ONE DAY! ONE DAY!

After catching one of the first buses up AF Canyon I rode up solo. Which felt strange, but I figured I would try to sleep a little bit on the way up … which didn’t end up happening. I actually made friends with the strangers around me and we ended up talking all the way up. It was neat because one was a cancer survivor and another a recovering alcoholic and they each shared a little about the reasons why they run. It was cool and humbling. Just an extra reminder that we all run for different reasons.

The starting line queue is one of my favorite of all the races I ran. The St. George Marathon queue is fun, because of how festive it is and how many people surround you at any given time. The AF Canyon race queue is not just festive and energetic, but when the sun starts to rise the scenery is just … BEYOND gorgeous. You get awesome views of the surrounding mountains including Timpanogos. It feels very intimate and really adds to the race experience.

This year it wasn’t any different.

Cevan with a C and I before race #2. He ran the night before as well … but being the one uper he always is, be also did the Spartan later that day. I’ve got some work to do.

After hanging out with friends for about an hour and a half the race started at 6am. The plan all along was to simply run what my body gave me. But, I also wanted to run somewhat smart. So the first couple of miles I really tried to restrain myself so I wasn’t going out too fast. The last I wanted to do was tank out after mile five and walk the rest of the way. So I kept a dilberate steady pace and just enjoyed the scenery.

Around mile three I started to pick up my pace some and I was surprised at how well legs felt. Last year when I did my back-to-back around mile four is when I just wanted to give up. I was sore, tired and cranky. This go around it was quite the opposite. I know the canyon and downhill course had a lot to do with that. But, having taken precautions to avoid heat exhaustions and overextending myself helped a lot as well.

Wearing my Snuggie to the starting line kinda makes you feel somewhat like a man of the cloth. If I had a mic, I probably would have preached.

It also helped that aid stations were spread out about every two miles after three miles. That helped me A LOT with hydration and electrolytes. I followed my rule of two cups of water for every Powerade cup. It’s a good ratio, especially considering sometimes the drink is made pretty powerful. It helps temper it some, otherwise it makes me burpy and while that might be cute it gets annoying when you’re trying to keep a good pace.

Throughout the race my focus was real simple. It was just to put one foot in front of the other. I knew I would be okay, but there was a two hour cut off out of the canyon, so I focused on that for a while. I got out in less than an hour and a half. Nothing to worry about, but sometimes its’ good to have smaller goals like that to focus on for a while.

This picture doesn’t do the canyon justice, but the filter I used sure helps.

While we were protected by the shadows of the canyon for the first seven miles, the last five miles of the race were out of the canyon and the sun was very much beaming down on us. I was a little worried about that, so I doubled up on my water at aid stations. I also walked UP any hill to save my energy while taking advantage of any down or rolling hill. But, I also walked a lot.

During my last three miles traded off on the walking and running. I ran all of the mile 11 and then walked pretty much all of mile 12. Well, I take that back … I mall walked mile 12. The difference between walking and mall walking? I swung my arms and kept my walking pace above that of a strolling stranger in the park. If I had two pound weights I am sure I would have utilized them.

Miss Ruthie is one of my favorite runners. She dedicated her run to her brother who passed away from cancer this past week. Not only did she get a sub-two, but she got a 1:55 PR! Some of her running friends wanted to do something special for her, so we chipped in and got an extra medal for Bernie and a plaque she ran remember this race with.

But, after my nice little mall walk between mile 11-12, I picked up the pace from mile 12 to the finish line. It was REALLY hot at this time and I just wanted to be finished. I also noticed I was close to getting a sub-three time. It wasn’t my goal for the race, but was something to shoot for once I realized I was close to it.

I didn’t get the sub-two, but I still got in two minutes over three hours which I was happy with considering that would give me a 6:20:32 marathon time. I am happy with that.


So after refilling on a couple bottles of water, some chocolate milk and fruit. I tried to each some of the french toast they had, but it just didn’t sound good. But, after hanging around with friends for a while I made it back to my car and headed back home. Of course after a pit stop to 7 Eleven for a much needed and much deserved Slurpee.


98-hobbler 99-dam15

So yeah, I’m kinda doing this again in a couple of weeks. Luckily, I am not doing an overnight back-to-back, it’s going to be all in one day. I am going to be sweeping the Hobbler Half in the morning and then later that night I am running The Dam 15 Miler in Heber City.

I think I am ready for this? I think.

Well, okay, this past weekend gave me confidence that I can. But, it’s those two extra miles from the 15 miler I am somewhat worried about.

Luckily, I’ll be sweeping the morning race and then have several hours in between the two races. So, really I shouldn’t be too worried about it. I’ll just view the Hobbler Half as my warmup to The Dam 15 Miler.

But, this is also the price I paid to make sure I get to my 100 races by the 24th of July. SO BRING IT!


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 198.25 miles
2015 Race Miles – 185.55 miles
2015 Total Miles – 571.8 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


The 76th Fartlek Friday™ – I should just go ahead and dedicate this week to Shawn Bradley

shawn-bradley-700x393Okay you’re probably wondering why in the heck I am dedicating this week’s Fartlek Friday to Shawn Bradley. Don’t worry, I am too. It’s kinda weird.

But, as a kid … I kinda idolized him. He entered the NBA in 1993 when I was in the 5th grade. I think I kinda attached myself to Bradley because he was tall and I was tall. At the time I was the tallest in the grade.

So it was kinda natural in that regard. But, one thing I loved about Bradley was that he was 7’6 played for the Philadelphia 76ers and wore #76. I thought that was so cool. Heck even those shooting star jerseys were cool to me. So, that’s why I am dedicated the 76th Fartlek to Shawn Bradley.

Oh, and I’ve met him in person before too. Cool guy. He lives in my sisters’ neighborhood and I’ve seen him at their church functions. One of my favorite pictures ever was the one I took last year of my Mom by Bradley (without him knowing of course) …


I love my Mom.

Anyways, so much more to talk about then my affinity for giant culture.

Okay, I know that I said I was going to move on about talking about Shawn Bradley, but you have to wonder if he plays on the ward basketball team? It wouldn’t be fair if you were the opposition, but heck, I’d just have Shawn lift me to the basket so I could dunk.

Tangent over. I swear.

Plus, it could get worse, I could be expressing my love for Greg Ostertag.


I am pretty dang excited for this weekend … race #94 is going down. I am running the Drop 13 Half Marathon on Saturday. This race runs down Big Cottonwood Canyon, somewhat of a similar course like the Vigor race I ran last month, but the finish line is in a different location.


I’ve expressed my love of this canyon before and since I already expressed my love for Shawn Bradley today I am just expressing too much love for it to be right. So I’ll save you the mushy crap for Monday during my race recap.

Because, believe you me … it can get mushy when I get to talking about Big Cottonwood Canyon.

But, it’s kind of funny how I got this race. I was originally signed up for the Utah Valley Marathon. I signed up last year right after my marathon when all judgement goes out the window. I saw on that for a while until I decided to switch to the half marathon, which I did.

Then I got a pacing gig at the Yellowstone Half Marathon in Wyoming. So, I decided to sell my Utah Valley bib and then pace Yellowstone instead, because … well … Yellowstone!

I was planning on taking Friday off to commute to the race, but a few weeks ago my co-worker decided to take a week off for vacation and I couldn’t take that Friday off any longer. Soooooo … I had to cancel my pacing gig. LAME!

That’s when I decided to sign up for the Drop 13 Half Marathon, a race I’ve wanted to do the past couple of years. On Hill Events does a good job at their races and with the combination of that and the canyon I couldn’t say no.


I just haven’t raced this before, because I had already committed to Utah Valley which has always been on the same day. But, after the run around (literal) of races I couldn’t say no to Drop 13.

And, now the funny thing is … my office is closed all day today, because they are replacing a transformer all day which means … NO POWER. So I probably could have gone to Yellowstone after all?!

But, that’s all hindsight. But, I am really excited for my race tomorrow. There really isn’t anything like a good downhill run, eh?

I’m just excited to be running down Big Cottonwood.

It’s just too bad that Shawn Bradley doesn’t run.


Bugout Challenge LogoRegistration for the July 18th Bugout Run is open! The best part about this run? It’s FREE! Yep … FREE NINETY-NINE! In fact our August 8th Bugout Run will be as well. Registration for our Bugout Survival Challenge will open soon as well and that will be happening in the fall.

There is a difference between the two challenges or runs. First, the Bugout Runs are all FREE events. These will be small trail run/hikes of 3 to 5 miles that anyone over 14 years of age can participate in.

What makes these a BUGOUT event is that you don’t know the specific location of the race until 72-48 hours before the run. You’ll get an email from us with the location and what to prepare for, for that run. Then you’ll meet at that location and we’ll hike out.

The run will also include a couple of survival challenges and opportunities to talk about preparedness issues with our resident experts and participants. There will also be experts on hand to help scrutinize and grade your bugout bags, making sure you are REALLY ready to bugout if needed.

The purpose of these runs is to give the community an opportunity to practice their survival skills, learn what they need to do be doing and to network with others.

We have the same goal for the Survival Challenge in the fall, but this will be a larger scale event with many obstacles and scenarios. There will be beginner, intermediate and expert levels participants can choose from and we’ll also have community members and experts at each station teaching and proctoring the scenarios.

This event will be a 24 hour overnight “bugout” and the best way for me to describe the event is that it’s Trails meet running meet obstacle course meet a team relay meet emergency preparedness.

It will be a lot of fun. Trust me.

But, the first run will be somewhere in Davis County. The August event will be in Utah County. As far as specific locations … you’ll just need to sign up and find out, eh?


hands 2As noted earlier this week I have decided to make this year’s Bountiful Handcart Days Half Marathon my 100th race. This race was also my first half marathon back in 2011. It was the perfect place and moment to celebrate this milestone.

Since I had to add two races to my schedule, I picked up the Provo Midnight Run (June 26) and the Hobbler Half (July 11) to make this goal possible. The good people of On Hill Events were kind enough to give me a discount with me and are letting me share it with you as well.

If you use code RUNCAST at checkout you can get a 15% discount on your registration. That’ll save you some $$$! This will be my first time running the Midnight Run in Provo, but these races are fun. You get all blinged up and run at night. It’s a great race to run with friends.

So come join me on June 26th!

It shall be fun.


Here are other things that have caught my attention this past week …