Tag: provo canyon

RACE #166: The Haunted Half — Provo City

I am winding down on so much right now — not only am I winding down on my 2017 race schedule, but my 180 goal as well. This was my 29th race over 13.1 miles this year and fourth to last. That’s a lot of running. Then on top of that this is the 15th to the last race of my 180 race goal.

That last one is a harder one to process than this year’s race schedule. But, here I am running my 29th race of the year and 166th race of my 180 goal. It’s hard not to get somewhat sentimental at these races — especially the ones I’ve done basically every year.

The Haunted Half is one that I have rarely missed the past few years. That includes both the Provo and Salt Lake City races. These are some of my favorite races — from the courses, medals, t-shirts and overall experience. That was one reason I loved working for Runtastic Events during the time I did, because we focused on providing top notch quality for the runners and their race experience.

As difficult as it was stepping away from the race company, I was excited that I was able to run the races — especially the Nebo Half (my favorite) and The Haunted Half races. That also meant I was going to be able to EARN the Trilogy medal. I am sure if I was still working for the company I would have been given one, but that’s not the same as EARNING the medal.

It’s a really, really, really cool medal. The design it top notch, it’s HUGE and it’s heavier than most newborn babies (slightly exaggerating). Since I won’t be in town for the Thankful 13 I had to earn it earlier and this race was the final race I had to do for the medal.

So here I am.

Since this is a Halloween race, I was planning on dressing up. But, the banana costume I bought wasn’t really running friendly. So I had to improvise. And, by improvise I mean — take the laziest approach to my costume. I threw on my Greg Gregerson shirt and just went as Greg Gregerson. That was it.

Kinda lame I know. But, it worked. And, I didn’t have to worry about the logistics of costume. A costume I’m not sure wouldn’t kill me with excess chaffing? And, that’s something you don’t want to find out.

So, Greg Gregerson it was.

I know, you kinda wish you could pull that off, huh?

I didn’t have a time goal for this race. I’ve made the switched to an effort goal about a month ago as I work toward my 100 mile run in February. I really wanted a good effort with minimal walking. So if there was any goal — that was it.

A lot of the athletes from my Addict II Athlete team were running this race in honor of Carlee whom we lost earlier this month. It’s been a very emotional month for the team and this was a very emotional race as well.

A number of wore Carlee’s name on our shoes, some ran in pink tutus for Carlee and Don ran the whole 13.1 miles dragging Carlee’s “I Can Do Hard Things” tire behind him. It was a great tribute to her. It was a very emotional run for many of us.

I started off the run with Don, Russell and a number of the teammates. We all kept close to each other for the first half of the race. At the mid way point we kind of part and I ran the rest of the race with Zack and some of the Minor League team members.

Zack was slowing down a bit around Mile 9-10 and I ended up sticking with him for the rest of the race. As fast and downhill this race is, I forget that those last few miles are TOUGH! Around mile 10 the canyon is gone and the hills come out.

The worst of all the hills is the hill at Mile 12. People complain about the hill at Mile 10.5 of Run Elevated down Little Cottonwood Canyon, but this hill is much worse. It’s longer and — just brutal.

But, the good thing is that once you get over it the finish line isn’t too far away. But, oy! It was brutal (have I said that enough?).

The effort was there and once I got to the finish line I was done. I gave a great effort. I quickly grabbed my race medal and some water before grabbing my bag and Trilogy medal before leaving. I wanted to linger, but I was exhausted and really needed food in me.

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Luckily for me there was an In-N-Out less than a mile from the finish line. I was in heaven. Ever since I started my keto diet my favorite thing after a long run or race was an In-N-Out protein style, animal style burger.

Needless to say, it was delicious. Possibly life changing.

The focus now is this weekend’s races in St. George and Joshua Tree, California. As you might recall I am running both the Snow Canyon Half Marathon and Joshua Tree Half Marathon on Saturday. It will be a great challenge and training for my 100. Plus, there’s the whole part where I’m running my name.

I’ll have more on that later this week.


Weekly Miles

Running Miles — 4.0 miles
Race Miles — 13.1 miles
Walking Miles — 17.46 miles
TOTAL MILES — 34.56miles
Races This Week — The Haunted Half — Provo

October 2017 Miles

Running Miles — 33.69 miles
Race Miles — 52.4 miles
Walking Miles — 89.62 miles
TOTAL MILES — 175.71 miles
Races in September — (4) The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half, Howloween Half, The Haunted Half – Provo

2017 Miles

Running Miles — 415.24 miles
Race Miles — 427.57 miles
Walking Miles — 1117.23 miles
TOTAL MILES — 1960.04 miles
Races done in 2017 — (30) 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, The Hobbler Half, Handcart Days Half, DesNews Half Marathon, Elephant Rock Trail Half Marathon, Run Elevated Half Marathon, Nebo Half, Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, Huntsville Half Marathon, Timp Elk Run, Jordan River Half Marathon, The Haunted Half – SLC, SoJo Half,  Howloween Half and The Haunted Half — Provo.

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InstaReplay: The Haunted Half — Provo

The race season is slowly coming to a hault — and it’s fitting that it ends with one of my favorite races. I love the Haunted Half — it’s a gorgeous race down a beautiful canyon and just a lot of fun. Once again I’ve swept the course — this was my fifth Haunted Half I’ve swept since 2014 — that includes both Provo and SLC.

And, once again, I had a blast. I was joined by Jim and Jill for the entirety of the race and for the last half of the race I helped pace my friend JessicaSue to the finish line. I paced her to the finish line of the Salt Lake last year.

I had a blast and I’ll have a full race report tomorrow or Tuesday, but first, here are all of my race pictures …

We laughed heartedly. #race135 #thehauntedhalf #running @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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HURTS. SO. GOOD. #icebath #race135 #thehauntedhalf #running #ryrpacers @joshruns180 @fight4phat

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RACE #135: The Haunted Half (Sweeper), October 29, 2016. Once again paced and swept one my favorite races! This is my fifth time sweeping a Haunted Half race. It's always an adventure and it's always a party. @jvgabica and @jimgastelum joined me for the party as they wanted to see what this sweeping gig was like. Their character and personalities were much needed as we helped motivate runners toward the finish line. The last half of the race I was able to run with @back_the_blue. I paced her last year at the Salt Lake Haunted Half and can't begin to tell you how proud I was of her this year. She was joined by her husband and friend and she fought through a lot of cramping and pain, but SHE DID IT! She got herself to the finish line and finished her second half marathon! Being a part of moments like these and helping her along the course is why I love pacing. It gives me a complete different perspective than when I solely run for myself. #thehauntedhalf #runtasticevents #race135 #running #ryrpacers @josherwalla @fight4phat

A photo posted by Josh Runs 180 (@joshruns180) on

A different kind of ‘BURN’

IMG_8426Oh, adventures … they’re pretty fun to have sometimes. Especially when go on them with friends. But, the adventure I had on Saturday morning actually wasn’t suppose to happen.

Why? How?

Welp, I totally spaced it and missed my race that I was signed up for, “The Burn.” You know, the race that put on by Extra Mile Racing (EMR) … which I am an ambassador for. Yeah … I suck at life. Or at the very least need a much better planner.


For some reason I thought the race was next weekend. I don’t know how that happened. But, my friends thought it was strange I was going running with them because they thought I was running “The Burn.” Well, I guess not?

I feel bad, not just because I am an ambassador for EMR but also because I was really, really, really looking forward to it. This is the sister run of The Burn that Jill and I ran last November and this one runs UP Suncrest. It’s terribly tough race … and awesome! A great challenge for any runner.


But, don’t worry, I ended getting in a different kind of “BURN” run into Saturday after all. Let me tell you the story …

The group run was planned to be an 11 mile run down Provo Canyon River Trail to our cars at the Riverwoods Shopping Center in Provo. It’s a run I’ve down a couple of times and I’ve down a few races (Provo City, Utah Valley and Provo River Trail) that use part of that route for their courses. It’s quite beautiful, paved and just a great running route.

So we planned on meeting up at 6:30am at the Riverwoods carpool up with my friends Katheryn, Monica, Becky and Maria. Just me and four women. But, it wasn’t as exciting as it would seem for a single guy like me considering they are all married. Soooooooo …


The run down the canyon wasn’t that bad. There were a couple of icy spots, but nothing terrible. Monica and Katheryn sped ahead while Becky, Maria and I pushed up the rear. We weren’t running for pace or speed, just a nice 11 mile run. But, once we got to Vivian Park the River Trail was covered in snow. This usually doesn’t deter runners, but for at least Maria, Becky and I we aren’t big pro snow runners. Heck, you pretty much know my eternal hatred of snow.

It’s not fun.

The five of us got about a mile down the trail until we reached a part of the trail where a little avalanche occurred. So we decided to “just” run back up to the car instead of trudging through the snow and other potential obstacles. So, we turned around, but before I took a selfie to mark the occasion …


The run back up was obviously slower. Katheryn and Monica powered up the canyon much faster than the rest of us. Becky, Maria and I ran a good portion of it, but I think mentally and physically we were just not ready for that kind of undertaking. Even though I was SUPPOSE to be running The Burn that weekend, I know mentally I was in a “hill” mood. Mentally, I was preparing for a nice downhill run.

But, sometimes, miles are miles in the sport of running.


And, that’s what happened. We still got nine miles in for the day and it was a challenge whether we were running up or down the canyon. But, more than that it was just fun. It was fun to run with Becky and Maria, we all have similar senses of humor and we laughed a good chunk of our run. Plus, it’s a rare treat running with Becky these days since she moved to Salem back in September. We used to run all the time when she lived in Salt Lake so it was a lot of fun to run with her again.

After the run we got breakfast from Denny’s. I am glad that I am a good tipper, because whenever I got to a diner (Denny’s, Village Inn, IHOP, etc.) I hardly just order from the menu. I’m that guy that makes special requests. Like, I had a Grand Slam but I ordered them as follows … ahem …

  1. EXTRA crispy hashbrowns with onions, but the cheese not on the hashbrowns, but on top of the dish.
  2. Two egg whites and two regular eggs mixed together and on top of the hashbrowns.
  3. Two sunny side up eggs on top of the eggs and hashbrowns.
  4. Topped with the cheese for the hashbrowns.
  5. Banana on the side.

Yeah, luckily the waitress was more than willing to accommodate my primadonna requests. And, I tipped her well as I told her before I ordered. But, I have to say, nothing beats hashbrowns and eggs after a run. It’s a perfect ratio of protein and carbs. But, more than that it was fun to spend the time at breakfast with awesome friends.


Now that I have my weekend free next weekend. LAME. I trying to figure out a good run for next weekend. I probably will stay close to home, so depending on the weather I might just run Bountiful. I have a few nice hilly routes around town that are fun and a good workout.

But, we’ll see. Maybe I should just go run Suncrest anyway and earn myself some more hashbrowns? That sounds like a good plan too.

Oh, how I love running. It can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go. Awwww … I feel like that should be on a greeting card, t-shirt or something.

The goal for next week is to get in another 20 miles for the week. Seems like a good goal. Just trying to stay focused and on track towards a sub-two half marathon! WOOT! WOOT! Here are my numbers thus far this year …

Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015

2015 Training Miles – 15.6 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 4.0 miles
2015 Race Miles – 13.1 miles
2015 Total Miles – 32.7 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 32.7 miles

Oh, and by the way … I also got two new kittens! Callie approved!

RACE RECAP #71: Provo River Trail Half Marathon


It’s kind of hard to imagine that I am 71 races into my 180 goal. I remember the detail to each of those 71 races like they happened yesterday. Each one has taught me a certain lesson, introduced me to new friends and inspired me to keep going. Running has ALWAYS given me more than I expected and sometimes, quite frankly, than I put into it.

This is the race director cutting up Clif Bars on the hood of someone’s car before the race. All I can is … I LOVE THIS GUY!

But, racing and running never ceases to inspire me and motivate me. No matter my mood or current circumstances. And, this race provided me that needed lift. The past couple of weeks after I ran the Deseret News Half have been rather trying for me. I’ve been dealing with a number of stupid little health issues. There was the whole diabeetus scare a few weeks ago, but it’s also been taking my body some time to get used to the steroids I am taking for my low-testosterone. Then I’ve had my thyroid meds tweaked a bit.

Basically, these little things have added up and my body has taken it’s toll reacting to it all. I’ve gained about 15-20lbs. I never wanted to find and I’ve just felt … blah. A tad discouraged and a tad worried that I won’t hit my sub-two goal by Nebo. But, I won’t go more into that, because I am going to share more about that tomorrow. I shared that basically to show you my current frame of mind.

I was a little skeptical about using this port-a-potty? On wheels? Oy. I can just picture myself rolling away on one of these with disastrous results.

I needed this race.

I signed up for this race a couple months ago knowing I was probably the only person from my running friends that would run or pace with me. Looking back now I kinda felt that was inspired, because I needed to be by myself during this race. I needed to be left alone with my iPod playlist, my thoughts and myself. Not to necessarily figure things out, but just to reenergize. Self-reflection has always treated me well and it was great being able to enjoy that during the race.

Now, I’ve had this race on my radar for the past couple of years. I’ve seen it on numerous race calendars and everytime I am tempted to sign up for it … I kinda pass by it for a number of reasons. For one, the website that’s associated with the race is a mess. Being a communications major there are many things on the site that put you off (dead links, old information, etc.) and make you somewhat skeptical of the legitimacy of the event. It really feels like the site is maintained by someone with little to no knowledge about HTML or website knowledge.

#bridalveilfallsselfie #awesome

I hate criticizing seemingly little things like that, but as a runner you want to know that if you sign up for the race they’ll hold it and not run off to Costa Rica. Public image is important. BUT, after talking to a couple of my running friends about the race they informed it was a good little race and that the race director has been doing it for the past 20+ years. Reason enough for me to do it, I guess?

The race itself really is one without any frills. The race director is exactly what you would picture based off the website. He’s doing this race more for the love of running than to just make money. He’s very laid back and just a great guy.

Bridal Veil Falls without me in the picture. I must say it’s very photogenic.

If I didn’t get that sense of his personality I would have been a taken back when he grabbed a box of Clif Bars, cut them in half and dumped them on the hood of a car (not his car, but some random car at the starting line) offering them to runners who wanted them. I snobbish runner within embraced the moment and just laughed. I loved his character and reasons for doing this race. If this happened at a bigger race like Salt Lake City or Big Cottonwood then I would a tad unimpressed.

But, really was, what it was.

Here’s a nice little picture of people running with Timp in the background.

The race wasn’t chipped time, which wasn’t a problem for me. I just went off my Garmin. I was also somewhat familiar with the course because the Provo City Half Marathon follows much of the same course. The whole course follows the Provo River Trail with a little jaunt back up past Bridal Vail Falls to make sure you get the 13.1 miles in for the race.

It really was a beautiful run and one that was perfect to kind of zone out and get lost in thought. The aid stations, which I was worried about, were well staffed and provided both water and Powerade. I brought a couple of gel packs as well which worked out perfect. I was really impressed with the quality of the race based on my incoming perceptions. It was actually quite perfect.

My friend Katie snapped this picture of me crossing the finish line. Thanks Katie!

I finished the 13.1 miles in 2:31:08 which I am happy with. I really just wanted to push it. I knew I would probably struggle a bit (which I did), but I just wanted to give my best (which I did as well). The result gives me hope as I work towards Nebo. I feel like my goal isn’t so much a sub-two then it is to do my best. And, if my best is a sub-two, a PR, a sub-2:10 or a sub-2:20 then I will be extremely happy with that. I still have no doubt that one day my best will be a sub-two. It just might not be in a month.

But, I’m going to prepare for such.

Me and the Hansen Clan after the race. We’re related somehow? Probably through polygamy?

After the race I was also able to meet a few new friends from my running group, which was a great way to end the race. I love meeting new people and making new friends. That to me is the essence of running for me right now. It’s not so much of the mileage as it is the relationships. But, that’s a post for another day as well.

There weren’t any race medals for the finishers, but they did have a spread of pancakes, watermelon and bagels waiting for us which was MUCH appreciated. We did get a cool t-shirt at the finish line and a framed picture of Bridal Veil Falls. I must admit I’ve gotten anything like that after a race, but I really didn’t mind, I was just happy to enjoy the run.

My awesome t-shirt I got from the race. I think it’s a troll? Either way INSTANT AWESOME!

Looking forward … I am excited for the next month of running. This week our running group is running down Big Cottonwood for our last long run for the Big Cottonwood Marathon. Then I am racing the Run Elevated Half Marathon (August 23), Emigration Half Marathon (August 30), Nebo Half (September 6) and then the Big Cottonwood Marathon (September 13). It’s going to be fun and I know with constant racing I’ll also be more consistent and get stronger. Maybe I can get that sub-two sometime in one of my four races in October? We’ll see?

But, instead of getting ahead of myself, I need to remember that it’s one foot in front of other.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 464.75 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 56.65 miles
2014 Race Miles – 254.3 miles
2014 Total Miles – 775.7 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 83.3 miles
July – 93.75 miles
August – 35.5 miles