Wow, has it really been a month since this race happened?! A lot has been going on lately and I've been getting really behind with these race updates, but I wanted to share a quick recap on how the Timp Half went (short answer: it was amazing!).
I had signed up for this race solo and so far in advance that I almost forgot about it until I started getting reminder emails less than a month out. On the day of the race—Saturday, July 28th—I woke up early at 3 a.m., ate breakfast and Geof (and Izzy pup) drove me to the bus boarding area at American Fork High School, which was about a forty minute drive away from home. I boarded the bus around 4:20 a.m. and arrived at the start at Tibble Fork Reservoir at 4:50 a.m. It was pretty dark out and there was a yoga session going on to warm up runners for the race. I felt a bit tired so I didn't partake, but instead, sat on the concrete, took a bathroom break, dropped off my gear check bag and waited for the race to begin.
The race started at 6 a.m. and it was just starting to get light out. It was the prettiest running down the canyon, with the most spectacular views of the mountains and pine trees, combined with scent of the dewy morning. I just admired the scenery and wished I had my phone so I could take photos. The first 7.5 miles were all down American Fork Canyon and it was perfect—a little bit of a breeze and no sun. I felt good and with the downhill, it was easy to do fast miles. It felt like this portion whizzed by. I have been doing more trail running and not so much road, so I had no idea how my legs would respond to a road race, but they did just fine!
After the canyon, the course leveled out and transitioned to paved trails and neighborhoods. There were flatter sections with rolling hills (and a small stretch with sprinklers blasting, which was fun to run through!). I had never run this course before and liked not knowing where the next turn would take me. I kind of just zoned out until the end and tried to focus on keeping my legs moving at a comfortably quick pace. Once again, going into this race, I didn't have a true time goal in mind, but went into it wanting to run what felt good to me that day. I felt relaxed and happy to be there.
It got more warm and sunny near the end but I was determined to keep up my pace. I picked it up in the last mile and as I was getting closer to the finish, I could hear the music and crowds. That always puts more pep in my step! A few more turns and I was back at American Fork High School and could see the finish ahead. While running down the chute, I heard someone yell "Go Val!" and that made me so happy. I found out later it was Kelsey (a fellow runner and one of my favorite people that visits the store). I crossed the finish line with a new half marathon PR by almost three minutes. Final chip time—1:41:45.
average pace: 7:46
I loved this whole race. I felt good about being able to keep a consistent pace throughout and pushing when I was getting tired. With harder efforts, I don't usually enjoy eating right after, so I only had some water and electrolytes at the finish, retrieved my gear bag, watched some more runners come in and met back up with Geof and Izzy. I lined up at the results station to print out my official results (where I found out my chip time and that I was 9th out of 102 in my age group!).
Though I've been loving trail running more and want to get into more trail races, I would run the Timpanogos Half again. I think a road race is super good to work on your speed and see your improvement. I also loved the weather. Since the race was so early, the temperatures remained in the 60°s and 70°s the entire run (the crisp air and coolness of the canyon in the summer was the best!). The race was also organized so well!
What are your favorite road races?