Race recap: Utah Valley 5K 2021

First race back in 15 months!

It was absolutely surreal. Some of the race weekend felt like any other normal race weekend. However, it’s difficult to grasp how COVID is still surging in other places around the world. I am so lucky to have had both doses of my vaccine through my work at the university.

My habits certainly changed since March 2020. I prefer to drive to my destinations rather than fly, which inherently limits how far I am willing to travel. I am sure that a flight is in my near future, since I plan to travel to Seattle for the Rock n Roll race!

Anyhow, it was interesting to see how easy it was to really fall back into the groove of racing. I’ve been traveling back and forth between home and our new Airbnb in New Mexico, so I had been living out of a suitcase for a few months now. My suitcase has been mostly packed for months with running gear, casual clothes, pajamas, etc. The only extra things I needed to pack were race gear, like my race belt, hat, gaiter, snacks, etc.

We drove in from Denver on Friday morning, driving the south route to Provo. It was incredibly hot AND humid, which to me is worse than just being hot. The air quality was okay on Friday night (as evidenced by the beautiful blue skies in the photos I snapped).

The 5K start wasn’t too crowded. There weren’t any corrals but folks seem to have self-seeded themselves. The faster ones lined up front, the walkers lined up in the back. Everyone was polite…no sharp elbows and cutting people off like pre-COVID days.

I was coming off a fresh batch of meds which had slowed me down significantly. It’s not just slow though…I’m sluggish and tired. Everything requires much more effort. It feels like I’m carrying two suitcases everywhere I go. Since the meds haven’t worked themselves out of my system yet, I was still feeling all the side effects. So, not only did the humidity and heat drag me down, but also my endocrine system!

The route itself was really straightforward and easy to follow. It was well marked, with plenty of walkers so that I would not lose my way. No rough spots…all paved. There was one grassy area that we ran through to get into the park itself that was not paved, so perhaps that’s something to look out for next time. There were a few water/nuun stations along the way, so carrying hydration was not required. However, I do it out of habit!

I was glad to have re-entered the racing scene with such a small race and field. I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a two-fer race weekend!

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