I'm retired from racing. Really.

Wahsatch Steeplechase

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Member Since:

Feb 24, 2007



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I also maintain a blogspot running blog. Check it out. 

5k- 16:01, 1/2 marathon- 1:11:37, marathon- 2:34:16, 50k- 3:58, 100 mile- 15:19

Former World Record holder in 100 x 5k relay 

Ultra history:

8-100 mile, 1-100k, 9-50 mile, 2-40 mile, 14-50k-ish

12 wins, 5 CR's, plus four 2nd, five 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 16th, 20th, 28th, 38th, and 62nd place, with 1 DNF 

Short-Term Running Goals:


None for now

Long-Term Running Goals:

Unretire at some point

Run a sub-6 hr 50 miler

Win a 100 mile ultramarathon


I have five cute kids. And I have some rockin short green racing shorts- I wear them mainly because it embarrasses my wife so much. I like ultimate frisbee, trail running, reading, and cheering for the Denver Broncos!   And I have the absolute best wife in the world.  And I used to run for the now-disbanded national Team Pearl Izumi- Ultra!

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 16.50 Month: 83.50 Year: 512.50
XT Wings 3 Lifetime Miles: 235.00
Fastwitch Lifetime Miles: 82.50
Peak Lifetime Miles: 282.00
Trail N1 Lifetime Miles: 86.50
Road N1 Lifetime Miles: 31.00
Stinson Lifetime Miles: 541.50
Fuel 2 (road) Lifetime Miles: 463.50
Trail M2 2 Black Lifetime Miles: 350.50
Trail M2 3 Lifetime Miles: 421.60
Trail N2 2 Orange Lifetime Miles: 237.50
Road M3 Black And Blue Lifetime Miles: 458.00
Road M2 3 Orange Lifetime Miles: 104.50
Race: Wahsatch Steeplechase (17.5 Miles) 02:34:00, Place overall: 8
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles

Note: For anyone who has never seen the crags, I found a few pictures of me running them here and here, and of some random people climbing down them here and here.

Wahsatch Steeplechase- I almost did this race 4 years ago and ran the uphill as training, but this was my first time racing it, and first time seeing the downhills.  I stayed at Chad's house last night and got caught up with him- thanks for letting me crash there, Chad, and I hope everything works out with all happening in your life.  Only slept about 4 hours, normal pre-race jitters.  At the start I met Fritz and said Hi to Twinkie.  The weather was absolutely perfect- 50 deg, overcast, no rain till after I was finished.  After talking to Chad and after zero hill training for 3 months, my strategy was to go moderate on the ups and downs, saving my energy for the flat 6 miles at the end.

A group of 6 went out very fast, inc. Fritz.  I was in the second group with Karl Jarvis and Dominick Layfield (knew them both from last year).  Moderate pace out with a bit of walking on the steep uphills.  The last mile uphill is a doozy, with 21% avg grade.  Umm, yeah, that's pretty much a slow slog.  It finally ended at mile 8 and we hit the crags- some very rocky, often technical rocks.  I knocked out my two front teeth as a teenager jumping on rocks like this (toe caught as I was jumping 3 feet down- landed headfirst- knocked out cold and buggered up my teeth [and brain, if you ask Marci]), and so am always somewhat cautious on rocks like that.  The crags went for a mile and I probably lost 1-2 minutes on Karl and Dominick.  Never saw them again. 


Then the downhill starts.  You can't really call it a trail for much of the downhill, maybe a faint deer trail.  Some of it was very runnable, but much was far, far too steep, and also very overgrown with bushes.  And mud.  And more bushes.  I call it the suicide downhill.  I was stepping on bush stems which were slick, occasionally falling.  I probably lost another couple minutes here and got passed by 2 more guys who were much more kamikaze than I was.  I barely broke 12 min mile due to the 1250 ft elevation loss and very technical footing- yep, almost walking speed.  They had even strung some rope at a few points for safety, and they certainly were needed.  As Fly noted, "This section is described as '2.5 miles of quad-burning, gut-wrenching, knee-breaking downhill on an overgrown, root-infested single-track trail...' I'd add that it was also wet and slick."  I agree with Fly, except that I seriously question the liberal use of the word "trail".

But then at mile 11 we hit City Creek Canyon and 2 miles of glorious downhill on a road.  I was about 6 min pace, with some portions being 5:30- my quads felt strange at first from the previous down, but quickly firmed up.  I was happy with my pace and figured I would eat up a few runners.  At mile 12 you jump onto a very nice, runnable, smooth singletrack for about 3 miles.  It undulates a bit, with just enough uphill to remind you that your legs are, indeed, very tired.  Finally passed one of the kamikaze downhill guys, which I thought put me back into 10th place.  More down on road and singletrack- I spotted one more runner with only a half mile to go, so really pushed hard and passed him with a few hundred yards to go.  Felt tired but still running strong at the end, which I'm very happy with.

I wanted 2:25-2:35, so my 2:34 is good.  I can definitely improve at least 2-4 minutes just by being familiar with the course, plus can improve my fitness- I am definitely not near peak racing form yet.  I really enjoyed this course and will be back.

Splits (will fill in later):











Easy start





Nice singletrack up















Running in 7th










Big, big uphill- walk the whole mile





The crags- really slowed me down





Suicide downhill.  And that's an understatement





Still steep down





Finally hit runnable downhill on pavement





Still fast





Beautiful rolling singletrack





Still singletrack





And more





Back on the road


 1:58 (5:48 pace)



Push to the finish

XT Wings Miles: 19.00
Weight: 0.00
From josse on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 14:05:17 from

Great job, those crags are a killer. I made some guys help me on them cause I was a wuss.

From allie on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:31:21 from

great job on the race today. it sounds like a tough course, but it's good to hear you had fun. well done.

From crockett on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 15:32:28 from

Wow, way to go. Very impressive! That is one tough course. Maybe I'll see you at Logan Peak if Big Horn doesn't kill me next weekend.

From Cody on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 18:18:36 from

Very solid race Jon! Glad you didn't bugger up your brain any further. No need to expound on that...

Well done.

From JimF on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 19:39:36 from

Great race on what sounds like a very difficult course. Good start to the trail racing season!

From paul on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 20:00:57 from

Nice job Jon, glad you had a good experience. Now go enjoy a brurger.

From Holt on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 20:27:40 from

Umm... I will probably NEVER come run this with you! I am tired of killer hills (up and down). Awesome job - and glad you kept your teeth!

From jtshad on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 20:27:46 from

Wow, what a race! Congrats on the strong finish. I am glad you ran that one, you trail fiend!

From Predog on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 20:29:25 from

good job! that race sounds like a lot of fun even if the course is a beast. I guess that's the appeal of it though. Maybe I'll do one of those next year or something.

From redrooster on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 20:50:30 from

nice job! Hey, I stopped in at St George Running Center on way to Carlsbad and talked to Steve, told him you were doing the race today. He was impressed. get some rest tonight!

From Mattrow on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 22:02:34 from

We need to change your name to mountain goat.

From c h a d on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 22:23:27 from

Great race, Jon! It was nice catching up with you. I am glad you had good weather conditions. Knowing the course goes a long way, you'll smoke it next time for sure. This was a great start to another big summer of racing.

From Adam RW on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 22:47:15 from

Jon, Very glad to see you met your time goal and that the rain held out until this afternoon. It sounds like there was some stiff competition out there. Great job!

From JD on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 23:09:00 from

Good race! That's a fun course. Enjoyed your report.

From jun on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 23:27:59 from

Amazing splits. That was a great time you had. Nice job. Congrats on the 8th place.

From Twinkies on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:46:39 from

Nice race Jon. You ran smart and did great. Your splits the last five miles are awesome after the grind on those hills.

From Dave S on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 16:24:28 from

Great race. That sounds like a tough course but it sounds fun. I'm going to have to try some trail racing.

From Jon on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:26:42 from

Thanks, everyone. I highly recommend the race, plus trail races in general. I'm trying to convert everyone!

From Jason McK on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 12:51:59 from

Crags look fun! I don't know about racing them, though.

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