I'm retired from racing. Really.

Top of Utah 1/2 marathon

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesJon's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!



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:


Enjoy running, stay fit (and maybe lose a few pounds)

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: 0.00 Month: 26.00 Year: 735.00
Fastwitch Lifetime Miles: 82.50
Trail N1 Lifetime Miles: 86.50
Road N1 Lifetime Miles: 31.00
Trail M2 Lime/black Lifetime Miles: 211.00
Road N2 Black And Green Lifetime Miles: 272.00
Road N2 3 Grey Lifetime Miles: 112.50
Road M3 Black And Blue 2 Lifetime Miles: 65.50
Race: Top of Utah 1/2 marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:11:45, Place overall: 6, Place in age division: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles

AM- Top of Utah 1/2 marathon today.  I want to first brag about Marci.  She ran this race in 2005 in 2:21, and was doubting if she could beat her time.  She crushed it in 1:49:58, finishing in the top 20% of all finishers!  Good job, babe!

I have done this race more than any other (5 of the past 7 years) and really use it as the primary means to gauge my fitness.  I have gotten faster every year, though my places have gotten steadily worse (2003 1:16:49 3rd, 2005 1:15:36 1st, 2007 1:14:12 3rd, 2008  1:11:37 5th).  Last year was a great race for me, one of those days where everything clicked and I felt amazing.  I have put in more miles this year so was hoping to be near or faster than last year.

Caught an early bus with Marci and I ran down to the secret elite staging area/private bathroom (a nearby picnic area).  I had it to myself for 45 minutes as I jogged around, stretched next to the river, and repeatedly used the bathroom.  It was a peaceful scene before the coming chaos.  Jogged to the start and saw quite the stacked race- lots of guys from the circuit (Taren, Seth, Nathan Hornock, Aleksander, Albert Wint, Joe Wilson) plus a big FRB crew- Paul, Cody, Adam, Walter, Scott, Matt, Allie, et al).  They told us pre-race that we had to run in the right lane down the canyon rather than running the tangents, which I would guess added at least 20 seconds to the times.  They have never made that request before.  Weather was nice- mid-50's, overcast.

The race finally started and we quickly sorted into our places.  Walter and I ran near each other for a few miles before he dropped back, leaving me alone in 7th place, with only Nathan and Albert in view, plus occastional footsteps behind.  I ran the whole race this way, ~10-40 seconds behind Nathan and Albert.  Splits down the canyon were 5:20, 5:27, 5:29, 5:28 (worried that my splits were too slow here), 5:18, 5:17 (that's a bit better- 10k split of 33:25, which is close to my PR and 45 seconds faster than Des News 10k last month), 5:19.  Felt good with just slight sideaches down the canyon- I didn't seem to have a faster gear that was there last year, but it wasn't incredibly hard to maintain this pace.  We had a moderate tailwind for a few miles at the bottom of the canyon, though not as strong as I hoped.

I hit Hollow Road and I finally had put a gap on everyone behind me.  The road flattens out a bit, with splits of 5:30, 5:33, and 5:36.  Mile 10.5-12 climbs a bit, then mile 13 downhill to the finish.  Nathan and Albert had steadily increased their lead to about 35 seconds, when all of a sudden I noticed Albert starting to come back to me after mile 10, though he was still a long ways ahead.  Mile 11 was 5:42, total time of 1:00:03.  I remembered being at 59:59 last year at this point, so just a hair behind.  Albert was coming back even more, and I caught him just after mile 12 (5:51), moving into 6th overall.  I did my best to convince him to drop by running a 5:20 for mile 13 and 30 seconds for the last bit.  Total time was 1:11:46, 3 seconds ahead of Albert, 90 seconds behind Nathan, and 9 seconds slower than my PR. 

All in all I am satisfied with my race.  Last year was an amazing, A+ type race.  This year was more normal, maybe an A-, and I was only 9 seconds back.  I'm sure I would have PR'ed if we could have run tangents, but that doesn't really matter.  All in all, this is probably a better relative performance, plus I wasn't ever straining and never felt overly tired, which is a good sign for TOU in 3 weeks.  I will say I think I am near my limit for this race- it may be possible for me to break 1:11, but I think I have pretty much maxed out my results.  I'm not sure if I'll do it again, since I plan to focus on trail races after TOU this year.  It is a great race that has grown phenominally in both numbers and competition- my winning time from 2005 would have put me in 15th place today.

I didn't get to stay around to talk as much as I would have liked with all the FRB-ers but there were some great performances- Paul(!!!), Adam, Cody, Walter, Matt, Scott, Allie... the list is long.  Sorry I didn't get to see all of you more, especially the SLC guys Adam and Walter.  But congrats to everyone today. 

Tangent 3 Miles: 20.00
Weight: 0.00
From allie on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 14:16:20 from

nice race today. looking on track for TOU. i finally saw the green shorts!

From Superfly on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 14:22:21 from

Solid race Jon. Looking forward to seeing you PR in the full. Keep it up man. Good job to Marci too. That's great!

From RivertonPaul on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 15:14:53 from

Nice job Jon. Enjoy the in-laws.

From Adam RW on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 16:38:39 from

Nice job Jon. Considering everything that has gone on this year and the mileage you have in your legs right now to be so close to your PR is great. I'm really looking forward to what you will do at TOU fully tapered.

From paul on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 18:01:10 from

Nice job. Although you didn't run faster than last year, I think you may be more primed to run a PR marathon this year. It's just a different kind of fitness. That fact that you didn't feel too exerted during the race points toward the idea that you'll run better as the distance gets longer. Bodes well for February as well.

From Dave S on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 20:42:27 from

Great race. looks like you're ready for a great run in 3 weeks. Congrats to Marcie.

From Holt on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 22:49:52 from

Very nice Jon. Good job.

From Mattrow on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 23:07:17 from

Nice race. If you are not at the front you can run tangents, I did.

From MarkP on Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 23:11:54 from

Its crazy how competitive all these Utah races are getting. Great job!

From redrooster on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 00:03:59 from

Jon, great race, and congrats to Marci too, sorry I missed you today, a hectic day for me too going down to provo shortly after the race. I did see you at the start but never got a chance to say hi. hope we can do a trainng run soon! Scott

From Nan Kennard on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 00:12:38 from

Nice! Looks like you are definitely set up to PR in the Full! Go Jon!

From sam Dean-Howard on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 08:36:26 from

excellent race well done happy days eh :-)

From Dustin on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 10:35:59 from

Great Job Jon. Nice to see you keep getting faster on this course. I need to come up and run it sometime. I enjoy halves much more than full marathons. Hobble Creek and Bryce are nice, don't think I'll do Provo Half in the near future, so maybe next year I'll have to come up.

From Twinkies on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 10:41:13 from

Very nice race. You will be flying down that canyon during the full. Good luck.

From c h a d on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 10:48:57 from

Great race to both you and Marci, Jon. Your running versatility (trails, roads .. he does it all) is impressive. Keep it up!

From Burt on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 11:31:25 from

I can't believe the race directors didn't give you a good tail wind. When I ran the race on 2007, they promised and delivered a good tail wind. What is this race coming to?

From redrooster on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 11:32:34 from

great quotes by our own Jon Allen here!!!!! way to promote our local races Jon, you are a great ambassador for the sport and an amazing role model. Scott


From Kelli on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 14:33:24 from

Very nice race and congrats to Marci, that is quite an amazing finish and PR for her!

Best of luck at the full in 3 weeks!

From Ashbaker on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 16:15:12 from

Good run Jon! I think your legs just need more time to bounce back from the mileage and racing is all. What you describe sounds all to familiar.

From jtshad on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 19:10:09 from

Great race for you and Marci!

From Cody on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 23:22:39 from

You are a man on a mission! You will be in a great position to destroy your marathon PR. I am getting excited for you already...

From James on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 00:29:35 from

Nice race buddy! Wish I could have been there for you to kick my butt!

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 18:04:44 from

I think you have quite a bit more in you than a high 1:11 on this course. Just the fact alone that you could race DesNews 10 K in 34:06 with an all out effort indicates that something was out of whack a month ago. It is not likely that you'd hit your limit or even anywhere close a month after being that much out of whack.

Not to mention business trips, sickness, and trail races. The first two hurt everything. The trail races kill half speed.

I have some ideas on what needs to happen to get faster in the 5 K to marathon range. First, you need to find a way to be healthy. Eat a consistently healthy diet. Find loopholes in your work schedule to sleep. Learn to trap pending illnesses early, ease off on the training when you feel those signs.

Second, you have very good top end speed, and very good aerobic base. But you are lacking the bridge. What I would do is start with a 100 meter time trial to determine base speed. I think you'd get about 12.8, which is good enough. Then make sure you can run 200 in 25.5, 26.0 at the slowest. Then work on 55 second quarter. Then 2:00 800. Then 4:20 mile, 9:20 2 mile, and sub-15:00 5 K.

The idea is that you find the drop-off point on the distance/speed graph where all of a sudden you are off the charts in the negative direction as the distance increases, and work on extending the speed at that particular point. Then move on to the next point until you get to the marathon.

From Cody on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 18:20:48 from

I wonder if Jon will even do another road marathon after TOU? I doubt it. He seems more interested in taking the leap into trail racing and ultras full time. If I am right, Jon's mile and even 5K speed are pointless. Yes, his speed defines his true potential (quality X or whatever) in whatever distance, but ultras are a different animal (yes it is still considered running) and if he does "give up" road racing all of that wont matter. He has plenty of speed to keep up with the big boys in the mountains. He would just need to train more specifically for the mountains and technical trails.

That said, I agree with Sasha's assessment that Jon is out of whack. Isn't that what he said? ;)

From paul on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 18:27:47 from

I also agree that there is something funny about Jon.

From Jon on Sun, Sep 06, 2009 at 00:41:46 from

Gee, thanks Cody and Paul, for the vote of confidence ;)

Sasha- thanks for the thoughtful write up. I would say Des News was the end of a long week/month for me and was an off day, nothing major out of whack. I'm sure I could improve my speed- I think my official mile PR is 4:53? from college. And I set my 5k PR earlier this year without too much trouble, with minimal speedwork. But it is still relatively slow versus other races. However, I think it was my first non-Striders 5k in 3 years. Why? I guess I'm not interested in doing them. Heck, I think my shortest speedwork was 1600m repeats this year.

Like Cody said, I really plan to convert to all trail races after TOU, unless I do horrible. I would like to feel like I meet at least most of my road marathon potential and leave it at that (2:30-2:35ish, not 2:40). I enjoy trails much more and do better on them, so that is where you will find me in the future. I'm sure I'll do some road races, but emphasis will be on trails. Wish me luck.

From Sasha Pachev on Tue, Sep 08, 2009 at 20:39:19 from

Jon - I do not believe it is possible to max out your marathon without maxing out your 5 K first, or at least bringing it close. Here is how I see it. Imagine a metal chain. One end of the chain is your 100 meter speed. The other end is your marathon. Since metal does not stretch a whole lot, if your 100 meter end of the chain is low, the marathon end can only rise so far. Additionally, if you let any of the middle portions of the chain drop too low, even if the 100 meter end is where it should be it still significantly limits how high you can raise the marathon end.

There is a reason Ritz put enough emphasis on the 5000 to break 13:00 even though his eventual goal is the marathon.

From Jon on Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 15:55:49 from

Thanks, Sasha. I understand what you are saying. I'm not sure I'll ever work much on my 5k speed, though, since I'll mainly be doing trail runs. But I'll have to work on it if I ever try for sub-2:30.

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
Web fastrunningblog.com
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):