Cursed Realm of the Faceless Ghost

Mountain View Trail Half Marathon

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Member Since:

Apr 07, 2010



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

5K - 17:11 (Cougar Run)

10K - 34:35 (Deseret News)

15K - 57:33 (Utah Running Club)

1/2 - 1:22:26 (Mountain View Trail)

50K - 4:22:31 (Sapper Joe)

Short-Term Running Goals:

Sub-2:45 at Saint George Marathon

Win the Antelope Island half marathon

Long-Term Running Goals:

I'd like to run the Angeles Crest 100 at some point. And I'd still like to go sub-4 at a trail 50k. Other than that, I'm open to suggestions.


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I was a competitive cyclist for years. In 2009, after racing in the Tour of Utah, I decided I had plateaued as a cyclist--I could continue to improve, but I wouldn't break through to a new level. So, I started looking for a new challenge.

I thought that challenge would be mountain biking, but I'm a terrible bike handler. I married Catherine in January 2010 and a couple of weeks later I entered the SLTC Winter Training Series with her. A couple of weeks after that I decided I'd like to run ultras, so I signed up for a couple of 50Ks to get started.

Those first races came and went, with varying results. I was looking forward to running more and possibly pushing into the longer distances, but I injured my knee in June 2010 and I've never been consistently healthy since.

I started law school in August 2010, which meant less time for training. In June 2011, Baby Elliott was born, which meant even less time for training. But she's worth it. 

Baby Nora joined us in October 2013, with the same effect on training as Elliott (who, incidentally, is no longer a baby). 

I (finally) finished school in April 2014 and now I'm an evil corporate lawyer in Salt Lake. I have no illusions that I'll ever get back into the shape that I once was, but I'm perfectly at peace with that. I still have many goals to accomplish and many years in which to do it. 

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Race: Mountain View Trail Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:22:26, Place overall: 2
Total Distance

For the most part, I'm very pleased with how this race turned out. Of course, my friend points out that according to the ultrasignup rankings, I should have won, so take that for what it's worth.

Anyways, Catherine and I have been looking forward to this race for a while. She ran it last year while we were dating, and I drove the support car, so it was fun that we could both run together this year.

The day was almost ruined when we realized Buffalo Jim wasn't wearing his buffalo hat. We expressed our disappointment. Fortunately, he had a valid excuse.  

I lined up on the front row, and I took off at what seemed like a conservative pace, but the adrenaline (and maybe a slight downhill) must have messed with my perception, because after a half mile I saw that we were running at almost 5:30. By the end of the first mile, I was alone with the eventual winner. We must have said something to each other, because I remember him saying something about this being his first trail race and that he decided to run it because it wasn't technical at all.

He pulled away from me a little on a small hill in the third mile, and I decided to let him go. I didn't know if he was faster than me or just going too hard, but I thought I would be foolish to chase him either way. Interestingly, I pulled him back almost immediately on the quick, but moderately technical, singletrack descent to the Mountain View Trail. Right--not a trail runner.

Once we were on the Mountain View Trail, he slowly pulled away from me again, and I quickly realized he probably wasn't coming back, although I never actually lost sight of him. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the runner behind me, which meant I was stuck in an ever-expanding no man's land, which isn't great for the motivation.

The trail itself was harder than I expected. It wasn't technical at all, but there was a gentle headwind and it seemed like we were always running gradually uphill. The result was that I always felt like I was pushing against something and never just cruising along.

For the most part, my effort could best be described as a gradual fade. And when, at about ten miles, I realized that I wasn't going to catch anybody and nobody was going to catch me, I stopped thinking about what I could do and started thinking about what I could get away with. Fortunately, I didn't slow down as much as I thought I did.

I think the winner finished in 1:21:xx. I finished in 1:22:26 and picked up a little cash for it. I guess that makes our times the fastest in the long and illustrious two year history of the race. The third runner (and first woman) finished in 1:27:xx.

It's always humbling to get beat so handily, especially when you don't feel like you could have done much more. And I don't think I could have gone much faster, at least not this year, other than maybe saving a few seconds with some better mental tactics near the end. Next year I'd like to go under 1:20.

This was the first half marathon I've ever run, and the pacing is tricky. I know how hard to go out for something shorter like a 5K, and I know how easy to go out for something longer like a 50K, but 13.1 is a whole different beast. I'll get the hang of it.














6:44 (0.1)

New Balance MT100 Miles: 13.10
Weight: 0.00
From Jon on Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 23:21:58 from

I can't believe that's your first 1/2 marathon! Congrats- and the pacing is easier if it's on road. Sounds like a fun race... but what was Jim's excuse for no buffalo hat?

From catherine on Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 12:08:39 from

Congratulations on a great race. I'm glad we were there together. :)

From Oreo on Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 14:06:10 from

Great job - Faceless. I've wanted to run that race..maybe next yr. Sounds tough! Awesome job on your first 13.1!!

From Faceless Ghost on Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 17:17:35 from

Jon - I wish valid excuse meant good excuse, so I could say something like he donated it to the Make A Wish Foundation, but really he just forgot to take it out of storage.

From Ben VanBeekum on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 23:11:15 from

Hey cool!! You are on the blog also. Seriously great race on Saturday. Good to meet you and to talk to you at the finish for a little bit!!

From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 23:23:11 from

nice racing out there FG. Congrats on winning some cash.

From jun on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 23:34:59 from

Good report. Congrats on 2nd.

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