Race Report: Canyonland Five Mile – Blonde Runner overall 1st place

dsc_0021Race Report: Canyonland Five Mile March 2010 – Moab, Utah

Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner:  Overall First Female

Overall First Female of 729 finishers

Link to official results: http://results.active.com/pages/searchform.jsp?rsID=90234

The weather was still a question as it had rained the day before the race. I checked temperature at 6:30 a.m. on race morning and since it was 33 degrees and clear (and the forecast showed a possible high was 56) I decided to wear shorts, my blue Team Blonde Runner race tank, arm warmers, gloves and my racing flats – no hat. It was a little cold at the start, especially after peeling our warm-ups and tossing our sweat bag into the truck and waiting another half hour for the race to start in while standing in the shade. They finally allowed us to jog down the road to the start and I found a sunny spot to hang out until the start. As I looked around and chatted with many runners at the starting line, I could not identify anyone that I might be able to pace off of and it dawned on me that I might be on my own. Finally the race was off and the lead runners spread out quickly. I ran a very comfortable first mile hitting it in 7 minutes. Considering I was in 8th or 9th place with only men in front of me and no women around me I decided to keep the pace steady instead of pushing it. I ran the hill strong but still was passed by one man, but I passed him back and another man on the other side using the downhill. The pace again was very comfortable…and no other women where around so I decided just to maintain the pace for the next mile. My original goal was to run for time, however I could see by now that was not necessary. I picked it up a bit for the forth mile and I was cheered by many spectators saying “first female – good job.” One man cheering even said “I think you got it” alluding to the fact that there where no other women around me or close. I admit it was difficult to feel really motivated to push the pace, but I decided to picked up the pace for the final mile. I finished as 1st overall female with a time of 35:13 of 729 finishers.


I was pleased to be easily run negative splits; running the second half faster than the first half. I felt really strong and knew I could have ran much faster if I needed too. I felt good about my choice of running attire as it was a very comfortable temperature for runners, but a little chilly for spectators. I was delighted to have my family there cheering for me. It was a pleasure to meet the race director and receive a trophy and I was especially excited about the green embroidered bag they gave me that claimed Canyonlands Five Mile, Women 1st overall 2010. I love usable items!


They also gave all racers a bright green shirt and hat at the packet pickup/expo the night before. Great safety color – I can wear it and be seen. Love it! After the race I cheered in several friends including Julie Thomas, a former college team mate, who finished the half as the third place women bettering her last years time by 50 seconds. It was nice to catch up with her on the cool down we ran together. Her husband and children where there too, as this is a traditional race for her. I think this may become that for my family too.


My family enjoyed the little vacation as we swam in the pool at the hotel, went out to eat and visited the rock shop (the boys especially loved this). We even brought our little sugar gliders along for the adventure. We hiked to the delicate arch lookout and enjoyed the beautiful scenery that Moab has to offer. It was a great get away for us. We had a fun time as a family.




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Coach Lora Erickson is an Ironman All-World athlete and certified running and triathlon coach recently competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Africa in 2018. Lora was born and raised in Colorado and was to run for the University and Utah & Utah State University where she obtained a degree in Community Health Education with duel minors in Chemistry and Nutrition. Coach Lora has a true passion for health promotion and loves to share her experiences. Learn more: About Coach Lora Erickson