Breaking the Wall

January 20, 2021

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Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  


Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.


I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie


Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 188.26 Year: 188.26
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1359.62
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2016-07-29 08:35:44
Workout Totals: Distance10.450Time1:34:07.00Pace9:00.38
Today Benjamin raced in the 3000. He got 3rd place in 17-18 division with 8:53.73. This was a significant moment in our family history. I have wanted to break 9:00 in 3000 on the track, but never could. As a teenager I thought of 9:00 as a standard of excellence. While I could not achieve that, Benjamin did today.

The video of the race is available here.

I recorded his splits by the quarter with the Fast Running Friend - they are below. His official splits by the quarter starting at the 200 mark:

33.409 (33.409) 1:42.667 (1:09.258) 2:53.676 (1:11.009)
4:07.395 (1:13.719) 5:18.178 (1:10.783) 6:31.922 (1:13.744)
7:44.940 (1:13.019) 8:53.730 (1:08.790)

By 1 K - 2:53, 3:01, 2:59, so quite solid.

From the start Benjamin let Hunter Lucas go, which perhaps was correct, as I do not think he would have lived through a 4:31 opening 1600, and battled back and forth with Alexander Hirsch with Patrick Sicurello on their tail a couple of seconds back for most of the race.

Alexander passed Benjamin shortly before 400 to go and gapped him a bit. Patrick passed him with 200 to go, but Benjamin shifted gears in the last 100 and regained his position as third. He did not catch Alexander, though.

Additionally, in order to be third, he had to beat Nic Caruso's time from the second heat. Nic had a slow mark of 9:31 due to bronchitis and was thus put in a slower second heat, but he is an 8:46 guy. He was still not 100% at the race, but he managed to run 8:54 solo. Benjamin did beat that thanks to the final push and ended up third after Hunter Lucas (8:45), and Alexander Hirsch (8:52).

Running wise, we did what we could - Benjamin and I got in 10 miles, other kids expect Joseph ran their usual distances. Joseph did only 2 as he was racing the next day.
Leg 1:Distance2.000Time17:01.00Pace8:30.50
With Joseph, Jacob, and William at the Hornet Stadium.
Leg 2:Distance0.500Time4:29.30Pace8:58.60
With Jacob at the Hornet Stadium.
Leg 3:Distance0.000Time8:53.90Pace0:00.00
Benjamin's 3000 - quarter splits
Split 1:Distance0.000Time1:07.30Pace0:00.00
Split 2:Distance0.000Time1:10.10Pace0:00.00
Split 3:Distance0.000Time1:13.30Pace0:00.00
Split 4:Distance0.000Time1:11.10Pace0:00.00
Split 5:Distance0.000Time1:12.40Pace0:00.00
Split 6:Distance0.000Time1:13.90Pace0:00.00
Split 7:Distance0.000Time1:12.50Pace0:00.00
Split 8:Distance0.000Time0:33.30Pace0:00.00
Leg 4:Distance1.140Time10:09.40Pace8:54.56
With Julia, Jacob, Benjamin, and Stephen.
Leg 5:Distance0.500Time4:00.50Pace8:01.00
With Benjamin, Julia, and Jacob.
Leg 6:Distance1.560Time13:09.80Pace8:26.28
With Julia and Benjamin.
Leg 7:Distance2.000Time15:34.20Pace7:47.10
With Benjamin.
Leg 8:Distance0.250Time2:29.20Pace9:56.80
With Matthew.
Leg 9:Distance2.500Time18:19.70Pace7:19.88

Black Crocs 2 Miles: 10.45
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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