Breaking the Wall

February 20, 2020

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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: 81.04 Year: 418.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 10.5. Benjamin did 3, Andrew and Logan 5, Jenny 4, William 0.5, Joseph 3, Jacob 2. Drove to Cedar City with Benjamin for the Utah Summer Games.

P.M. Benjamin ran 800 in the Utah Summer Games in 2:16.25 missing the official Utah State Youth record by 1.74 seconds. The official record belongs to Eli Oftedal and is 2:14.51. However, the Utah Summer Games record is listed as 2:11.00 by Sam Hoyal in 1993. I contacted USATF about the discrepancy, and what we were able to figure out is that in 1993 Utah Summer Games was not sanctioned by USATF, thus the record was not official.

Regardless, I was happy with Benjamin's performance. The temperature was 100 F. When we got out of the van I told Benjamin he would gain an appreciation for J. Golden Kimball's "If I had a choice to go to St. George or to hell, I'd go to hell". We did a trick though. We brought the vehicle with the best A/C system of the ones we own. So Benjamin sat in the van until it was time to warm up. He jogged for 5 minutes, then did 2 strides. Back in the van to cool off for 5 minutes, and out to the start of his race.

They combined the Youth division with everybody younger, and the other heat had everybody older. This was unfortunate because that resulted in Benjamin running alone.

His opening lap was 65.5, and he closed with 70.6 on my watch - 2.16.1 total. Official time was slower likely due to automatic timing which is always a little slower than hand timing. Ironically, our blogger Eric Lambert who is 15 and with whose family we are staying ran the race as well in the other heat and finished in 2:16.29 with the opening lap of 62. Had they been in the same heat we might have seen Eli's record go down with them duking it out in the last 200.

The good news is that they are scheduled to run in the same heat tomorrow.

Later in the evening I ran 5 miles with Eric.




Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
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