Breaking the Wall

Draper Days 5K

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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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Race: Draper Days 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:14, Place overall: 12, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2014-07-19 06:30:10
Workout Totals: Distance15.809Time2:01:13.50Pace7:40.09
Draper Days 5 K, 17:14, 12th overall, 1st master, $75.

Benjamin struggled with his soccer piriformis injury, but pulled off 16:36, good enough for 6th overall, and smiting the high schoolers in "the hinder parts" (per Psalms 78:66, "And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts"). Of course it did help that Kramer was pacing his little brother.

Joseph ran 21:37, good enough for 49th overall, and first in the 11 and under division, Jacob 21:43, 51st overall and second in the same division.

Jacob is our first kid to break 22:00 before turning 8, and he did it on a slow course. The course got changed at the last minute and became slower - looking at the results I am going to estimate it on par with the correct version of Murray Fun Days.

The Pachev team consisting of 4 participants ages 41,15,9, and 7 averaged 19:18. I wonder if this is some kind of record. Probably not for any immediate family - four prime-age brothers can easily beat that, but if you throw in the requirement that one of the team members has to be the parent, it has a decent shot, and if you add that all of the children have to be under 16, the chances are greatly improved.

Teren won with 15:15, then Steve Shepherd 15:17, Jason Holt 15:31, Nate Hornok 15:35, Fritz 15:50, then Benjamin after that.

Chad got 18:08.
Leg 1:Distance2.000Time16:09.90Pace8:04.95
Warm-up with Benjamin and Chad.
Leg 2:Distance3.107Time17:12.60Pace5:32.35
The race. My official time was 17:14, not sure how they managed this kind of a difference. If anything I hit the button late. Maybe the chip took its time to register when I crossed the line.
Split 1:Distance0.990Time5:27.40Pace5:30.71
At the start I found Joseph ahead of me and told him to slow down. It took him some time to react. I eventually maneuvered out of the crowd and found a pack with Blake Benion, and other Alta High runners, as well as Mark Payne. I hit the split at the mile post, which was a little off the painted mark - I had 5:30 at the painted mark.
Split 2:Distance2.010Time11:12.30Pace5:34.48
I ended up running in that pack most of the race. Did not see mile marker 2. With Blake's help got away from Mark at around 2.5, but then we gave back the distance by almost taking a wrong turn. Now the race for the master's win was on. At first I thought - just let Mark have it, he's never beaten you in a race, you are old and you've won plenty. Then I told myself - no, that is false charity. If you care that much about him winning, then you need to make him work for it so that his win will mean something to him, and only if he beats you when you are giving it all you have and are not afraid to let it rip and leave it all on the road, only then does he deserve to win. Do not disguise the weakness of your mind with false charity. So I gave a push and put a small gap on Mark, but I knew it would not be enough if things came down to a kick.
Split 3:Distance0.107Time0:32.90Pace5:07.48
Then some help arrived. Earlier we dropped Blake, but his coach Rob Murphy got on his case and told him a high schooler had no business getting outkicked by two masters. That worked and he past me, but not quite yet with full healthy young man speed, so I was able to latch on. This was enough to put a safe gap on Mark. Eventually the young man speed prevailed as he turned it on, but by then I had the momentum and could not be outkicked by another master. I ended up first master with officially 17:14, Mark second with 17:17, Dennis 3rd with 17:34.
Leg 3:Distance5.025Time43:07.80Pace8:34.99
Cool-down with Benjamin and Chad. Paced Joseph and Jacob for part of it.
Leg 4:Distance0.500Time5:15.70Pace10:31.40
Leg 5:Distance1.097Time9:25.00Pace8:35.04
With William.
Leg 6:Distance4.080Time30:02.50Pace7:21.79

Black Crocs Miles: 15.81
Night Sleep Time: 6.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.00
From steve ash on Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 14:55:05 from

Excellent race for you and Benjamin. Congrats Sasha.

From allie on Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 15:41:47 from

i trust your judgement about the course, but i'm curious why you concluded it was slower? i thought it was faster with the elimination of the death hill in the last mile...and possibly more downhill in the second mile?

nice job to all of the pachevs today.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 16:08:46 from


Empirical evidence. There is no way Teren, Steve, Jason, and Nate could possibly finish in the same order with almost the exact same gaps as in Murray Fun Days while underperforming - given there was money on the line in both cases. I have a high degree of confidence that Murray Fun Days was 3.034 - if I am off, I am not off by much.

See my analysis of Murray Fun Days times with adjustments - the top 4 was within 3 seconds today of their adjusted Murray Fun Days time with the exception of Steve who was 8 seconds faster, but this one is actually expected. In the last race he was kicking himself afterwards for not going with Teren and fighting for the win. I have not yet seen his race report, but it would be natural to expect that he would be taking a chance to redeem himself, thus resulting in a faster time, and 8 seconds sounds just about right.

From MarkP on Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 21:16:37 from

Wow, that's an incredible family race time. My 7 year old ran the Murray 5K in 26 minutes with little training . I'm looking forward to him pursuing it much like your kids.

It was a good race today and I hope to be a little closer at the next one!

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