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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Race: Draper Days 5K (3.107 Miles) 00:17:14, Place overall: 17, Place in age division: 3
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the Draper Days 5 K in 17:14, 17th place overall and 3rd master, $25. There is something special about a 5 K road race at 4500 feet on a certified loop course with some hills where breaking 15:00 is not enough to win, breaking 15:10 is not enough to be in the open money, and breaking 17:00 does not get you into the top 10 while there are only a little over 200 finishers. This is Fast Running Blog officially the most competitive road 5 K in Utah - at least I do not know of others. This our Carlsbad 5 K minus the mass participation. 

I brought Benjamin with me to the race. We warmed up about a mile together along with Steve Ashbaker, and then the race started. 

Everybody started very fast. Then some younger runners slowed down creating a roadblock of sorts. Benjamin and I worked our way through the crowd and about half a mile into the race caught up to Steve Ashbaker and Steve Anderson. Once we did, either they joined us or we joined them - it was probably mutual - we slowed down some and they sped up some. We worked together for some time. The mile at the official marker which I believe was accurate was 5:22. The first mile appears to be a slight uphill. I felt just right. In the second mile my legs started to feel more tired. Ben Van Beekum passed us. I tried to hang with him, but I could feel that my legs lacked the strength. I missed the mile 2 split, but Benjamin remembers the split being 10:43 which would have given us 5:21 for the downhill mile. In the meantime we were gradually closing the gap on Walter who was maybe 15 seconds ahead at the mile. He being the master was a target for me and Steve.

In the third mile, which is a slight uphill, my legs started to give out more as the competition including Steve Ashbaker began to pull away. I signaled to Benjamin to pass me and go after them. He took off quite energetically. Walter won the masters with 17:03, Steve was second in 17:10 with me third with 17:14. Benjamin, however, was ahead of both of them finishing in 17:01. I thought - how funny - the people I could not beat I sent my son to beat :-) 

I was not unhappy about my time - this is an improvement compared to Murray Fun Days, but I was much happier about Benjamin's. 17:01 in a road 5 K on an honest course at altitude is quite solid for a 14 year old boy.

Josh McGabe won overall with 14:53, then Teren 14:59, Riley 15:04, Jake 15:09, and Scott Keate 15:25 for the top 5.

I ran total of 12. Jenny did 4, Julia 3, Joseph 3, Jacob 2, William 0.5, Benjamin 8. 


Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Steve on Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:13:16 from

Good run Sasha. Must be fun to be out there with your son

From Jake K on Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 07:56:00 from

Good race Sasha. Benjamin has got you in the 5K now :-) But its great that you two can work together for the first 2/3rds of the race - your experience with pacing and his finishing speed is a good combination.

From MarkP on Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 10:45:08 from

Nice race! There is a lot of enjoyment watching your kids succeed. Way to win some $!

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