Breaking the Wall

Orem 6th Ward Fun Run

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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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1438.17
Race: Orem 6th Ward Fun Run (2 Miles) 00:10:55, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Our family ran in the Orem 6th Ward Fun Run today. The course was 2 miles. I was in charge of measuring the course, so I can vouch for its accuracy. It was also marked every quarter mile. The course had certain restrictions - it needed to start and finish at a particular location, and we needed to keep away from major traffic, so with those limitations I could not make it fast - it had some serious hills with grades reaching 6% for stretches 100 meters and longer, and one nasty bump with a 9% grade fortunately only 30 meters long, but quite a rhythm breaker.

We had a family goal to average under 15:00 minutes among me, Sarah, Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, and Jacob. So a 40 year old father, 37 year old mother of eight with a 5 month old baby, a 14 year old boy, 12 year old girl, 10 year old girl, 8 year old boy, and a 6 year old boy trying to average 7:30 per mile pace over 2 miles. For each individual category you can find a runner that can go much faster than the target pace, but the challenge is to have them be in the same immediate family. There are some challenges - by the time all the children have been born and grown enough to run 2 miles at a good pace, can you preserve the father and the mother sufficiently that they will not kill the average? That is what made the challenge fun.

Benjamin and I worked together trading quarters. There was another 14 year old boy named Logan in our ward that followed us, but he made it to about 600 meters. After that we were alone. Our splits were 77 (down), 81 (down), 76 (down with the bump), 80 (down, but feeling that 76 with the bump now) - this brought us to the mile in 5:14. Then after 180, 85 (up, recovering from the broken rhythm of the 180), 88 (this one had 100 meters of 3% grade and 200 of 6% climb), then 84 on a slight up. At this point I was struggling, while Benjamin maintained the pressure. With a quarter to go he dropped me and ran the last quarter on a slight uphill in 78 finishing in 10:49, last mile in 5:35. I had no kick and could only manage another 84 finishing second in 10:55. Logan was third in around 12:55 or so.

Then we ran back to finish with the younger children. Joseph finished 4th overall in 14:33. Jenny was the first woman and 5th overall in 14:45. Then Jacob, 6th overall, 14:51, and Julia 7th overall and the second woman in 14:55.

Then we ran back and found Sarah. She ran with her friend Shelly. Shelly kicked and finished in 17:30. Sarah got 17:35. So this gave us the average of 14:03 - almost a minute faster than our goal!

Then we realized that our 4-year-old William was gone. He was not supposed to start the race, but he saw everybody run, so he just started running. So Benjamin, Jenny, and I went on the course to find him. We did. He was picked up by Jenny's friend Anna, and was walking/running with her and stopping for a drink or to mess around whenever he felt like. We joined them. He ended up covering two miles in 33 minutes. 

Then Benjamin and I ran a cool down, and then I added some more miles throwing in a pickup for 0.5 at 5:55 pace just to test the level of fatigue and made it 15.7 total. 

So Benjamin ended up with a total of 8, Jenny 3, Julia 2.5, Jacob 2.5, Joseph 2.5, and William who knows, but at least 1.5 of running I would guess. 

Green Crocs 5 Miles: 15.70Schwinn Double Stroller Miles: 1.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
From Dave Taylor on Mon, Jun 03, 2013 at 22:16:53 from

That's so great about William! I bet he had a blast. See you tomorrow!

From Tara on Tue, Jun 04, 2013 at 17:39:26 from

What a great example of hard work paying off, even in a church run. A family that runs together, stays together;)

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