Breaking the Wall

Wedding Bell's 5 K Relay

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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: 211.63 Year: 851.13
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: 1679.47
Race: Wedding Bell's 5 K Relay (3.107 Miles) 00:17:45, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Allie and James decided to prepare for their wedding by putting on a race as if the wedding itself was not enough of a hassle already. They came up with a great idea - race 5000 meters on the track with a team of up to 25 runners each running a multiple of 200 meter segments with the runners being allowed to run multiple non-consecutive legs. This created a rare opportunity for our entire family to participate. We split it like this: starting with Stephen (22 months old, 200 meters), then William (3 years, 200), Sarah (the mother of the running children 3 months pregnant with her eighth, 200), Jacob (5 years old, 200), Joseph (7, 200), Julia (9, 200), Jenny (11, 200), after than I alternated with Benjamin (13 years old) every 400 meters with me running 5 of those, and Benjamin 4. 

Stephen was the reason we were able to break 18:00. In practice his best time was 1:56. But on race day he pulled off 1:41. Of course he put us in the last place, and we got lapped by Jake's team for the first time at that point - Devra running 200 meters followed by Kevin's quarter was 1:41 as well. But they were much older than 22 months, and they were out of diapers, so they had a good reason for being a lap ahead.

William ran the second leg in around 1:12, passed one team ending our last place problem, and handed off to Sarah. At that point, I was in charge of Stephen, and Benjamin was in charge of William who started crying because Sarah left without him (both he and Stephen did not cry during their legs, and only William cried afterwards), and we had to hand them off to Sarah once she finished her leg so we could do ours. So those logistical challenges prevented me from taking the splits.  However, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Julia, and Jenny put in a good effort and I recall getting the baton 1400 meters into the race at 6:46 from Jenny.

 Jake got the baton at around the same time a bit behind me, except they were 2200 meters into the race. He passed me after the first 50 meters or so. Thinking that he will run some longer distance at maybe 4:40 per mile pace or so I started following him. Then when I saw that the first 200 meters was around 30 seconds and now starting to feel the pain of the pace I realized the problem. Jake was running a shorter distance. I had just run the first half of my leg at my near PR 400 meter pace. I had 4 more after that with only a little over a minute rest. So I backed off and coasted, but it was too late. The proverbial anaerobic bear had jumped out of the steeple chase pit and was already riding on my back.

The rest of the race was a blur for me. I would run my leg, hand off to Benjamin, then try to regain consciousness while Joseph was asking me questions which I lacked the presence of mind to answer, once I did become conscious again I would see Benjamin half way through his leg and get ready for the next one. I tried to keep track of the splits, but it was not very successful. I think I do recall hitting one quarter in 71. We were going back and forth with the Jake's team now, with us sometimes being "ahead", or rather behind by less than two laps, and sometimes them being ahead by a bit more than two laps. They ended up ahead of us by a bit more than two laps finishing in 15:11.

I really was feeling it in my last leg. My legs felt like lead and refused to move. I was really glad the race was over when we finished in 17:45. So Benjamin and I managed to run the last 3600 in  10:59, which is 73.2 per lap average. We passed all the other teams except Jake's and ended up finishing second. Jake's team was gracious enough to donate to us their $100 prize for the win, for which we are very thankful.

Afterwards, I ran some more with the kids, and more at home with Sarah following me on a bike. I ended up with a total of 12 miles, Benjamin did a total of 6, Jenny ran about 0.5 - her legs were hurting, Julia and Joseph 2, Jacob 1, William 0.12. 

This was a good experience in working together as a family towards a common goal with the strong supporting the weak, and the weakest link in the chain working hard to improve its strength. I feel good about being able to say that our entire family with this age distribution, number of children, pregnant mother, and the requirement for each member to participate for at least 200 meters was able to average 5:42.8 per mile over 5000 meters. 

Green Crocs 3 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 5.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.50
From MarkP on Sat, Jun 23, 2012 at 21:53:17 from

That was your best report ever! Congrats to the family!

From allie on Sun, Jun 24, 2012 at 14:04:14 from

a very impressive effort by all of the pachev's yesterday. thanks so much for coming out and supporting the race. you and sarah are building a great team.

From Jake K on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 08:57:57 from

Very cool that the whole family was able to participate. We'll just say that the prize money went to you and Sarah so all the kids retain their NCAA eligibility :-)

On my blog I posted a neat photo of Benjamin and I handing off at almost the exact same time to you and Kevin.

From jtshad on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 13:03:50 from

That is awesome, nice job working together as a family and having fun...and an impressive time. Congrats to all of you...especially Stephen!

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