AF Canyon Run Against Cancer RACE RECAP + NEW RUNNING SONGS!!

This race was by far the most well-organized 1/2 marathon I’ve done in Utah!  I felt like I was at one of the HUGE races I’ve run in the past with how smoothly it was organized but there were way less people.  It was perfect and Andrew agreed.

The starting line was at Tibble Fork, perfect for pre-race photos right?  Maybe this photo would have been better if I dared take off my space blanket.  I’m really hoping that every race I do from now on offers these because it really kept me warm at the start (or I guess I could start bringing my own too).   Andrew didn’t need one because his brain tells him it isn’t cold when it is;)

The alarm clock went off at 3:45 a.m. and we were out the door by 4:05 a.m. (Brooke stayed with my mom that night).  Andrew loves mornings as you can tell.  Whenever we are on our way to go running I always suggest going to breakfast instead together which I need to stop doing because it gets his hopes up… while that always sounds WAY better in the moment, I know I’ll be happier that I did the run once we get going.

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Parking was super easy and we jumped on a bus by 4:45.  As soon as the bus started Andrew said, “Dang it, I just committed to the race.”  Hahaha, I guess he was still questioning the 13.1 miles on the walk to the bus.  We got to work on our bagels with jam and they took us up on the nice buses.  The seats were really comfortable and both of us fell asleep for a few minutes on the way up.

My bee sweatshirt came with me (I got it when I was in Minnesota a few years ago).  I really like having certain things that I do each race and the bee sweatshirt is one of them.  It will be a sad day if I ever lose it at a race.  Also, I don’t take anything except food and water now before a race but if you want to read my usual pre-race supplements when I’m not pregnant… they are HERE!  I’ve used and loved Beta-Alanine and Sports Legs for YEARS before a race!

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The bus dropped us off right at the gear bag bus so we were able to drop off everything, jump in a porta potty line (they were so short) and then we had about 20 minutes to hang out before the race started.

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I was so happy to see a friend of mine from college!  We hadn’t seen each other in 10 years!  She just rocked Boston this last April and it was so fun to catch up for a few minutes.

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The race had two waves… if your predicted race time was under 2:05 you started at 5:55 and then the second wave started at 6 a.m.  Everything started right on time and I loved how they had the different paces out and organized for everyone to easily know where to go.

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The gloves that they gave to us in our gear bags were perfect.  I wore them for about 5 miles even though I wish I kept them the entire time… they were perfect to run with!

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I captured one picture of us running and clearly it is a really great picture.

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The first 7ish miles are down the canyon and they are FAST (downhill).  I felt really good and it’s hard to not get carried away with all of the race adrenaline and a really fast pace but for me, pregnant running = being smart about my running/heart rate/what’s best for the baby.  So I kept my Garmin on heart rate mode so I could stay under 150 bpm.  Something I love about running while pregnant is that I get a completely different type of enjoyment from races.  Sure I really enjoy (not sure that is the right word;) races that I’m racing but I can barely remember a thing from them… by the end it just feels like a blur because I was too busy convincing myself to somehow hold onto my pace to take in the details along the way.  With the race Saturday I loved being able to just notice everything about the course like the mile markers on the ground at each mile.

This race is about cancer awareness and running for others.  It is amazing.  They have quotes from different cancer survivors or family members of people with cancer that are so inspiring along the course.  They started the race by talking about how amazing it is to be able to BE THERE at the race that morning with health and strength.  It is always an amazing reminder to be grateful for the opportunity to even be there.  A lot of the racers had names of different people in their lives with cancer and a little bit about their story pinned to the back of their shirts.

100% of the race fees and donations go towards the fight against cancer.  It really is such an amazing race and Andrew and I will be back every year for this.

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I loved that over the miles they let you know when the next aid station and restroom was.  Some races I wonder and wonder when my next water will come so this was nice!  We stopped for the restroom once (my bladder is the size of a grape at this point ha…) and we waited in line for about 2 minutes but it wasn’t bad.

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After the canyon you run on a running trail for the majority of the rest of the miles.  For a few miles the course is rolling and then it flattens out and for the last .2 miles it is DOWN.  What a perfect way to end a race, with a downhill!  Have you ever finished a race with an uphill at the end?  I think the RnR Seattle used to end on an uphill and that was a little cruel;)

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For pretty much 10.5 of the miles (maybe even more) we were in complete shade, it was awesome!  The last little bit did get hot but they had plenty of ice towels for us which felt awesome!

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We finished in 1:53:43 (the race had the results up on their website SO fast.. like within an hour).  Andrew was hoping for right under 2 so he was really stoked about our time too!  I’m really glad that we have this to do together … maybe someday I will try mountain biking again but probably on a flat dirt road only.  I’m a wuss.  PS Andrew and a bunch of his friends that were in town went mountain biking after the race?!  Yeah, my quads after those downhill miles in the beginning wanted nothing to do with movement for some time afterwards.

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I was so excited to see Alyssa!  She had a 6 minute PR on the 10k and she came in 2nd in her age group!  GO GIRL!

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I was also so excited to meet Dana after the race too!  She rocked her morning 1/2 too!

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They also had ice towels and really cold water bottles at the finish.  Then Andrew and I went STRAIGHT for the french toast (from Kneaders).  Andrew wasn’t hungry but I had been looking forward to this 3 inch tall piece of french toast for the previous 3 hours.  It was SO good.  I definitely think you all should come out next year for these french toast… I mean for this race and we will eat french toast together after.

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And then we were off!  Something else I loved about this race was that the parking was RIGHT next to the finish line (can you see the little blue archway)?  It took one second to grab our bags and walk to our car.  I will say I felt really great during the race BUT I was extremely tired the rest of the day (even with a nap) so it’s time to take it back a few notches for a few days and I’m happy to do that.

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We went to pick up Brooke from her sleepover at Grandma’s house!

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She was just kind of excited to see us… she was pretty busy organizing all of her zoo animals.

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PS post-race shower was quite painful… chafing is the name of the game for me right now.  I need to roll around in bodyglide before each run that I do right now.

And two pictures from yesterday:

For some really strange reason, spaghettios sounded really good.  My body wants what it wants right now.

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We had dinner at my sister’s house and this is what happened when they were given the hose to water the tree;)


See you this afternoon!


Andrew and I talked for the first 7 miles and then we listened to music and here are my favorites right now:

WHATEVER IT TAKES by Imagine Dragon… this song is PERFECT for running (“Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins”—> me too).

Young by The Chainsmokers

Pierre by Run Weaver

You Be Killing Em by Fabulous (edited:)

Perfect Places by Lorde

Perm by Bruno Mars (yep, still a favorite)

Still Got Time by ZAYN

 Despacito by Louis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee

There’s Nothing Holding’ Me Back by Shawn Mendes

Such Great Heights by Postal Service (an oldie but always one of my favorite running songs)

I Don’t Know Why by Imagine Dragons

Supercut by Lorde

 It Ain’t Me by Kygo & Selena Gomez


What was the best part of your weekend?

What race(s) have you done that you felt were EXTREMELY organized?

What time of morning is your ideal race start time?  Has anyone ever done a race at night… I want to hear about what time!!!

What fuel have you been taking during races or long runs lately?

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The race medals are really cool! Doing a half in under 2 hours while pregnant?? Impressive Janae! Have a great day!


What a fun race y’all had together! Love that y’all do that. :) And I will always love Such Great Heights–The Postal Service is one of my faves!! Oh, and I need that Kneaders French toast.

I ran a race two years in a row that STARTS AT MIDNIGHT. I don’t know why I did it. It gave me such awful stomach troubles (maybe because my body was completely thrown off??), and the whole thing was pretty painful. It was a 25K, and I don’t think I’ll ever do that one again.


Midnight!?!? WOW.. that is crazy! Hahaha yeah I don’t think I could have done that… you are amazing! I hope you are having a great day and I’ll send you some french toast;)


I like a 9am start. I need time to wake up but don’t like to wait around too long to start.
This weekend we had such great weather. We walked along the beach in the evening and then had dinner outside both nights.


What a beautiful course! And wow, amazing time! The playlist is perfect for my run today, thanks! Have a beautiful week Janae!


It does look like it was well organized, plus the scenery looks absolutely stunning. I’m glad you had an enjoyable time. I honestly cannot even imagine being cold at a race start right now. It’s so hot on the East coast.


That looks like such a pretty race! Glad you had a good time!

The best part of my weekend was actually my long run :) I had six miles on Sunday and I was excited to get through all of them and still feel pretty good at the end. I haven’t run that far in about a year, so I was pretty happy with it, plus it was really cool yesterday even though I didn’t start until about 10 am. 60 degrees makes for a happy run!

I think my ideal start time is about 9 am, but for spring and fall races. Summer races need to start a little earlier to beat the heat (for the most part) ;)


I am so happy that your long run went so well Joanne!! You rocked it (ps awesome temps wahoo)! I hope you are having an awesome Monday!


Congratulations on the race! I ran the AF Canyon half as well. I loved that it started at 5:55 AM. I ran the race, ate my French toast and was home by 9 AM. Now if only my quads would cooperate going down the stairs….


CONGRATS ANASTASIA!!! Hahah yes… the quads are the worst after a downhill race. I hope you have a great week and I’m dreaming of more Kneaders french toast right about now:) Wish I could have met you!


This sounds like a really great race! I hope when I am pregnant I still want to be as active as you are. The best part of my weekend was going to the Train concert last night with my mom, sister, and a bunch of friends!


congrats on a great race for you both! my favorite race start time is 8:00 am .I wouldn’t even mind a 7:30 am start but I never see them start before 8 around here.


First off, that french toast looks amazing! That would be my motivation to finish for sure!

Saturday as a whole was a great day for me. I ran 8 miles along the Mississippi River, and my stepdad biked down to the trail so he could bike next to me. We’ve talked about that but never done it before and it was nice to have some company! Then I spent the day with my mom shopping – my mom and I are basically the same person just in different bodies :) so we always have a lot of fun together. And I was so tired after all my adventures, I ended up getting 8.5 hours of sleep Saturday night… that’s amazing!

I prefer morning races – I’ve done some 5ks in the evening and those are okay, and I did the Rock N Roll Vegas half last year, and that starts at night. I didn’t enjoy it, to be honest – I get super bad nerves before a race, so having to deal with that all day (and try to stay off my feet while in Vegas for a day) was pretty much terrible. The race itself was cool! But I would’ve rather just woken up super early in the morning and ran in the dark then.


Oh your run on Saturday sounds like it was perfect… I’m so happy you had such a great day (and SLEEP:) I’m all about the morning races too… RnR Vegas was so hard for me to know what to eat too ha!


Congrats on the race! Oh my gosh, spaghettios .. Throwback!! Best part of my weekend was picnicing!


I live in a hilly town, so most of my races end on an uphill! Even the 5ks are tough here – one 5k I ran last month had the entire 3rd mile up a steep incline! I long for a fun, downhill race.

Races at night are common around me in the summer. We just had a nighttime taco-and-margarita themed 5k! These evening races usually start at 7:00 or 7:30 pm.


I loved spaghettios when I was first pregnant!!


I’M NOT ALONE… thank you for sharing that you loved them too:) I felt kind of weird ha! Have a great day Anna!


I have heard so much about this race this weekend and now I think I’m going to have to run it next year. It sounds like an amazing one.

I’ve also never done a night race but want to just to see the difference in my time.


Ok seriously this was the BEST organized race ever. Also those frozen towels were genius. So so impressed. I’ll definitely be back!
SOO good to see you girl and to finally meet Andrew! It was meant to be that you were right there when I came through the finish line (as you can see by my sweaty sweaty face in that picture ?) I’ll definitely have to try the half next year and try to keep up with you two!


I’m mindblown that you can run a half marathon in <2 hours while pregnant. Sheesh.

I learned from my friends to wear large garbage bags to early morning races so we don't have to worry about whether we'll be getting the space jackets or not. The garbage bags work pretty well ;)


That is such a great idea LK… I’m going to be copying you!! Thank you and I hope you are having a great day!


You rocked it!! I feel honored to be on your blog:) the French toast was my motivation too! Way to go on your 3 halfs while pregnant!!


I am SO happy that I was able to catch up with you!! You rocked it and I hope you are having a great time at Bear Lake!


Awesome pictures and great write-up. Thanks for bringing light to my morning! Fun read


Oh thank you Amanda! I hope you are having a great day!


This sounded like such a lovely time! I LOVE races that are well put together and convenient.

Uphill finish —–> mile 12 of the Austin Half Marathon. My Daddio used to put the car in neutral and we’d coast down this hill (foot on the brake pedal) when I was a kid — hands in the air, going “WEEEEE!”. And I had to run UP IT? RUUUUUUDE.<3


Okay, that is NOT okay Tiffany… mile 12!?! You are amazing to get up that at the end of the half marathon:) I hope you are having a great day and I loved your story!


The af canyon run is my favorite! My family does it every year! We run for my nephew who has leukemia. I just did the 5k this year since i had a baby 5 months ago, but we had a blast! My nephew even ran the kids race. And kneaders is by far the best post-race food ever!!! You were probably ay home in bed by the time i finished the 5k..ha! But maybe next year I’ll get to meet you!


Oh Christy, I wish I could have seen you there! NEXT YEAR for sure! Congrats on your new little one and the 5k! I am so sorry about what your nephew and family go through and that is amazing that he was able to do the kids race. Amazing. I’m dreaming of that french toast again ha!


I am totally down for a race and French toast, I will be there! ;) Your half marathon recap has me all excited about my upcoming race (like two more weeks!) I haven’t done a half for three years >>too long and I can’t wait to get back out there and race!

I haven’t ever run at night, but my ideal time to start it around 6. I like to beat the heat!


You are amazing Janae, way to go!! I swear I ate 20 cans of spaghettios while I was pregnant… my husband thought I was nuts but for some reason they were what I needed! I feel like you are having a girl since we craved the exact same things and hated the same things!!


Thank you Kami and SO good to know I’m not alone with the spaghettios while pregnant ha. Andrew tried to eat them with me but he just couldn’t. I think I am having a girl too! I hope your day is a great one!


I did a mud run for Multiple Sclerosis this weekend and it was super fun! I don’t really do the OCR thing, but this was just challenging enough to still be enjoyable. Loved it!


Meesh, that is awesome! I’m glad you had a great time!! I hope your Monday is a great one!


Sounds like you two had a great race. The scenery looks like it was beautiful too!

I love to find out what people are listening to during workouts, thanks for sharing your playlist.


As much as I don’t like getting up crazy early, I love races that start at 6am. Even 7am is good, but anything after that I start getting annoyed that it’s cutting too much into the rest of my day (or it’s getting hot!). I once did a 50k trail race that started at 9!! Why???!!! And this was in July!! Never again for me lol.

For fuel I usually stick with gu, shot blocks or sport beans. Pre race it depends on the distance. For a full it’s usually a bagel with PB, a banana and some kind of electrolyte drink. For a half sometimes it’s an English muffin with PB or sometimes I can just have a Lara bar (cherry pie is my choice lately).


I am the exact same way Laura… I always hate the alarm clock but LOVE getting started by 6. A 50k trail race at 9 in July!??! That is pure craziness! I need to try the cherry pie Lara bar, sounds great!! I hope you have a great week!


I remember my first 5K was at 6:30pm! It was ok to run at that time because I was able to sleep after that. The bad side of it is that it was pouring rain when the gun went off.

The best part of my weekend was turning 26 on Sunday:) I’m grateful for another year.


6:30 PM!?!? Yeah, I don’t know if I’d be able to sleep after that personally! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHALY!! I hope your Sunday was perfect!


Hey our bumps look the same right now. But my baby is 6 weeks old ha!




Sounds like the perfect race! Way to go Andrew on beating your goal time by so much! The spaghettios are hilarious, but you just gotta go with it! Hope you’re both recovering well today :)


My weekend (and week) is house sitting for a friend who has dogs and cats, but also 7 chickens that follow you around outside and will let you pet them and pick them up! They are hilarious.
The half I do in Leipers Fork each year (earlier this month) is very well organized and it is in such a small town that there are no stop signs or stop lights and there are 2 restaurants right across the street from each other. One of those is also a general store, live band venue, and has 2 gas pumps outside for gas! The one in Chattanooga is well organized, too, and we can walk 2 blocks to the start line from our apartment! Super convenient.
I am NOT a morning person, but I prefer starting a race just after sun up. That way it is cooler.
And fuel: I use Huma gels while running, and I am loving cranberry juice and chocolate milk and fresh fruit right after.


I did that race too! 2:04 finish time :) which I’m really pleased with for my first half. I’m going to just be a nerd here and say that I’m proud of my pacing, haha! I thought the race was so well organized and a joy to do (minus those last 2-3 miles… I much prefer the shade, whereas my running buddy who I had been pulling along for the first 10 miles had to then be the one to pull me to the finish in that sunshine!) Congratulations on running, and on your pregnancy!! :)

P.S. I’m also loving the new Lorde album. Ah, 20-year-old post-breakup angst and rebellion. Haha


WAY TO GO ALLIE!!! That is an AWESOME time and for your first half… way to go! I am so glad you had your running partner with you:) Hahah yes to Lorde!!!


The best part of my weekend was golfing with my family! I ‘d love to do this race next year, it sounds like so much fun!


Oh my gosh. The mini All Blacks uniform on your nephew is adorable!! I never see folks wearing these in the US. Clearly your sister’s family has great taste :O).


I swear everyone I knew that ran the race raved about it and most everyone got a PR. Maybe by this time next year I will be able to run 13 miles. I want to run a half marathon so badly and this one looks great!

Spaghettios are fowl. Annabelle loves them, like her dad. When Ross and I were first married he was shocked to find out I had never had them before. He immediately made me try them. Yep. I was just fine living 21 years without them and will go at least another 21 years before I have them again ;)


I had a great weekend so it’s hard to pick a highlight. We went out on a date Saturday for craft beer and pizza, I got flowers for no reason, and we had a family party on Sunday where I was able to catch up with some family nod friends that I haven’t seen in a while.

For longer races I like a a start between 9 and 10 in the winter and by 7:30 in the summer.

Nike races were usually very organized and a smaller half marathon I did at the beach was very organized. They had a 5K, half and a marathon relay and it all runs very smoothly. They even had restaurants donate pasta, sandwiches, and salads for after the race. (I usually cannot eat right away though).


Hey hun… congrats on the baby! Just an FYI a lot of you photos are coming up blank white boxes lately. On Feedly and in browser. I dunno why but thought you should know! Thanks!

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