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Striders WRC Half Marathon

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South Weber,UT,

Member Since:

May 09, 2012



Goal Type:

Local Elite

Running Accomplishments:

Personal Records:

800 Meters 1:50.14 (Track-BYU)

1500 Meters 3:42.07 (Track-Stanford) Likely the best race of my life; converts to a 3:59.85 Mile

5000 Meters 14:20 (Track-Stanford)

8000 Meters 23:53 (Cross Country-Pre Nationals Iowa)

10000 Meters 29:57 (Track-Stanford)

Half Marathon (Mesa-Phoenix Half) 1:05:11

Marathon (St George) 2:16:09

Short-Term Running Goals:

2017 Races:

Mesa-Phoenix Half - 3rd Place 1:05:11 PR

Ogden WRC 10-Miler - 1st Place 55:46

Provo City Half - 1st Place 1:06:33

Ogden Marathon - 2nd Place 2:25:46

Long-Term Running Goals:

My main goal is just to stay healthy.  I was injured every year in my college career except for one.  I would like to reverse that trend and always stay injury-free.



I am a family man.  I am married to my beautiful wife Amy (who also ran at Weber and is quite the runner).  We have four beautiful daughters named Evelyn (6 years old), Hannah (4 year old), Nora (2 year old), and Iris (5 months).

Twitter handle: @RunnerRiley7

Instagram RunnerRiley7

I am supported by Brooks

I am a Generation Ucan elite athlete

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Salomon Pro Wings 2 Lifetime Miles: 161.10
Brooks PureCadence 5 Lifetime Miles: 101.85
Brooks Adrenaline 17 Lifetime Miles: 161.85
Brooks Transcend 4 Lifetime Miles: 219.45
Brooks Ravenna 8 Lifetime Miles: 225.10
Brooks PureCadence 6 Lifetime Miles: 188.10
Brooks Launch 4 Lifetime Miles: 107.50
Brooks Glycerin 14 Lifetime Miles: 101.47
Brooks Hyperion Lifetime Miles: 92.13
Brooks Caldera Lifetime Miles: 31.10
Race: Striders WRC Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:06:50, Place overall: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance


I had a great time at the race this morning. My first goal was to win the race. I didn't really want to set a time goal, as I usually run poorly when I do that. But I figured anything under 1:07.30 would be really good for this course. My PR on this course is 1:07.53 back in 2013, and I had a really good racing year in 2013.

I met Denver, Ken, and Matt at Rainbow Gardens and carpooled up with those guys. We met Ben up there and also ran into Moss. The pre-race logistics were kind of a mess. We arrived to the start line at 7:00 with a 7:30 start time. The lines for the restroom were already ridiculously long too. So time for a warmup and potty run was quite limited. They sent all the buses up at the same time and then only unloaded one at a time, so we wasted valuable time sitting on the bus to unload, which was very frustrating to me.

So, I only managed 1.5 miles of warmup. It was cold at the start, about 28F. I wore singlet, half tights, gloves, arm sleeves, and an ear warmer. The compeition upfront was Anthony Costales, Ken, Ben, and me. They started the race on time.

Anthony and I ran side by side for the first half mile or so. Then he picked it up to a pace that I wasn't interested in running quite yet. Every time I've started this race off quickly, I've really blown up. So, I stuck with my plan for a bit more conservative start. So he had about 7-8 seconds on me by mile 3. Miles 1 & 3 are good downhill, while 2 is rolling with no net drop. I clocked 5:02, 5:10, 5:02.

The sun was starting to hit us, which was quite welcomed. Now I was feeling warmed up and ready to start rolling. I was making some ground on Anthony and thought I could catch him by mile 5. Turns out I was making up more ground than I realized and passed him in mile 4. I threw in a faster half mile on the pass to try and discourage him from latching on. It didn't seem like I got much of a gap at first, but by mile 5 I couldn't hear footsteps or see his long shadow anymore. Miles 4-5 were 4:52, 4:57.

Now I just wanted to get in groove and rhythm. I did just that. The course here is still downhill, but it's not as steep and it's really just a nice, barely noticeable downhill grade. This continues until mile 8.5. There you turn onto a parkway, which is a rhythm killer. It's constantly going up and down. From 8.5 to the end it's rolling hills with no net drop. My sister passed me in her car at mile 8 and said I had a "huge lead", which was a surprise to me. Miles 6-9 were 5:00, 5:00, 5:01, 5:01.

All right, 9 down and the 4 toughest miles to go. I tried to keep the effort high, even though you can no longer get into a good rhythm. I stayed pretty strong until the end. Mile 13 I was pretty tired, but I had been doing the math and was certain I could get under 1:07, which is really an excellent time on this course (the course record was Paul's 1:07.2x in 2011). I finished up and was quite exhausted and thrilled. Miles 10-13 were 5:05, 5:16, 5:07, 5:14, and 4:55 pace for the leftover change.

Short cooldown after with Ken, Anthony, and Matt.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS Miles: 1.60Asics DS Racer 10 Miles: 15.15
Weight: 152.40
From allie on Sat, Apr 02, 2016 at 13:10:45 from

huge lead, indeed. wow. what a time on that course. you know you are fit when you snag a CR away from paul.

smart race. it's definitely a blow up course if you get too crazy early on.

the strongest memory i have of this race is running the first 2-3 miles with numb feet. it's always so cold!

From Cameron A on Sat, Apr 02, 2016 at 14:01:15 from

Sick! What canyon is this in?

From RileyCook on Sat, Apr 02, 2016 at 22:43:02 from

Thanks Allie! Yeah the numb feet in the early miles is a staple of the Strider's WRC Half!

Cameron, the first 5 miles or so are in South Fork up above Huntsville.

From steve ash on Sun, Apr 03, 2016 at 07:16:22 from

Great time Riley. Congratulations on the win and record.

From Rob Murphy on Sun, Apr 03, 2016 at 07:57:53 from

Congratulations Riley. I wanted to join you but track meet.

From RileyCook on Sun, Apr 03, 2016 at 11:48:50 from

Thanks Steve. Rob, you missed a good one; weather was great.

From fiddy on Thu, Apr 07, 2016 at 15:39:21 from

You should just dedicate this year to eviscerating course records. (Ogden is 2:22:51 by Seth in 2009 btw)

From RileyCook on Thu, Apr 07, 2016 at 19:58:12 from

James, I certainly have my eye on Seth's CR at Ogden. Marathons aren't my strong suit, but I'll certainly do all I can training-wise to put me in position for a win and CR. Then on race day just let the chips fall where they may.

From Jason D on Thu, Apr 07, 2016 at 21:00:50 from

An admirable CR. Congratulations.

This course seems, as much as I can digitally discern, like it is slower than Top of Utah isn't it? I only ask because I am comparing this with your PR. I don't know if TOU is that much faster but I think overall you must be pleased with how things are going.

Looks like you are going with the no-workout-until-Saturday-after-a-half idea. That's smart.

From RileyCook on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 at 09:33:41 from

Thanks Jason! Yeah this is slower than TOU Half. By my calculations this is my third best half marathon effort ever. I have it at a flat, sea-level adjusted 1:06:11. TOU and this have similar elevation profiles and about the same amount of downhill. But for some reason, TOU is just a fast course. It has major tailwind most years that gives you 30 seconds and the downhill I just spread out really well.

Sasha's race time predictor has this equal to a 1:04:40 at TOU Half. But he has the old course in, which is one mile different. But that mile adds 100 feet downhill instead of a flat mile. So at least 20 seconds faster for this newer version of the course. But even then, I can't buy that this was a 1:05:00 equivalent at TOU. But no matter how dissect it, it was an excellent performance for me.

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