Sean's Running Blog

Indy Mini Marathon

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Member Since:

Feb 24, 2007



Goal Type:

Local Elite

Running Accomplishments:

  • 2011 Boston Marathon -- 2:27 (Top 50)
  • 2011 Steilacoom 20k -- 1:04:57 (1st)
  • 2010 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon -- 2:26 (7th) 
  • 2010 Fall City 10k -- 31:06 (1st)
  • 2009 Indy Mini Marathon -- 1:07:53 (7th)
  • 2009 WWU Invitational -- 10000m (30:58)
  • 2009 UW Indoor Meet -- 5000m (14:49)
  • 2008 Orem Turkey Run -4 miler -- 19:55 (1st)
  • 2008 Seafair Torchlight 8k--25:03 (3rd) 
  • 2008 Time to Fly 5k -- 15:35 (1st)
  • 2008 Newport Marathon -- 2:22:47 (1st)
  • Steilacoom 15M--1:18:30 (1st)
  • 2007 Olympic Trials -- 2:30:41 (91st)
  • 2007 St. George --2:18:55 (3rd)

Short-Term Running Goals:

  • Feb 23 -- Ft Steilacoom 15M
  • March 23  – Ft. Steilacoom 20k
  • April 15  – Boston Marathon
  • June 8 – Sound to Narrows 12k
  • June 22  – Grandma’s Half Marathon (USATF Champs.)
  • July 7 – Run of the Mill 5k
  • July 27 – Torchlight 8k
  • September – SJJ Half (maybe)
  • October/November – Fall Marathon (maybe)
  • December – Club XC Nationals

Long-Term Running Goals:

 Stay healthy


Ran track my junior and senior years in high school and cross country my senior year. Went to BYU but did not run. Served LDS church mission to San Bernardino, CA. Started running again in April 2005. Marathon debut was St. George in 2005.

I coach the Mount Si High School Track Team (distance)

Been married for almost 17 years. My wife, Mara, and I have four kids ages 16, 14, 13 and 11.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Brooks T5 Lifetime Miles: 34.00
Ravenna Lifetime Miles: 250.00
Race: Indy Mini Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:07:53, Place overall: 7, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

UPDATED TOP 20 Results Below

Race Start Weather:

46 degrees

Thin overcast


I have never raced in better weather...period. It was absolutely perfect.

Woke up at 6am after a pretty good night's sleep. I brought my two boys and my dad along for the ride. My oldest son has the amazing ability of not falling asleep before 11pm, but once he was asleep, we all slept great.

By 6:20 I was out the door walking over to the NCAA Headquarters which was the Elite staging area. The race organizers were great and all the pre-race stuff went perfectly.

I felt slow, bloated and heavy during my warmup. This is very typical though so I didn't think much of it.

The start countdown was done by soldiers in Kuwait via cell phone. Kind of cool. As seems to always be the case, this race had its own "Michael Wardian" jumping out to an early lead for some good camera time. By Mile 2 we caught him.

The biggest surprise of the first mile was how slow the Kenyans went out. Paul and I were right together as we crossed Mile 1 in a very slow 5:23. That was really disappointing since it was a full 13 seconds slower than my desired mile pace. Even with 12 miles to go, that's a lot of time to make up. So I spent Mile 2 focused on hitting the desired split time. I wasn't going to try and get back any of my lost time, just get back on race pace. Mile 2 came in at 5:09. Much better. At this point, I think the "chase" pack was me, Paul and some young dude with floppy hair. I will refer to him as floppy from here on out.

The Mile 2 water stationn was staffed by well over 100 LDS missionaries. That was cool to see. They were probably very glad the weather was so cool.

The lead pack was still in sight at this point but they did begin to pick up the pace. I commented to Paul though that 1:02 wasn't going to happen based on the first two mile splits.

Mile 3 I still was feeling heavy and bloated. I had taken a few sips of water but was concerned I wasn't getting enough. Temps were low but the half is just long enough that hydration can be a concern especially with humidity. Mile 3 was 5:08. Perfect.

5k time -- 16:12

Mile 4. Don't remember anything exciting happening here. Me, Paul and floppy were still together. Floppy and I swapped the lead a few times but he seemed willing to take it back each time so I felt willing to let him. :-) Mile 4 5:08. Nice.

Mile 5..the last mile before entering the Speedway. We slowed a touch to 5:11. This was my first (and only) full swig of water and I tend to slow a bit when i take water. Maybe that was why. Who knows.

The Mile 6 marker is inside the Speedway just before you actually get on the race track. I had no idea how incredibly massive the Speedway was. A 400 meter track will forever seem very short. Mile 6 was in 5:07. I was starting to feel a little bit better about things although I was reserving judgment until Mile 10 which is 5k to go. The 10k marker was on the back straightaway of the Speedway. Crossed in 32:15. It wasn't too long ago that this would have been a 10k PR. Mile 7 was inside the Speedway as well. I commented to Paul afterward about how slow this mile was. We did it in 5:16. By this time Paul had dropped back but me and Floppy were still together. We were both wondering what happened.

Mile 8 was almost entirely on the final straightaway of the Speedway and this was the only time during the race I felt anything resembling wind. Despite the slow Mile 7, I was content to let Floppy bear the brunt of the wind. Mile 8 was in 5:14. Slow but not too bad.

As we left the track it was good riddance from my standpoint. It's such an enourmous facility that it felt at times like we weren't covering any ground. So the Mile 9 marker was back out on the streets of Indianapolis. Crossed Mile 9 in 5:11. A smidgen slower than I wanted but I was just happy to be feeling good. At this point I was in 9th place and I think Paul was still in 10th. There was a Kenyan that me and Floppy were reeling in which was particularly motivating. Nothing quite like beating a Kenyan.

Mile 10 -- 5:12. Still slower than I wanted but the beauty of Mile 10 is that mentally, it becomes a very manageable race. 5k to go. I can get my head around 5k and I have a good idea of what i have left in the tank and how much to push it with 5k to go. It was right about at Mile 10 that Floppy and I passed the Kenyan. He put up a fight for about a 1/4 mile but we gapped him hard after that.

Mile 11 -- The biggest challenge which this mile is that you can see the Mile 11 marker from the Mile 10 marker. It's a really long straight stretch that felt like it went on forever. Crossed Mile 11 in 5:08. Beautiful. I was back to running my pace.

Mile 12 had us finally leave 10th St. and turn on to White River Parkway. I could see the marker early on and at this point, it was me and Floppy battling for 7th place. There was a slight breeze, but at this point, I wasn't even thinking about it. 5:12 was the time for Mile 12. 1/10 of a mile later you make the turn onto the New York Street bridge. They call it the Miracle Mile. At this point I had passed Floppy with the intention of never seeing the back of his head again. One of the great things of this course was they marked every final 1/4 mile. As I made the turn onto NY Street for the final mile, I made my move. I knew a sub 1:08 was still possible but it was going to take some real effort. I also knew there was money and pride on the line and I didn't want to let Floppy pass me. BTW...Floppy couldn't be older than 22 or 23.

With 3/4 to go, I was going to look back but decided not to. I told myself that I don't "get" to look back unless I hit the 1/2 to go mark on pace for a sub 1:08. So with 1/2 to go, I was on pace and looked back. I had gapped Floppy by about 100 meters. I kicked it into a higher gear telling myself I had only two laps to go. With a 1/4 mile to go I looked back again. Floppy had not closed at all. So I focused on trying to hit a 75 second quarter to the finish line. Crossed the 13 mile mark in 5:03! Wow...the extra effort really paid off.

The final 1/10 was awesome. I was really running hard and I could see the clock the whole way. One final look back and Floppy hadn't made any progress. 7th place was mine.

Finishing time: 1:07:53 (official)...a pace of 5:10.5.

In January I had set my 1/2 goal at 1:07:30. But that was a bit unrealistic. This past week I was going to be ecstatic with anything under 1:08 which I did. Mission accomplished.

The winning time was a high 1:03:55 by Festus Langat. The Kenyans really wasted an opportunity to take advantage of perfect weather.  Joseph Mutinda was second in 1:04:28.

A couple of observations/learnings:

  • I continue to be astounded by how many elite runners do NOT run the tangents. This course had numerous opportunities to be lured off the tangents making the course longer than it needs to be. I just don't get it.
  • Improvement? The first mile was ridiculously slow. I'm terrible at gauging pace off the track but my watch said we were at 80 seconds at the quarter which turned out to be about right. I could have easily had 10-15 seconds back if I had run that correctly. I also want to start pushing it even sooner. I have never died at the end of a race, something I always have feared. So I almost need it to happen so that I know my limits better.  
  • This is such a weird distance. It's only my fourth half and I feel like I have so much experience to still gain. Hydration is a fuzzy area. Pace wise it feels more like a 10k. It's just a weird distance.

***Not sure why the race hasn't figured out how to post the Top Results but here they are:


First Last Bib DIV 5M 10M Chip Time GunTime Pace OVERALL AGE CITY STATE
Festus Langat 49 Males 20-24 0:24:23 0:48:38 1:03:55 1:03:55 4:53 1 24 West Chester PA
Ernest Kimeli 4 Males 20-24 0:24:27 1:04:08 1:04:09 4:54 2 22 Marietta GA
Joseph Mutinda 6 Males 30-34 0:24:28 0:48:54 1:04:26 1:04:26 4:56 3 34 Santa Fe NM
Jeff Powers 70 Males 25-29 0:25:08 0:49:51 1:05:07 1:05:07 4:59 4 25 Bloomington IN
Elijah Nyabuti 7 Males 30-34 0:24:47 0:49:51 1:05:22 1:05:22 5:00 5 30 Maineville OH
Abdelaziz Atmani 10 Males 25-29 0:24:47 0:50:02 1:05:33 1:05:33 5:01 6 27 Indianapolis IN
Sean Sundwall 20 Males 35-39 0:25:59 0:52:01 1:07:53 1:07:53 5:11 7 36 Snoqualmie WA
John Poray 14 Males 25-29 0:25:59 0:52:00 1:08:00 1:08:00 5:12 8 28 Indianapolis IN
Nick Krus 48 Males 20-24 0:26:29 0:52:18 1:08:11 1:08:11 5:13 9 23 Memphis MI
Jason Lokwatom 5 Males 20-24 0:25:30 0:52:00 1:08:32 1:08:32 5:14 10 24 Troy OH
Paul Petersen 53 Males 25-29 0:26:03 0:52:18 1:08:35 1:08:36 5:15 11 29 Logan UT
Mark Manz 51 Males 35-39 0:26:14 0:52:53 1:08:55 1:08:55 5:16 12 35 Kiel WI
Matt Blume 41 Males 25-29 0:26:29 0:52:55 1:08:59 1:08:59 5:16 13 27 Fort Wayne IN
Jerome Recker 57 Males 25-29 0:26:30 0:52:56 1:09:01 1:09:01 5:17 14 25 Lansing MI
Aaron Moody 11 Males 30-34 0:26:28 0:53:07 1:09:24 1:09:25 5:18 15 30 Indianapolis IN
Eric Ade 13 Males 30-34 0:26:29 0:53:02 1:09:41 1:09:41 5:20 16 30 Fort Wayne IN
Scott Spitz 67 Males 30-34 0:26:28 0:53:26 1:10:28 1:10:29 5:23 17 32 Indianapolis IN
Jacob Rhyner 19 Males 25-29 0:27:07 0:53:53 1:10:31 1:10:32 5:23 18 25 Indianapolis IN
Josh Trisler 65 Males 30-34 1:10:51 1:10:51 5:25 19 30 Carmel IN
Jesse Davis 16 Males 25-29 0:26:27 0:53:42 1:10:58 1:10:58 5:26 20 27 Indianapolis IN

Brooks ST3 Racer #3 Miles: 15.10
Weight: 0.00
From cody draper on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 10:46:36 from

Very impressive racing Sean!

From Jon on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 11:08:25 from

Wow, nice race, Sean! A PR and got your 1:08 goal. I enjoyed reading your report, trying to picture what it would look like running inside the speedway.

From Superfly on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 11:41:22 from

Your a great example to many of us Sean. Way to go on a great race.

From josse t on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 11:42:49 from

Great job on the race! Way to stay in the game when it really counted.

From James W on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 13:33:50 from

Great race report and great race, Sean! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your race report. Congrats on a new PR in the 1/2!

From Burt on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 13:35:16 from

I love reading your reports because you're all business. Your dedication and focus are unparalleled. And your floppy comments show that you do have a personality (so you're really not all business.) Did the missionaries give Paul a Book of Mormon? Off to read his report...

From dave holt on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 14:43:16 from

Way to go Sean - You always inspire me to reach for more!

From Sean Sundwall on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 14:51:39 from

thanks for the words of encouragement. The thing I was proudest of was when at mile 10 floppy and I passed the Kenyan, floppy tried to gap me. Fir about 10 seconds I let him go before reminding myself that one of my goals was to push things earlier and respond when people try and gap me. I did that and it resulted in me ultimately beating floppy.

From paul on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 14:57:15 from

Once again, awesome job. You really earned it, and I had no doubt you would break 1:08. Funny, I had given the floppy hair guy the nickname "shaggy" in my head during the race.

From MichelleL on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 15:29:52 from

Wow a 5:03 to seal the deal? Great job on your race!

From JimF on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 19:48:12 from

Great job today! It is good to know that the FRB was well represented today in Indy. I think I have seen your floppy haired kid at a lot of the local road races. Very nice the way you responded to his surge. I really enjoyed your report.

From Sasha Pachev on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 20:13:32 from

Congratulations on a PR and the cash! Only 3 minutes off OTQ in the half. And gives you 1:30 reserve in the first half of an OTQ attempt in the marathon, which is not quite there, you want another minute to be safe, but it is much better than having no reserve. Looks like you had more in the tank, though, possibly 1:07:20-30 from your splits if you could find a 5:03 at the end. For the record,

James Mutinda just ran Salt Lake in 2:16:38 two weeks ago.

For me a half is a sprint, like a long 5 K. So no I never worry about hydration unless it is hot.

From Burt on Sat, May 02, 2009 at 23:21:27 from

I saw the video of your start and finish. It looks like you were in the lead for for the first 10 meters until camera hog sprinted out there. :)

From jtshad on Sun, May 03, 2009 at 09:46:14 from

Congrats on a strong race and the PR! Way to kick it into gear to secure the finish and gap the youngster!

From TylerS on Sun, May 03, 2009 at 10:05:55 from

AWESOME JOB Sean! You ran a great race. I always enjoy reading your race reports.

From Nevels on Sun, May 03, 2009 at 14:27:23 from

Congrats on the PR. Solid run.

From Sean Sundwall on Sun, May 03, 2009 at 15:56:22 from

Burt...the real reason Paul dropped out of the top 10 was not because he was tired. It;s because he not only got a Book or Mormon from the missionaries, but he took the first discussion. It was amazing he was able to battle back to finish 11th. He must have been inspired. :-)

From Burt on Sun, May 03, 2009 at 18:33:18 from

I thought maybe they gave him the 5th discussion about tithing, so that kept him out of the money. ;)

Paul said something on his blog about a top 10 finish sounds a lot cooler than a top 15. Well, he beat 99.96% of the runners. That sounds pretty cool.

From paul on Sun, May 03, 2009 at 19:04:58 from

LOL. Actually, I lost a few seconds at the Mile 2 aid station because I kept searching for the coffee, but couldn't find any. I left them a few Baptist tracts, and continued on.

From jefferey on Mon, May 04, 2009 at 00:53:32 from

Paul, Burt and Sean,

That's good stuff! Thanks for the laugh-

From Burt on Mon, May 04, 2009 at 11:27:16 from

Did I just see my name in the same sentence as Paul and Sean??? That'll never happen again.

From Scott Zincone on Fri, May 08, 2009 at 14:34:24 from

Speaking of tangents, they played a part in the USA Road 1 Mile Championships yesterday. Especially in the men's race. You can see and hear what they said about them in the videos.

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