Sean's Running Blog

Seafair Torchlight

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSean Sundwall's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!



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: Seafair Torchlight (4.97 Miles) 00:24:31, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

An absolutely beautiful evening for a run in downtown Seattle. Seafair Torchlight remains my favorite race in Washington. There is just none other like it. No where else do you get to have a Boston-like experience for about a mile as you travel down 4th Ave with parade onlookers cheering.

The course this year changed quite a bit so the 4th Ave section was actually at the beginning instead of the end. Kind of a bummer, but it was still a bit surreal.

The race was televised locally which was kind of cool. I led the 10k from about the 1/4 mile mark through Mile 1 which we crossed in 5:05 or so. Pretty quick considering it was almost all uphill and into the wind. I actually felt pretty tired at that point and wondered if I had gone a bit too fast. I also wasn't thrilled with taking all the wind but no one else wanted to jump ahead.

After Mile 1 we turned down to the viaduct down two VERY steep hills. Ridiculously steep hills. The kind I really, really despise. The gentle uphill back to the viaduct was most welcome at that point. There was no mile 2 marker so I have no idea what we did it in. I assume it was sun 5:00. It felt like it.

At around the 2 mile mark, my good friend Destry Johnson passed me pretty aggressively and put a good 10 yard gap on the rest of us. As we approached the turnaround, we reeled him in. By this time there were basically four of us all in a pack. But then Destry just gapped us hard. Before I knew it, was was 20 yards ahead gaining.

We were probably around Mile 3 at this point and that's when Brett Winegar and Jesse Williams made a move to gap me as well. This was my defining mental moment in the race. I knew I couldn't let the move go unchallenged. The good news was we were just entering a mild uphill specialty. So I made my move and it went unasnwered from Brett. Jesse stayed on my tail. Destry was gone. It was a race for second.

With about a mile togo we entered the tunnel. There was an eerie silence. The only thing I could hear was Jesse right on my tail and Brett a little ways back.

As we exited the tunnel, there was a little less than 1/2 mile to go and Jesse and I really picked it up. I generally don't like to get into a foot race with people because I am not particularly quick.

By this time we had merged with the 5k runners. There were two turns left. Unfortunately for Jesse, he got stuck on the outside. I took my chances passing people on the inside. Heading into the final turn with about 200-300 meters to go, we were in a dead heat. But on the final turn I took the inside and made a huge surge which Jesse wasn't able to match. It felt so good. I would have loved to win but today was Destry's day and I couldn't be more happy for him.

After every race I spend the next several hours if not days going back and rehearsing what i could have done differently. With this one, I don't think there was much. I don't think I could have gone with Destry when he made his move at the turnaround. I wish i could have, but it would have likely ended up in a flameout in the end.

So all in all, I am pretty happy. Nothing wrong with second place, especially with it being a nailbiter to the end. 24:31 was the official time. 4:55 pace and a 30 second PR.

Seriously hard is it to have mile markers.

Brooks ST4 (Yellow) Miles: 9.97
Weight: 0.00
From Burt on Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 03:15:44 from

Nice job all of you. You're all so mentally tough.

From jtshad on Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 12:06:15 from

Great job, man you are fast!

From Superfly on Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 12:15:12 from

Good job on the race. Cool that it was on tv.

From allie on Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 13:08:27 from

great race! loved reading about the nailbiter. way to surge at the end.

From Snoqualmie on Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 14:52:16 from

Congratulations! We saw the race from the ferry (coming in from Bainbridge) last night and thought of you. It was all mid-pack folks by then however. You had a nice night indeed. Bravo.

From Paul on Sun, Aug 01, 2010 at 19:38:46 from

I don't think you mentioned it, but isn't that an 8K PR for you? Good job.

From Sean Sundwall on Mon, Aug 02, 2010 at 00:03:10 from

Oops...forgot that part. It was a PR by 30 seconds. The only 8k I have ever run is Torchlight...three times now. This year's course was new and "less slow" than the previous course.

From Seth on Mon, Aug 02, 2010 at 12:29:06 from

Great run! Blazing fast!

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements