These things are always nerve wracking. It was a cool, crisp Saturday in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The starting elevation was 8,500' and the finish elevation was 7,500'.
I got my bib number (3711) and my shoe chip. Then I sat around watching the people show up. What a group of people! I have no idea how many started the race. I do know that 2,053 finished it. There were 1,150 female and 903 males.
There was a huge mass of people at the start line. There were people everywhere! The registration table said that there were 3200 entries.
I never heard the the start gun. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong time to get into line for the porta-potties prior to the start. As I waited in this line (which took forever to move) I kept hearing the countdown go lower and lower. I got out and ran for the back of the group.
Soon everyone started moving. I figure it took 3 minutes from the starting gun to when I crossed the starting line.
This was by far the largest group that I have run with yet. As this mass of people started to head into the course, there were bobbing heads and shoulders for as far as I could see.
It was fun to watch as people in the neighbor hood showed up on their front porches and balconies to watch as this mass of runners passed through their neighborhood.
We ran through the North side of Georgetown and around the lake. Here is the pack as we return to the starting point where we were catching the frontage road to I-70 to head east.
The race went well. I was ready for an energy gel at around the 4 mile mark. That's when I remembered that I did not pack them. A lot of good they're going to do me at home on my dresser. Doh! I re-grouped. About the only thing I could do is beg from another runner (too degrading) or concentrate on just getting gatorade at the water stations. That's the plan! I came up on the next water table and what did I grab? I grabbed water! Why'd I do that? Doh! Doh! Doh!
It was between miles 10 and 12 that I felt the energy drain from my body. I had maintained a fair pace between 10:30 and 11:00 per mile until then. After that, though, it was a matter of making sure that I kept placing that one foot in front of the other! It wasn't until we reached the town of Idaho Springs that I was able to summon up something from deep within. Even that didn't come until the course went downhill. I was able to pass everyone on the downhill run to the finish line!
I did cross the finish line! I finished at position 1,753.
I immediately went into the stadium, where I was sure I was going to pass out (it was really getting hot about then). I found some gatorade and sat until I recovered somewhat.
I found the tent where they were handing out the T shirts and got an energy bar at the same time. Then I saw people with plates of delicious looking food! I went and found that tent!
I got a plate and loaded it with watermelon slices, oranges, bananas, bagels and cream cheese. I chowed down while listening to the awards and the give-aways! It was a great way to spend the morning.
Oh yeah... Did I break my previous PR (Personal Record)?
Yep! Not by much but that doesn't matter! My gun time (official start to finish) was 2:31:21. My chip time was 2:28:01. My last half-marathon was 2:33:22, So I shaved 2:01 off of my gun time, and 5:21 off of my chip time.
Not too bad for an older guy!
The time for first place (men's) in this race? 1:09: and some chump change. Amazing! 4:30 + pace for 13 miles!
The additional training did pay off for me. The additional hills and trail runs were very beneficial. I do know that before I compete again, I will definitely need to do more interval training.