Rock 'N' Roll Denver - Race Day

It's race day! The marathon didn't start until 8am which meant I got to "sleep in" which was nice but with the half marathon starting at 7:15 I knew it meant the after party might be a bit... slow. But that's for later!

I woke up at 5:30am and we were out the door by 6:15am, Wookie (my boyfriend) dropped me off at the start area so I didn't have to deal with the busses from the Civic Center area approximately 26.2 miles away from the start line. Yep - this was a point to point course!

So now that we are ~26.2 miles away from the finish line at the Adams Country Fairgrounds, it's time to get this race started. What a beautiful morning we had!

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I was there with plenty of time so I went and sat by the lake and watched the sun rise. It was so peaceful!

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After relaxing by the lake for about 30 min, I made my way over to the porto-potties and then dropped off my bag. With only about 10 minutes to spare I made my way over to my corral!

I was going to try to Boston Qualify and I started off strong but around mile 8 I sensed it wasn't in the cards. My stomach had been nauseous for most of the week and in the early miles it was still churning. The course also did not offer many distrations and the slight uphill throughout was sneaky. The course stayed mostly on the multi-use paths through fields and other industrial areas. It was also a head trip that for most of the race you could see the looming buildings of Denver in the distance.

Around the half way point, my hip was hurting, my head was not in the game and I knew today was not my day. I decided to change gears and try to just enjoy the course and the day. It was sunny and beautiful out and so I decided to just take it as a supported training run. Heck, Dean Karnazes does marathons as training runs so why can't I? By shifting my focus it also meant that I no longer felt like I was "failing" at this race. I changed my focus and turned it into a pretty positive experience. It's all about perspective people!

So back to the course. It wasn't until mile 20 that we were nearing/entering Denver and then not until mile 24 that we were running through the city and there were things to see. It was also pretty hot at this point. The sun was beating down and there wasn't a ton of shade in the last 10k.

We made our way through downtown to the finish line at the Civic Center! It was a great finisher chute. Lots of food and drink getting handed out and quite a hefty medal! My official time was 4:02:47 and oh man did I fade. I was cruise around 8:10min/mile until mile 10 and just completely faded, but it's okay. You finish, you learn, and you move on to the next goal!

After that I went and grabbed my complimentary beer (Michelob Ultra... grrr) and chilled for a bit. The finisher area was pretty quiet because at this point all the half marathoners had finished about an hour prior. One of the bands was setting up but it wasn't the headliner so we decided to just head out.

Plus, I needed to go get my awesome finisher jacket! Not too shabby!

All in all, it was an okay race. The course wasn't great for the marathon (I heard the half marathon was pretty awesome) and the finisher area was a bit dull by the time I finished. But Rock 'N' Roll organizes events pretty well.

Pros:

  • Well organized and vendor filled expo
  • Lots of things to grab in the finisher chute
  • Great aid station volunteers

Cons

  • Dull course - there are so many pretty places to run in Colorado - this is not one of them.
  • Not much rockin' - there were only a few bands on the course and none seemed engaged with the runners.
  • The finisher area "party" was over by the time I finished.
  • Still not a fan of point to point courses