Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Human Race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
I'm playing a bit of leap frog with my race reviews but I promise I'll be reviewing the fun and difficulty that was the Vail Trail Half this week. Today I'm going to review the Human Race Half that was in Fort Collins this Saturday.
This race was small, well organized and with as many ameneties as the large races. It was put on by a company called Green Events Colorado which puts on a race every month in Fort Collins (all on different courses) so they've got their system down. This race weekend had 4 different events, a half marathon, 10k, 5k, and a kids 1 miler all run near downtown Fort Collins.
The 5k had a special feature since you got to race the historic trolley car 21 and if you can beat it you get an special tshirt! How cool is that?!
Anyways on to the race!
There was an option to pick up your bib and race shirt the day before the race at Raintree Athletic Club in Fort Collins but with my schedule I wasn't able to make it work, so I opted for race morning for bib pickup. This is always a bit risky in my mind though and depends so much on the size and efficiency of the race and it's organizers.
The night before I also got a chance to catch up with BibRavePro Angie and Josh for some food and beer. It was an awesome way to kick-off the weekend! I love being a BibRavePro because it gives me the opportunity to connect with so many amazing runners!
After a good time and good grub it was time to hit the hay before an early wake up call and a 1 hour drive to the race from Boulder to Fort Collins before the 7:30am start time.
I woke up at about 5, threw on my race clothes, got some breakfast for the car ride up and hit the road at 5:45. Got to Fort Collins and parked easily near the start/finish area in Civic Center Park and was at the bib pickup just before 7. It was a breeze picking everything up, no one was in line to get their bib so I just walked up and was able to get my bib and tshirt really fast.
All the runners and organizers were really relaxed and it made for a really nice pre-race morning. A few pre-race pics and a port-o-potty stop later it was time to start the half marathon promptly at 7:30am. (The 5k and 10k started later)
5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Go! We were off making a small loop through downtown Fort Collins before heading west.
The course was a nice loop on the west side of Fort Collins. We went down the Grandview Ave, then up Taft, then along the Poudre Bike Trail and then back downtown. We did this loop twice which I thought was going to be annoying but it turned out to be great! I made mental notes along the route on the first loop so I could anticipate the distance on the second loop. It helped a lot to prepare me for the remaining distance.
Running down the tree lined and shaded Grandview Ave out west was beautiful. Running on Taft road was okay but it was a two lane road with wide shoulders and we only had the shoulder, not the best but it didn't make me that nervous. Running along the trail was really nice and relaxing, it ran along a creek and past farms with horses, it was just really beautiful. There was a small segment that was on dirt and sand path, It wasn't very long but it was right around the 6/12 mile mark. Then turned downtown back to the park.
The 10k followed the same route as the half marathon but started 30 minutes later and the 5k started at 8:30 and just went out and back along Grandview Ave.
With a final turn and then another into the park we came to the finish. Grabbed my medal (for half marathon finishers only) and then some water because I was pretty dehydrated. It definitely started to heat up towards the end. At the finsh area there were not any bottles of water or larger cups for water which was a bit frustrating. I just hung out at the water coolers filling up the 4oz water cups a few dozen times.
Overall the race went well for me and I felt pretty strong until the end when a wave of nausea came over me like I've never experienced before. The course was probably about half shaded and there was a nice breeze along the Poudre Bike Trail that morning which made the middle/end miles nice. And did I mention the volunteers were really great?! Not over the top cheering but friendly and helpful and their vibe fit in perfectly with the chiller atmosphere of the race. Water stops with both Nuun and water were frequent. It was just a great day and I was able to find my running happy place on many sections of the course.
After chilling, drinking some water and getting the whole gang across the finsih line it was time for PANCAKES! To be specific Snooze made blueberry pancakes with a lavendar creme sauce and strudel. Yum!
After some pancakes it was time for some O'Dell's beer and relaxing and catching up post race. We also waited around for the awards ceremony because yours truly came in second in her age group. :)
Overall, this was a solid race and one I'll definitely keep on my local roster. The organizers were on time and put together. There were lots of vendors at the end. The pancakes and beer were delicious and it was a beautiful day! The only thing that was a bit on the lackluster side was that at the finish there weren't any full water bottles or large cups for water only 4oz cups to full up with water one cup at a time. Not the best way to rehydrate after a race.
My next race isn't until September and I'm looking forward to a jam packed schedule with a marathon and 2 half marathons that month. I'm really excited because one of those halfs is run by this same race organizer and was rate BEST half marathon in the Mountain West Region by Competitor Magazine. Sooo...
Join me for the Equinox Race 9/18/16 in Poudre Canyon and use code BibRaveRocks to get 10% off your half or 5 miler registration.