Another race in the books and I'm 2 races into my September!
It's time to recap the Fall Equinox Half Marathon and SPOILER Colorado weather did not disappoint!
My legs were still pretty tired from my marathon last week so going into this race the goal was just to finish. Since this race was all downhill and was rated the best half marathon in the West Mountain Region by Competitor, so I figured I could just roll to the finish line and have a great time!
I'm in full on packing mode for our European/Disneyland Paris Half adventure so I didn't get to bed until 11:30 which wouldn't be so bad but I needed to be out the door by 5 to drive to the high school where the shuttle would leave between 6-6:30am. An early morning for me!
After a few hours sleep, I was up an at 'em! I was out the door by 4:50, parked by 5:55 and able to use the port-o-potty before getting on the shuttle bus to the start. The parking area was at the Poudre High School, not at the start or finish area, so the team rented school buses to get us around.
The bus ride gave us a nice preview of the course but I was too tired to do much sight seeing. Finally we got the start at the Mishawaka Amphitheater (now on my list to try to go see a band at) and was a great place to hang out.
The bag drop was here, plenty of port-o-potties and they had free coffee and water for everyone. So nice!
As I went to drop off my bag, I ran into BibRavePro Christine who was here from Spokane to run. Love getting to meet my teammates from across the US and around the world!
We lined up and then were taken down to the start line a bit further down and we were off! I was a little further back and didn't even realize we had started. The start is all self-seeded and there isn't any indication of what paces should line up where which made the first few miles a bit crowded. I was definitely dodging around more than I would've liked. Finally around mile 4 or so I was running with people of my pace.
The entire route was run down through the Poudre Canyon which is gorgeous and on my list to come back and camp. For the first 3.5 miles (the first water station) we had a full lane for runners and then it dropped to a half lane/1/3 lane/just the shoulder for the remainder of the race. This is not my favorite and generally makes me a little nervous.
Overall though it was a great race. The scenery was beautiful, the water stops were energized and had lots of water and nuun, and the other runners were pretty nice. The weather was nice and the day was warm with a nice breeze flowing through the canyon.
We meandered through the canyon, by mile 5 my legs were definitely feeling tired even though I was running at an easy pace so I just kept that in check and tried to take in the beauty around me. There was almost a trail feel to the race even though it was a road race which was awesome. The volunteers were awesome and the runners were pretty chill. Even though my legs were tired, I tried to stay ahead of this one guy who kept spitting but wind + spray spit means if you were behind him you got a little spray too. This happened to me twice. Not cool.
Anyways, we barreled through the canyon, to the finish where food and beer awaited us!
As we crossed the finish we got out medal and our pint glass which we used at the water station and to get beer, this was SUCH a great idea and really played to the mission of the Green Events Co. Nice job guys!
Lots of food and delicious Fort Collins Brewing beer on a beautiful sunny day!
I mingled in the finish area for a bit but needed to get home to continue packing and planning!
Overall, it really was a great race. If my legs hadn't been so tired, I would've flown down this course. It was downhill but not too steep so perfect for PRs. The start and finish area was so nice and you just wanted to stay and mingle. Other than sharing the road with traffic and the lack of pace seeding at the start, it was a really great event and definitely one I'll keep on my list for next year!