I am kicking myself now for not having run with my camera yesterday. The course was absolutely gorgeous and the up and down hills in the first 8 miles were definitely as impressive as the graph foretold!
We lined up at the start facing the our first objective head on: the first half of the 500′ climb up Monster Mountain:<
Off we go!
A pretty good way to get the legs working hard right off the bat with a couple of long switchbacks within the first half-mile:
Once we conquered the 6.4% grade we got a little break before continuing on up for another mile at 9.2%!! An African drum band played at the top and definitely provided some inspirational beats to keep us pushing on up. To give you an idea of how rough the start of the race was, I hit the 2 mile mark in 18:13! The next 6 miles were equally bipolar with my mile splits ranging from 7:10 to 8:30.
The views from the top of these hills were unbelievable: reservoirs, hills, mountains and endless blue skies as far as the eye could see. I so wished I would have had my camera! The dramatic elevation change was super entertaining and helped the miles pass by quickly. I loved every bit of it! There’s no way to spectate the course by car so there were loads of people out on bikes yelling and cheering which was also much appreciated. Something about the spectators having to tackle the hills too made their support that much more powerful.
Kicking it in, the final homestretch:
Instead of handing out plastic water bottles at the finish they set up faucets and handed you a pint glass with the race logo. What a great idea!
Overall, the race was fantastic. I would absolutely plan on coming back to run it again and will bring my camera with me this time!
As I mentioned in my pre-race thoughts, the race finished at the New Belgium Brewery with free beers for the runners. Unlike the after-party at the Platte River Half the weekend before, the weather was absolutely perfect. A beer would have been a treat, but we had to sneak off quite quickly after the race to attend to some exciting business down in Denver…. I will leave you hanging on this one and let the suspense build for now ;-)