Temps were forecasted in the high 30s, precipitation was supposed to be an 80% chance likely and the winds were going to be howling head on at 25mph. Runners showed up to the starting line in Littleton, CO with long sleeves, gloves, jackets, hats, plastic bags and looked puzzled: the sky was blue and the sun was shining!
But on the horizon were several menacing patches of clouds. Now the question was: Would we beat the bad weather? Better run fast!!!!
My super-speedy friend, Ginna, a fellow trail runner, Ed, and I lined up together in the first wave (for all sub-1:55 runners) and were off for a quick 1 mile loop of Littleton before the course headed north on the Platte River path for the next 11 miles with the last mile of the race taking you up and over I-25 into Denver.
Here’s a few shots of Ginna lookin’ good and speedin’ along with the fast folk and crossing the finish in 1:31:05 (16th woman)! Woo!
Overall, the course is flat with a slight downhill trend until the last mile. It’s definitely a fast one; I would guess it’s the fastest in CO. Had I discovered this before the race I would have perhaps dedicated a few weeks to train for it! I don’t think it would have been too hard to set a PR given the fact that I was running on not-so-fresh legs and still managed to come in at 1:40:08, just 3 minutes off my personal best. Oh yeah and we’re at 5400ft altitude.
Here’s a few shots of me in the first few miles:
About mid-way through the race (uh I’m such a terrible heel striker!):
The NW winds decided to start working on fulfilling the forecast at around mile 4 or 5 and proceeded to blow a bit stronger in our faces with every passing mile. I definitely felt colder as the race went on, which was a bit strange. Here I am running with my head down into the wind with 0.1 miles to go: (Um, is the guy in green next to me blowing snot rocket?! GROSS.)
The weather deteriorated fast which unfortunately dampened the mood at the post-race BBQ and beer tent. But it could have been so much worse, so I’m not complaining :-)
Here’s Ginna, me and Ed (whose 1:39:39 finish landed him a spot on the 60-64 AG podium!) after the finish:
Looking forward to next Sunday’s race up in Fort Collins! The finish line is at the New Belgium Brewery – now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Hopefully Ryan can get his IT band to stop being so stupid so he can run it instead of being the designated photographer. Boo.