Monday, June 10, 2013

Skirt Sports Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Louisville, CO
Sunday, June 9
Half Marathon #85
Colorado Half #25
Weather - Sunny and warm

Another inaugural half marathon in Colorado, the Skirt Sports half marathon was added, and of course we had to run it. Well, the price tag was a bit stiff, but their marketing for the race was first for a "women's only" half (they later opened it up to men because they didn't have high enough registration numbers) and the registration included a $50 gift card.

Working out a few kinks, I was hesitant to sign up right away, when the course was still "pending" and the date was still "pending." Thankfully, everything worked out fine, and we were relieved that they modified the start time to 7:00 so that we wouldn't die of heat stroke with the predicted 90 degree temps.

L had picked up our bibs the day before, and check out what bib number I got! (Apparently, they were assigned in order of registration... GO ME!)

The race started only about 20 minutes from our house, so we didn't have to get up too ridiculously early, even with the 7 am start. We dropped off the kids at my parent's house at 5:45 (put them back to bed) and headed to the start. By the description, we weren't sure how far away the start was from where they told us to park. Turns out, super close.

We picked up our timing chips and hit the bathroom. There were a few male participants, and a lot of them were super gung ho about the skirts. This guy was adorable!!!

Hope arrived with about a half hour to start and I was pleasantly surprised that she had worn a skirt and was going to be matchy matchy with us!! We hit the bathroom lines one more time and were told that the race was going to start 10 minutes late so that everyone could get through the line. Excellent.

We lined up at the start, listened to the announcements and heard that there was a SEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL running the half. What. She was standing a few feet away from us, cutest girl ever, but I was worried for her.

L took off right at the start, as normal. The course started in the back of the Home Depot parking lot, and one of the many course changes had us crossing over a pedestrian bridge to get over the highway. Giantest cluster EVER. Unless you were in the VERY FRONT, you were stopped at the bottom of the stairs. It gave me time to re-pin my bib, which tore the first 60 seconds I was running. After we got through the traffic jam on the bridge, we entered the course.

I was familiar with the "area" but had no idea where we were going. The course was on a 2 lane road and was coned off for us to run in the bike lane. It was a bit graded, and started out with a gradual uphill. Wheee.

Tired, tight legs pretty much right off the bat. I think I did get through the first mile before I had to walk. Curse my stupid body. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, but thankfully there was a slight breeze so it didn't feel as hot as it could have.

The aid stations were spaced pretty well apart with an electrolyte drink I hadn't tried before "Skratch" and water. Somewhere around mile 3 or 4, my left foot started to go numb, and eventually my entire lower leg went numb. That was annoying, and meant more walking.

The course was much hillier than I expected. I am glad I did NOT bother to study the course map, as my soul was sucked right out of me when I realized we were going to have to run up South Boulder road. I used to drive that road fairly frequently when I worked up north and often laughed to myself at cyclists struggling up it. A mile or so long GIANT HILL. This picture is at the top, looking back (and does NOT do it justice):

The end of the hill was about mile 8, and that was the last mile marker I actually saw on the course. I knew that just running down McCaslin would not get enough miles in, so I wasn't surprised when we were routed onto the Davidson Mesa (a "trail" I ran on a decent number of times on my way home from work when I worked up in Boulder). A fellow runner got this shot of Hope and I, somewhere... around mile 9?

The trails were a nice change from the graded road, but it was hot and it was NOT flat and/or downhill like the volunteers promised. Grrrrr. We walked some, ran some, and I was REALLY surprised when Hope said we only had about a mile and half to go. YAY!! Another nice thing about not wearing a watch, sometimes I've actually gone further than I thought. That's nice.

With about a mile to go, I had to stop with my favorite sign of the day. I SURE WILL RUN FOR DONUTS!!! (Voodoo, are you listening??? Sponsorship??)

The last mile? ALL DOWNHILL. No, really. It was the best mile of the entire race. Really really really happy to be done, as that downhill also made my IT band start acting up. WOMP.

I saw awesome photographer L at the finish chute, and she didn't disappoint getting an awesome picture of us getting ready to cross the line.

SO happy to be done.

Official Time - 2:40:16
Overall Place - 223/299
Gender Place - 212/287
Pace - 12:13
Mile 1 - 12:22
Mile 2 - 11:35
Mile 3 - 11:39
Mile 4 - 11:33
Mile 5 - 12:01
Mile 6 - 10:48
Mile 7 - 12:25
Mile 8 - 13:54
Mile 9 - 13:51
Mile 10 - 12:16
Mile 11 - 12:25
Mile 12 - 12:25
Mile 13 - 11:26
Mile 13.1 - 9:08

We grabbed some water and an Evol burrito and chatted a bit at the finish line. The 7 year old not only FINISHED, but she actually beat L, running a pretty impressive 2:09:xx. If only...

I am not that disappointed with my finish. I am still mostly on my running hiatus. Everything still aches a lot when I run. And it was hot. I had great company running with Hope again. Maybe next week, I'll start trying to actually run again?

Matchy Matchy skirt triplets
And instead of a medal, there was a finisher skirt for us at the end. Pretty cute!

  • Really not crazy about this course. The nonsense in the beginning with the pedestrian bridge was pretty unacceptable. It was an "ok" course, but that hill in the middle was pretty cruel. OK, maybe I'm just lazy and weak?
  • The aid stations were great, everything was well-stocked and volunteers were super friendly.
  • There were "power bar" gel things at the halfway point, but I don't like them so I didn't take any, but they were there.
  • Not a great course for spectators.
  • The skirt (or shirt for guys) was a nice touch for a finisher award.
  • Not too "girl power-y" that I would avoid it in the future.
  • Overall, I give it a "not bad" for an inaugural race.
  • PS - 7 am is still too late of a start in my opinion in the summer (we actually started at 7:10 with the delay). 6:30 or even 6:00 would have been better.
With the hefty price tag, I likely won't run again, although had I waited longer to sign up, they were apparently running some pretty great discounted registrations.


  1. A skirt at the end is a fun touch! Great job on the run and being number 2!

  2. Love the matchy skirts.

    How did you ever get a hill to show up in a picture? Since I can tell it's a hill, it must have been a b*tch.


  3. Skirts at the end is awesome, unless of course it doesn't fit.

    I've yet to capture a good photo that accurately depicts a hill

  4. LOVE the downhill finish!! Those are always the best!
    I like the finisher skirt at the end!! I don't know though... it might be a toss up for me which I'd want more... the skirt or the bling! lol ;)
    Sorry you had to walk quite a bit... BTW, pictures never do hills justice... the hill is always bigger than it looks! ;)
    You can linkup your race recap on the Race Recap Roundup #Linkup if you'd like! :)

  5. The man in the pink skirt is awesome! Love that he got caught up in the spirit.

    Skirts at the end are a great idea. I've never actually worn one while running, pretty sure I would get some righteous thigh chafing going on.


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