Monday, August 18, 2014

Glenwood Springs Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, August 16
Glenwood Springs, CO
Half Marathon #113
Colorado Half #49
Weather - Sunny and warm

The Glenwood Springs half marathon was put on by the same group that put on the Beaver Creek half marathon I ran last week. Luckily, this race was not on Sunday and it started an hour earlier. Packet pick-up the night before was quick and easy at Sports Authority (and the race director recognized both of us...)

Race shirt
We had mapped directions to the start the night before, thinking it would take about 10 minutes to get to the start. For whatever reason, the app didn't recognize the address and had us driving up and down I-70. We luckily found it. And it was like a mile from our hotel and we didn't even NEED to get on I-70 at all.

Arrived with about 45 minutes to the start. L saw that the beer was already out and suggested I drink one. OK.

L, Gregg, Me
The Courtyard Marriott (host hotel) allowed all the runners to use their bathrooms (thanks!) and we cycled through a few times before heading over to the start. This is apparently the smallest race of the series - with only 100 runners across both the half marathon and the 10k. I started in the back.

We knew pretty much nothing about the course, other than the first 4.5 MILES were going to be uphill. Wonderful. I was in the mood for a nice, long, hike.

The only picture of me during the race - I guess only fast people got on course pictures?
Turns out there was a quick switchback, then we were on some relatively flat single track to take us to the dirt/gravel road we would be running up. IT WAS ALREADY THE HOTTEST EVER.

I had managed to place myself with people that were actually my pace, if not a bit slower than me. Once we got to the road, the walking began. I know you can't really tell in these pictures, but I promise it is steep and hilly. At least some of the road was shaded because it was SO HOT AND SUNNY.

No goals for this race, other than try to run a reasonable amount of it. I probably walked up at least 70% of the hills, but I tried to do a bit of jogging on every switchback. It helped a bit, as I passed a few people on the uphills (which I know are my weakest). Since we were running on dirt road, it wasn't super scenic, although the views FROM the road weren't half bad:

Miles. And. Miles. Of. Dirt. Road.

Finally, I was almost at the top. For real, those were the longest miles EVER...

I grabbed some water at the aid station and FLEW DOWN THE MOUNTAIN. No really. I might not be great on uphills, but you know what I'm pretty good at? NON-TECHNICAL DOWNHILLS.

I passed a LOT of people (and by a lot, I mean, like 4) on the downhills. I cruised down those miles in half the time (or less) that it took me to get up. And then I re-entered the reality of flat. I struggled a bit on the singletrack for the 2/3 of a mile or so until we ran by the start/finish area. To make up the half marathon distance, we would be running two 2-mile loops on the Wulfsohn trail. It was pretty wide dirt rail, lined with some cool wildflowers.

There finally was some more "technical" trail. Some tree roots and rocks, and some sharp turns. It didn't last nearly long enough.

I got passed by the guy we had seen at the race the week before, and headed out for my second loop. I found that all the people I had passed on the downhill were just starting their FIRST loop. So I really made up a lot of time on those. I think I ran a bit more, and then when I headed towards the finish, I SMOKED a guy with about a quarter mile to go. He even came up to me at the end, kind of annoyed "where did you COME FROM? I never saw you the entire race." lol.

Official Time - 2:39:17
Garmin Time - 2:39:10
Mile 1 - 14:09
Mile 2 - 18:02
Mile 3 - 17:45
Mile 4 - 16:54
Mile 5 - 9:35
Mile 6 - 7:38 (interestingly, my fastest mile EVER)
Mile 7 - 9:08
Mile 8 - 9:37
Mile 9 - 14:34
Mile 10 - 13:37
Mile 11 - 12:47
Mile 12 - 13:06
Finish sprint - 7:43

Somehow, I came in 3rd in my AG (L got 1st). For a prize I got a pair of socks, but I gave them to L because they looked huge.

  • This was an ok course. Not as fun and pretty as Beaver Creek, but wow, I enjoyed the downhill a LOT.
  • Great aid stations - all manned by US Army personnel. They were very friendly - never out of anything.
  • OK shirt, OK medal.
  • I don't think I would travel again for this race (about 3.5 hours each way), but I would recommend it. The price is good, and other than the giant uphill at the beginning, it would actually be a good starter for trail running.
  • Did you notice my watch? Turns out, I FORGOT TO BRING MINE. Lucky for ME, my dad was with us and he let me borrow his (since I am OCD). And I'm glad I had it because it was confirmation that when I felt like I was flying, I was...


  1. Hey, congrats on your fastest mile! And in the middle of a race, too!

  2. Gotta love medaling in your AG! Congratulations!

  3. Nice job! It blows my mind that you have run 113 half marathons. and I am still on number 6. Hoping to make it 7 soon, but at this rate I will never catch up with you! Congrats on a fastest mile and medaling in your age group.

    1. I can't even catch my sister, and we started racing half marathons at the same time :D

  4. awesome! 3.5 hours is a long way to travel to a race. But if there were so many choices like that around here, I might do it once as well. Nice work!


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