Monday, November 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pie 5K and 10K (Race Recaps)

Saturday, November 15
Denver, CO

The Pumpkin Pie is one of the larger late fall / early winter events in Denver. As you know, I really don't LIKE short distances, so I hardly ever do them. Somehow, I got confused by the lure of a "double" (running both a 5K and a 10K with just 90 minutes between start times), pumpkin pie and a cute long sleeve tech shirt.

It has been COLD in Denver for the last week. We had record breaking LOW temperatures last week (seriously, I think one day the low was -14). Because of the snow and low temperatures, the city has been under a layer of ice on the roads and sidewalks. Imagine my joy at seeing MORE snow and low temperatures in the forecast for Saturday.

The race started at City Center Park, near the Denver Zoo. The 5K started at 9:00 am, so we dropped off the kids at my parents at 7:15 to allow time for parking and picking up our stuff.

We lucked out and got a spot pretty close to the start (less than a 10 minute walk). Immediately after stepping out of the car we were hit with gusts of freezing wind. The walk just to get TO packet pick up was like a skating rink. IT WAS SO COLD.

Used the bathroom and then picked up our bibs (one bib for each distance) and shirts, and headed back to the car. Why are we doing this?? It is SO COLD. The car said it was 18 degrees, however, this is what the weather app said:

Feels. Like. 1. ONE DEGREE. We decided that we were going to allow only 20 minutes from the time we left the car to use the bathroom and line up. We did NOT want to be outside any longer than possible. The lines at the port-o-potties were short, and we lined up a few minutes before the start. I was really surprised at the number of people that had braved the elements for a dumb 5K.

The race started right on time. I was sort nearish the front, trying to eyeball who was going to be running and who was going to be walking. Even though they clarified to NOT BE IN THE FRONT unless you were "in it to win it" - there were groups of people walking together. Front and center.

There was a lot of bobbing and weaving in the first mile, which was fine, because it was the SLIPPERIEST EVER EVER EVER.

Even though I was taking it super slow and easy, my calves seized up (which I was pretty much expecting) in the first mile, and I had to take a few walk breaks before the aid station (at roughly the halfway point).

I took only one picture because I was for real concerned that my fingers were going to freeze right off:

It's hard to tell that it is currently snowing and that the wind is blowing at like 20 mph
After the aid station I felt better and picked up the pace a bit. I came very close to falling many times, but managed to stay upright through the chute.

Official Time - 33:45 (wow, I've gotten so slow!)
Official Pace - 10:52
Overall Place - 617/2241 (seriously, over 2000 people showed up for this!)
Gender Place - 332/1568
Division Place - 39/203
Garmin Time - 33:45
Garmin Pace - 10:43
Mile 1 - 10:48
Mile 2 - 11:27
Mile 3 - 10:10
Mile 3.15 - 9:06

L was waiting for me, we grabbed free slice of pie number one and headed back to the car.

By the time we got back to the car it was 9:40-9:45? We had only 45 minutes until the start of the 10K. Remind me again, why were we doing this??? We cranked up the heat and I decided to eat my piece of pie in lieu of trying to choke down a gel before round 2. The pie was DELICIOUS.

This time, we figured that there would be fewer people doing the 10K and that we would only allow 15 minutes for walking, bathroom and lining up. We actually had to wait a bit longer to use the bathroom and I felt MUCH colder this time around. I was shaking so bad I seriously considered skipping it and sitting in the car.

The 10K also started right on time, at 10:30. We started closer to the front and I don't think I had nearly as many issues with the walkers and groups of people. However, my calf cramping started even EARLIER and was much more intense. I was walking by 6-7 minutes in. I allowed myself a much longer walk break than I usually would take but it seemed to help as my only other stops during the race were at the two water stops.

There were a few sections of the course where the ice seemed to be melting and others where it was so icy I was pretty much skating. As I came through on my first loop the winner was finishing. So, there was that.

I had warmed up substantially and I was no longer concerned about losing a toe to frostbite. I was using hand warmers, so my hands were fine the entire time. It was just as windy, if not windier, than the earlier race. Still incredibly cold and still icy. My second loop was much "faster" and I was feeling pretty good about my finish.

Official Time - 1:06:44
Official Pace - 10:45
Overall Place - 622/1073
Gender Place - 389/741
Division Place - 69/127
Garmin Time - 1:06:44
Garmin Pace - 10:36
Mile 1 - 11:35
Mile 2 - 11:10
Mile 3 - 10:24
Mile 4 - 10:31
Mile 5 - 10:20
Mile 6 - 10:01
Mile 6.29 - 9:23

The only goals for this race were to finish and to not fall and injure myself. Success.


  • Very well organized. Although, there really HAS to be a better system where you don't have to use two different bibs. 
  • The race shirt is really cute (I know, I should have a picture of it, but I don't).
  • Love the medal - the medal was the same for the 5K and the 10K, so we actually got two of them.
  • Only one water/Gatorade station - which was fine in this type of weather. Plenty of volunteers, although by the second loop of the 10K, they didn't have any cups filled and I had to wait a few seconds, which was  no big deal.
  • The course is pretty flat. I have run it before, but this time we ran it counterclockwise, which I had not run before. The course was also VERY slick. It was really hard to tell where to step so it wasn't was slick, so I honestly spent most of the race looking at my feet.
  • The pumpkin pie was delicious. It was perfectly fine for fueling.
  • Would I run this again? Maybe. It was not very expensive, not even for the "upgrade" package for the long sleeve tech tee versus the standard cotton tee (which was actually pretty cute). Running the double was affordable, it was only $10 more to do both instead of just doing one. 
  • PS - you KNOW it was cold if L was actually wearing all the clothes. Normally she makes fun of me for being delicate and fragile.


  1. I was actually supposed to push a wheelchair kiddo in this race, but he backed out because of the cold weather. Glad you got the pie at least! :)

  2. i'm impressed you both braved the elements for such a short distance. Cold is one thing, but when the wind comes out I cry like a girl! I ran a 5k last weekend and work capris and long sleeves bc it was so windy---- not ready for this

  3. hell to the no i would’ve bailed. i’m such a sissy. WAY impressed yall did both in that weather. pumpkin pie is my favorite, so i can imagine it is the best fuel. and, congrats on RR!! really excited for you!


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