Colfax Marathon Relay (Race Recap)

Sunday, May 17
Denver, CO
Weather - Sunny, NOT raining

The only relay I have ever done was the Ragnar in SoCal with #VanAwesome. I had no intention of ever running Colfax again. I ran the half two years ago only to knock it off the list. It always falls on my birthday weekend and I don't really like running on my birthday. I would rather eat and spectate, like I did last year.

Anyway, I somehow got roped into running with people from work. Two people who had run in the past were going to be on vacation and my attorney volunteered me since he calls me a "real runner." Wheee.

Our captain did not pick up our stuff for us, so since I had the first leg I went to the expo on Friday so I could get my bib and the baton. The expo was at Wings Over the Rockies - a pretty cool museum. However, it was INSANELY CROWDED, which as you all know, makes me twitchy. I think the drive to and from the expo and the time I spent there took an hour and a half. Sigh.

The marathon relay began at 6 am, so I had to be up just after 4:15 to drive down to City Park to get my car parked before 5 am so I could walk over to the start and do all my port-o-potty nonsense. I think I parked in almost the exact same spot as when L and I ran a few years ago. I was parked by 4:58 am, and the walk to the start was 10-15 minutes.

There were billions of bathrooms at the start so I didn't even have my normal "waiting in the bathroom line" stuff to do. Luckily I ran into a fellow roost teammate and we chatted until about 15 minutes before the start.

I had a throwaway sweatshirt since it was cold and I kept it on until about 5 minutes before the start. The race started about 5 minutes late and since I was in the 6th wave back I texted my team to let them know to expect me a bit later.

I had no idea what to expect but decided to just run on feel and hope for the best. We started in City Park, ran by East High School and we were on Colfax pretty early on. I was feeling good and running much faster than I normally do. I briefly stopped to get water at the first aid station just past mile 2. The best part of the early miles was seeing the guy dodge into Voodoo Doughnut and come out eating one. He got a bit of grief when he didn't finish it and tossed part of it in the trash.

Came up on a Grease Monkey around mile 2.5 - "Marathoners, you are at mile 3! 23.5 to go!" Nice try. Just before I25 we ran through the fire station (lame, there were no shirtless firemen" and then we turned onto the Cherry Creek trail, which I have never run on. Normally it is filled with homeless people, but they had apparently all been cleared out. There was an aid station around mile 4 on the trail and I briefly stopped there as well. I was still feeling pretty good. I was not having the fire calves, but I could tell I was starting to get tired and wasn't sure how long I could hold out. We got off the trail, ran by Confluence Park and then ran behind Elitch's. The answer to how long could I hold my pace? About mile 5.25 we started a small climb and my legs just stopped. I took a few walk breaks for the next half mile or so. We arrived at Sports Authority field and ran through Gate 5 and got to run inside the stadium:


We exited the stadium and then had to run up the ramp and back around the west side. Seems unfair to end on a hill. Didn't want to walk because I was SOOO CLOSE to the exchange. As I got closer I was wondering how on earth Sheryl was going to see me - the exchange area was so tiny!! They were announcing bib numbers and luckily she found me right away. I was so happy to be done!

The big annoyance was having to wait in a ridiculously long line just to get my bottle of water. I was pretty hot and thirsty and I didn't appreciate the 15 minute wait to get my water. Wah. No good food at the exchange, so I had a gal take my picture and headed out:


I figured I would have to catch the bus on Federal and luckily there were others wandering around confused like I was. We figured out that we needed to walk about 6 blocks south to catch the bus. The bus wasn't "special" for the race, just the regular city bus, so it stopped about 25 times before dropping us off near the start at 17th and Colorado. By this time it was already 8:30 in the morning. I briefly considered walking over to the start to see if I could catch up with anyone I knew who was running the half and decided going home to shower and eat was more important. It was another 12 block walk back to my car.

Garmin time - 1:07:17
Garmin distance - 6.53 miles (my leg was 6.4 according to the race)
Garmin pace - 10:18
Mile 1 - 10:37
Mile 2 - 10:12
Mile 3 - 10:03
Mile 4 - 9:32
Mile 5 - 10:09
Mile 6 - 11:15
Mile 7 - 10:26

Thoughts
  • For such a large race, this was really well organized. The aid stations had both Gatorade and water, and there were bathrooms on the course. And PLENTY at the start.
  • Very cool medal - even for the relay.
  • The baton that we had to use for the relay was a bit archaic for me - join the 21st century and do bracelets or something. I had considered running back to my car instead of dealing with the bus but decided I didn't want to carry a handheld AND a baton.
  • The exchange could have used a little work. The water really should be separate from the food so we didn't have to wait so long.
  • The bus was a bit complicated to find, but it was nice that I was able to get back to my car without any difficulty. Our bibs had our bus tickets attached as a tear off, so that was nice.
  • They have a pretty good finish line deal with BBQ and beer, but I didn't go because it was too early and I wanted breakfast instead.
  • All things considered, it was fun and I would probably do it again. It helped that work paid for the race so it didn't cost me anything but time.

Comments

  1. Not a single person in my office runs. How fun it must be to work with other runners (except when you're roped into a relay, I guess lol). Running through a stadium is awesome! I once got to run through the tunnel at the rose bowl and it was incredible!

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  2. Congrats on another race. I've never done a marathon relay before. I almost raced the Colfax marathon this year but I got into the Ogden, UT one instead. Maybe I should've done the Colfax one on account that it rained for my race.

    Happy Birthday!

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  3. Great job, and I agree about the baton - every time I passed a relay runner (or the other way around), it reminded me of high school track. Great job!

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