Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Highlands Ranch Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Monday, September 7
Highlands Ranch (Littleton), CO
Half Marathon #136
Colorado Half #69
Weather - Mostly good, cool and sunny at the start. Warmed up at the end.

I woke up before 5 in order to make coffee before starting the drive down south for the Highlands Ranch half marathon. The course was point to point and I needed to pick up my bib and be in line for the shuttle buses by about 6. Bib pick up was fast and easy and I had no trouble meeting up with Heather for the shuttles. The drive seemed to last forever and we were dropped off at the start with about 20 minutes until the start of the race. There were plenty of bathrooms and we lined up to start at 7 am. It was a bit strange that there was no National Anthem, especially on Labor Day.

However, the race started on time. I have not been running and had no idea what to expect with this race, especially after having just done a longer run on Saturday. The plan was to take it easy and have fun. Well, we sort of accomplished both.

The race would prove to be a bit more difficult than the elevation profile would have you believe, and there were a decent amount of rollers - which I actually like a lot better than a flat course. We were met with a herd of buffalo before we hit mile 2, which was pretty cool. 
I promise these are buffalo and not just really big cows
The road for the first few miles was this weird paved dirt road, so it was very hard and rutted. I did not enjoy this section very much. There were a decent amount of downhills, but there were a lot of gradual uphills too. Some of the steeper downhills make my IT band scream. Womp.

The first 6 miles or so went pretty well, then we got to one of the longer hills of the course and we took some longer walk breaks. It was about this time that it started to heat up. I took my gel around mile 7 and for the most part I was feeling as well as could be expected for someone who has been doing little to no running.

Somewhere around mile 10 was when we got brief relief on some dirt (but more hills), and we both were kind of done.

We did run most of the course but we took walk breaks as needed. We knew there was going to be a decent climb around mile 11.5 and it did not disappoint. We walked up most of that. 

I checked my watch and we were really close to being under 2:20, which I hadn't done in ages, so we sucked it up and ran to the finish. The finish line, however, was on the other side of a six lane boulevard. So that was weird and probably jacked up traffic for hours.
Dan wasn't running so he was our paparazzi for this cool shot
Heather had a lot more kick than I did at the end and beat me by a few seconds. I was just happy to be done!

Garmin Time - 2:19:39 (practically the speed of light!)
Mile 1 - 10:52
Mile 2 - 10:37
Mile 3 - 10:11
Mile 4 - 10:20
Mile 5 - 10:22
Mile 6 - 11:47
Mile 7 - 10:19
Mile 8 - 10:01
Mile 9 - 10:40
Mile 10 - 10:15
Mile 11 - 11:33
Mile 12 - 11:36
Mile 13 - 10:59
Mile 13.1 - 7:15 (LOLOL)

We collected our medals, took some pictures and then I headed out.

  • This was an expensive race. Even registering in January cost me $70. Heather paid something obscene like $110 a few weeks before the race.
  • That expense did NOT include custom bibs or fancy bibs with a timing chip, we had shoe tags.
  • We also did not have swag bags. (Which honestly, is find by me, I have SO MUCH JUNK).
  • I did not take the race shirt, looked like most others, a plain Jane cheap-ish tech tee.
  • Course was very well marked with custom signage and mile markers at every mile.
  • Plenty of aid stations, about 2 miles apart, although the first was at mile 3. There were also bathrooms at a few spots on the course.
  • Finish line was pretty small, but they had ice cream sandwiches and snacks (but I didn't look too close so not entirely sure what was there).
  • Overall, I think the course and the race was fine. I will likely not run this again because 1). it was expensive and 2). it's pretty far away.
  • I would recommend this race - just register very early if you want to save some money!


  1. Is that beer bottles on your running skirt? I don't think i've seen that before! I always love your outfits.

    1. YES!!! It's a sparkle skirt! It's funny that I had worn their plain sparkly skirts but never branched out to their "real" skirts. These things are fantastic. The shorts don't ride up, the pockets are HUGE. A bit pricey, but I will be weeding out my running clothes to get more of these bad boys!

  2. Congrats on a strong finish. Eighty dollars is about my limit for a half. I'll pay more if there are going to be premiums, like a full meal or bands or something but for a regular half.... No more than eighty.

    Sounds like you had a good performance despite the lack of training.

    Nice recap!


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