Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Denver RnR half marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, October 18
Denver, CO
Half Marathon #140
Colorado Half #73
Denver RnR #5
Weather - perfect


In the past, packet pick up has always been at the Convention Center downtown. Worked out super well for me since I work downtown and I could just walk over there. When I was looking at the website to find out the hours I realized they had moved it to the National Western Complex. Boo, hiss. This meant I would actually have to drive there AND pay for parking. Not happy about this!

I drove over there during my lunch break on Friday. The parking was sort of a disaster (got there about an hour after it opened), paid my $5 and walked over. Other than the Runners Roost and Runners Edge booth there were ZERO booths of interest. I spent $1 on one single Salted Watermelon GU and went back to work. (C'mon rock n' roll, you can do better than this!).

Turns out it was way too warm for arm sleeves (and I went with the shoes on the right)
Thanks to the many years I have run this event, I knew exactly when I had to leave in order to have enough time to park and get to the start line. However, I was going to be coming from a further away address and I was going to attempt parking in the lot I use for work. I studied the maps in advance to determine what roads were going to be closed and I was out the door by about 5:20. There were roads closed that I didn't expect, so the drive took a few minutes longer than expected. Since I only had a 5 minute walk I arrived about an hour early. That meant I literally cycled through the bathroom lines about a half dozen times and I was actually IN my correct corral.

I don't think I've ever seen a race the size of RnR with ZERO lines...
O'dark-thirty
I was in wave 8 and we started maybe 10 minutes after the official start of 7:15. I have a hard time maintaining a proper pace in these big races. First thing I realized... the course was different AGAIN. This time we run up 16th Street, which was neat. My watch beeped and I was running faster than I should be. Mile 2, I was already getting tired (not a good sign) and my watch beeped - still under a 10 minute pace (too fast, still).

Pepsi Center
By about mile 3.5 I was pretty much toast. My legs both were completely numb up to my knees. I had really hoped to race without any unscheduled walk breaks and that fell apart by the second aid station at mile 4 (the Roost station, the best one of the race - hands down). I had to walk a TON. If it wasn't my legs feeling tight it was my right hip/groin. In the last two years this race has been one of my fastest races of the season (substantially), so this really sucked for me.

Coors Field
Not much else to say. I really enjoyed this course this year. We ran through a lot of downtown, near the Pepsi Center and Coors Field, and up/down 17th and around City Park. The finish was even new this year, running around the Capital and finishing up behind Civic Center. With that said... the race measured VERY LONG - everyone I spoke with had at least 13.4, some 13.5 or longer. Not that it messed up my time that much, I still would have been substantially slower than last year. It was just hard to keep going at 13.1. Not sure what happened during this race, just really tired I guess.

Running down Broadway, about halfway done

Garmin Time - 2:24:06
Garmin Pace 10:46
Mile 1 - 9:27
Mile 2 - 9:54
Mile 3 - 10:49
Mile 4 - 10:39
Mile 5 - 11:42
Mile 6 - 10:56
Mile 7 - 11:03
Mile 8 - 10:25
Mile 9 - 11:04
Mile 10 - 11:11
Mile 11 - 11:02
Mile 12 - 11:12
Mile 13 - 10:42
Mile 13.49 - 10:13

Met up with Roost teammates Maureen and Heather after the finish where we chatted for a few minutes and got a group picture.


Thoughts:
  • For a race this size, it is extremely organized. I have never checked a bag at this event, but Maureen did and she claimed it in about 30 seconds, so I am guessing there is no issue with doing that.
  • Plenty of aid stations - one with GU at mile 8 (about 4 flavors, and since I have the most gigantic pockets in Sparkle Skirts, I helped myself to a few extra). Water and Gatorade at all stations. My only complaint is that in a race of this size there should be larger signage notifying in advance when an aid station is coming up. (I swear they had these in the past).
  • Mile markers at every marker, although starting at mile 1 these were way off for everyone doing the half. 
  • The 10k started at the same time as the half and the 5k an hour later. The problem with this... the turnoffs were also not marked extremely well or with a lot of notice. And for the 5k, we were about mile 5 when the faster runners merged in with us. So that was probably really irritating for THEM. 
  • The shirt is nice this year (I'm lame, no picture, but I did actually take one). Colorado "flag" on the bag, Brooks tech tee in a slate blue color. I may wear casually.
  • Medal is ok, not my favorite but it's nice that they do different medals and ribbons for all distances.
  • LOTS of stuff at the finish area. In the past this has definitely been lacking. The only thing I ended up taking was an EVOL burrito. There was no way I was going to wait in line for a Michelob Ultra...
  • As for the expo, already expressed my feelings on that. Hopefully enough people complain that they move it back to the Convention Center and they get more vendors in! I have never left this expo without buying anything, pretty disappointing!
  • I said a hundred times that this would be my last year running, but then the posted the introductory rate of $50 and Heather convinced me to sign up... so I guess I'll be back in 2016.

1 comment:

  1. I read this morning about the cluster that was the marathon and how they won't be doing it next year and just focusing on the half. Hopefully with that, the half will be more epic

    ReplyDelete

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