Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Backcountry Wilderness Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, November 7
Highlands Ranch, CO
Half Marathon #141
Weather - chilly and windy at the start, perfect by the finish

I have run the Backcountry Wilderness half marathon two other times - once in 2014 and the first time, in 2012. I registered for this one early - wanting to get a race on the trails before the end of the year. The weather looked on/off sketchy, but we lucked out with blue sky and sunshine the morning of the race.

With a 9:00 start time, we didn't leave the house until about 7:15. We were supposed to meet Heather and Dan at the start, Heather and I were going to run and Dan was going to hang out with A.

We arrived just after 8:00 (I remembered the parking was a little sketchy), and we walked to pick up packets and use the bathroom. We were chatting with Phil at the Runners Roost tent when Heather called to say that she wasn't going to be able to come. A and I talked and I told her as long as we were there that we should see if they needed any volunteers. We met back up with Phil and he insisted that I should still raced and that A could hang out with him. After many assurances that he was perfectly fine with watching her, we hurried back to the car so I could get my bib and cycled through the bathroom line one more time.

I headed down to the start right as the last wave was starting. The goal was to not have it hurt. I have had so many races this season where everything hurt and I was miserable. I didn't want that! I started out slow and vowed to NOT look at my watch and obsess over pace. The first mile is one sidewalk and road, I walked a bit up the hill heading towards the trails. Then we got onto the dirt road and I was feeling really good. I was running steady and walking when I felt like I needed to but it wasn't because I was hurting.

I was slowly passing people and honestly, I was having fun. I was also getting REALLY HOT. It was in the upper 30's when the race started and I was cooking in my long sleeve top. After the second aid station, around mile 7, I was still feeling really great. I headed onto the single track section and ended up in the conga line - which honestly was probably a good thing. It helped me hold back where I might not have otherwise and I think I was running really strong.

For some reason there was someone dressed up as Chewbacca giving high fives around mile 8. The long climb around mile 9 was the slowest mile of the day gave me a chance to take off my long sleeve shirt, and for the first time ever, I think, ran in my sports bra. Grabbed some water at the last aid station, mile 11, and LOVED the last 2 miles downhill. Of course I remembered the nasty hill up to the finish, but I was PUMPED to see that my time was way faster than last year. (Like 12 minutes faster!)

Garmin time - 2:17:00
Garmin distance - 12.99 miles
Garmin pace - 11:19 (SO FAST)
Mile 1- 11:31
Mile 2 - 11:20
Mile 3 - 10:43
Mile 4 - 12:59
Mile 5 - 11:45
Mile 6 - 11:32
Mile 7 - 10:10
Mile 8 - 10:31
Mile 9 - 10:56
Mile 10 - 13:58
Mile 11 - 12:00
Mile 12 - 10:06
Mile 13 - 9:40

I grabbed a water and then met up with Phil, who said A had been perfectly fine and he had a great time hanging out with her. I had to run back to my car to get my ID for the Grist beer. A had a giant plate of pancakes from Flappin' Flapjacks, but I wasn't hungry.
Pancakes? What pancakes?


  • I will run this again. Funny how views change over time. I didn't enjoy myself the first year I ran this, and this year I definitely did.
  • Lots of swag - a cool coffee mug, long sleeve tech tee and a nice medal.
  • LOTS of "stuff" at the start/finish area. Grist Brewery was there with their delicious craft beer, and of course Flappin' Flapjacks is always a hit.
  • The parking is a bit of a headache so definitely allow more time than you think you need.
  • My only complaint is the lack of bathrooms at the start. Pretty sure they added more this year, bu the line still took a really long time to get through.


  1. I can totally relate on the childcare front! I'll bet getting back to A might have been a motivator to push a little harder too, I know that always makes me go a little faster than usual.


I adore comments and I read every single one. Thanks for reading :)

Week in Review (October 20 - October 26)

Tuesday  (9,752 steps) - Work in the office. Headed straight to A's "not award" ceremony for cross country at the local park. ...