Wednesday, June 8, 2016

East / West Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, June 5
Littleton, CO
Half Marathon #147
Weather - sunny and HOT


Last year, I ran the East-West half marathon, only it was called the Denver half. The name changed this year, but so did the course a bit. Anyway, I was looking forward to getting on the trails for the third vent of the season with Endurance Race Series.

The half marathon started at 8:00, so A and I left the house around 6:15. A has earned quite a few free races with ERS because of all her volunteering. When she saw the medal reveal for this race, she decided she wanted to run the 10k even though we didn't have any friends running that could join her. I was a tad concerned since she has only run two other 10k races, with neither being on trail, and neither going particularly well. However, she has had a HUGE confidence boost since completing her 24 hour run, so I decided to let her go for it.

We arrived just after 7, picked up our bibs/packets (every runner also got a free pair of darn tough socks - which was a cool perk). Runners Roost had a tent, so we spent a lot of the time waiting for the race to start hanging out with Phil and his girlfriend, as well as with Brandon, our favorite Hoka rep.
Pre-race pic
I lined up towards the back, not remembering if the trails were single track or wider. The sun was out, and unfortunately, my fire calves were back. I struggled for a large portion of this race. Between the fire calves, heat, and general leg fatigue, I didn't have a great event.

The course was very well marked, ran a tad short, and there were plenty of aid stations. I carried a small 10 oz. ultimate direction bottle in the pocket of my skirt and only used it once or twice the entire day, even though it was super hot.

8% = LOTS OF WALKING
A very recognizable section of the course - remember, this is an out and back course!
The course was an out and back, with the turn around being at the high school where the Chase the Moon ultra marathon starts. That hill was definitely soul crushing, and I spent a good portion of the way back playing leap frog with two ladies that were listening to music on their phone on speaker. One of my biggest pet peeves while racing, for sure, especially if I'm struggling to get in front of someone. Wear headphones or turn that crap off.

I managed to pass a half dozen or so people on the way back. At the last aid station I was relieved when one of the volunteers told me that A had come though and was "amazing and looked great." Phew. I was pleased to come in under my arbitrary goal of 2:45.

Collected my giant medal and went to find A.

Official Time - 2:43:14
Overall Place - 41/59
Gender Place - 9/15
Division Place - 19/32
Garmin Time - 2:43:17
Mile 1 - 12:48
Mile 2 - 13:20
Mile 3 - 13:51
Mile 4 - 11:07
Mile 5 - 12:27
Mile 6 - 10:27
Mile 7 - 12:42
Mile 8 - 14:47
Mile 9 - 12:42
Mile 10 - 13:38
Mile 11 - 12:31
Mile 12 - 12:37
Mile 13 - 10:20

Ariel did fantastic - especially considering she ran this alone! The 10k had about 600 feet of gain and it was HOT. She got first in her age group!

AWESOME finisher pic of A, thanks again, Phil!!
Official Time - 1:24:47 (which is a 13:40 pace)
Overall Place - 77/91
Gender Place - 40/51
Division Place - 1/2 (still first...)

Thoughts:
  • Another fantastic event by ERS. The course really IS pretty, but it was hot and I've run it before so I didn't take too many pictures.
  • The course was very well marked. Both the half marathon and the 10k were out and back, different color signage, as well as flour markings on the dirt. 
  • 5 aid stations for the half marathon and 2 for the 10k, with this being communicated very well in the pre-race emails.
  • The food/beverage tent was still up when I finished, and there was still beer left (from Avery brewing). A and I stuck around until the very last person crossed the line and they made sure she had food and beer too. A little bit of a bummer that almost everyone else was gone, I think A and I were the last runners there, so hopefully the gal that finished didn't feel upset about the lack of "support" at the end.
  • I like the race shirt (no pic, womp) - gender specific, royal blue. 
  • The medal is SUPER COOL - a semi-functioning compass! And it's HUGE.
See, HUGE MEDAL

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