Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Revel Rockies Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, June 12
Morrison, CO
Half Marathon #148
Weather - Cloudy, pretty decent


Back when I still had the goal of "running all the half marathons" in Colorado, I registered for the Revel Rockies. I was supposed to run it last year, but then, no buses. I don't remember the specifics behind rolling over my registration, but either way, I signed up for 2016.

I have never been especially excited for this event. I don't like that there is no packet pick up. I don't like the super early shuttle bus (especially after last year when they were a no show), and I was REALLY not looking forward to the course. It's been about 4 years now, but I still have issues with pounding the pavement on downhills, and my right IT band and knee bother me. With THAT said, I still had plans on running.

Alarm went off at 3:40 am. Urg. So early. I had a message from Heather that she had decided to bail on the race since she had friends visiting from out of state. Got dressed, woke up A, grabbed coffee, and we were out the door just after 4:00. Drove to Lakewood to Maureen's house. A was going to stay with Colfax while we ran. Maureen knew a sneaky back way to the parking lot by Bandimere, and we were parked right around 4:45, which was our goal time.

Got all our gear ready and headed over to the line of buses (glorious sight!) and met up with Stacey. The bus right was uneventful, but seemed REALLY LONG. We chatted with fellow Rooster, Dan, who was the 1:30 pacer and Stacey. Arrived at the start with about an hour to the start. That gave us plenty of time for pictures, eating our breakfast and multiple trips through the bathroom line. While there were plenty of bathrooms, the set up made the lines crowded and confusing.
Shed my long sleeve tee, applied sunscreen, and dropped off my bag at 6:15. Maureen and I lined up in the back around 6:25, with the race starting promptly at 6:30. The course actually started with a decent uphill, which I would have known if I ever looked at anything. In hindsight, we shouldn't have started so far back because almost everyone was walking. The first few miles went fairly well, with more hills than I expected. I was already really hot and sweaty and was really grateful for the cloud cover. It's been insanely warm in Denver lately and I was glad the sun was hidden. It was a tad humid, as we had a decent rainstorm the night before.

The first aid station was about 2 miles in, and I still took a cup of water and took a short walk break, even though I had a bottle of Nuun in my hand. Another hill into a neighborhood, which we walked up. The rest of the run through mile 4 went well, we were holding a good pace. I ate some Honey Stinger chews and then we headed into our longest stretch without an aid station.

The course was really pretty. We ran along the river and there were tons of trees. Somewhere around mile 5.5, I had to take another break. My IT band was holding up all right, but my IT band and thighs were already burning. Ran into the halfway aid station feeling pretty good. There was another gradual uphill around mile 8 or so, we walked up about half of that. We were still hanging onto a solid pace, hoping to finish faster than our Surf City pace.

Maybe I'm talking? Why do I look so weird?
Around mile 8.5, we got passed by the first marathon runner. For perspective, they only started 30 minutes before us, lol. Not too long after that Maureen mentioned that she thought her IT band was starting to bother her. We stopped at the aid station at mile 9.5 to see if they had any Biofreeze or something that might help her pain. We ran out of the aid station and within a minute or two her leg had completely seized up. She was wincing in pain, barely able to walk. She thought taking a short break might alleviate the pain, but unfortunately, she was not able to run the remainder of the race.

Having had many people stick with me, I of course told Maureen I would stay with her. We went from a 10:15 pace to walking the remainder of the race. She kept apologizing for walking and was upset at the number of people that were passing us. While I would have liked to come in for a strong finish, I didn't mind the walk down the canyon. I was able to get some good pictures and have a conversation without hyperventilating.
Stacey passed us just before the mile 26 marker, and Maureen said she would try to run when we got to the mile 13 marker. After we made the turn we still didn't see the finish, and waited until we saw it before we "ran" in.
Trying to make sure Maureen is still near me and ok!
Official Time - 2:41:30 (12:19 pace)
Official 6.55 split - 1:06:23 (10:08 pace)
Overall Place - 822/1027
Gender Place - 575/742
Division Place - 103/125
Garmin Time - 2:41:32
Garmin Distance - 13.25 miles
Garmin Pace - 12:12
Mile 1 - 10:36
Mile 2 - 9:58
Mile 3 - 10:25
Mile 4 - 10:20
Mile 5 - 9:48
Mile 6 - 10:22
Mile 7 - 10:49
Mile 8 - 10:41
Mile 9 - 10:48
Mile 10 - 12:02 (the beginning of the end...)
Mile 11 - 16:41
Mile 12 - 18:00
Mile 13 - 17:28
Mile 13.25ish - 14:08

Saw Dave Bell at the finish, gave him a hug, collected my medal and bottle of water.
We had a pretty decent walk to pick up our drop bags, then we headed to the "finish line party" where we met up with Sabine and Sebastian, chatting with them for a few minutes before we went into the beer "jail." Hooray for great beer at the finish line! We spent a while at the finish with Christy and Jen (who got a smoking fast new PR - sub 1:30!)
We headed out around 10:30, running into more friends on the way out (Lisa and Johnny), and then started the slow walk to the car. Poor Maureen was limping and hurting pretty badly. Christy gave us a ride to our car (which really wasn't even that far away), and then we drove over to Maureen's house to get A and Colfax.

Thoughts:
  • For the first 9.5 miles, this went about as well as could be expected. If you want a graded road and mostly downhill (very little flat or uphill), then this is the course for you. I was actually surprised to not have more issues with my IT band - probably for the best that we ended up walking the end.
  • Pretty, pretty course!! Half the road was closed to traffic so it was wide enough to handle the number of runners. It was a bit congested the first few miles, but really cleared up after that.
  • Plenty of aid stations, and I liked that they were closer together towards the end. Water and Gatorade at all, plus there was a GU station at I think mile 4.
  • Course very well marked, mile markers were dead on (until the end, that was the longest .1 to the finish EVER.
  • Plenty of photographers on the course - along with notice that they were coming.
  • Decent amount of crowd support, even in the more  "rural" areas.
  • EXCELLENT beer at the finish.
  • Logistically kind of a pain in the ass, but it ended up being fine. It was about a mile walk from t the finish to the parking lot, but they did have shuttles if you needed it.
  • HUGE medal.
  • Nice race shirt. I somehow missed the option for a tank instead of a tee. I could have changed a the expo, for a $5 fee, but I decided not to.
  • Overall, a pretty good race, if you like the whole "running downhill and going for a big PR" type of race. For ME, even if I was in top form, I doubt I would have run a PR on this course. This race is a "one and done" for me, I won't run again.

1 comment:

  1. I've done two net downhill races - Boston, and a course that was supposed to mirror Boston. Neither were my fastest races!

    ReplyDelete

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