Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Louisville Trail Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, October 9
Louisville, CO
Half marathon #155
Weather - brisk at start, nice

Pretty bummed for the last race of the Endurance Race Series, the Louisville trail half marathon. I had only run this event once, back in 2013. Then, the race was in early May, and I remember it being chilly and not a lot of fun. Thankfully, I have runnesia, and it was much better this time around!

Race Day

We were up early to be out the door by 6:30, arriving at the start around 7. The plan was to pick up our packets (A earned another free race entry for all her volunteering, so she was running the 5k) and for me to take the 7:30 early start. (I wasn't planning on taking the early start originally, but since we had tickets to an early afternoon Broncos game, I needed to get an early start).

Packet pick up was a breeze and there was no line at the port-o-potties. We went back to the car and got everything ready and then met up with Brandon at the Hoka tent so I could demo some shoes. Unfortunately, I can't remember which ones I tried. The laces were tighter than I liked and the toe box wasn't as wide as I prefer, but they were fine. With a little more time/prep I'm sure they would be a good shoe - and not nearly as "tall" feeling as my Cliftons.

The 7:30 early start was pushed back about 10 minutes because an aid station wasn't set up yet. Not that we needed the aid station, but the aid station was also a course marking for a turn shortly after the first mile.

Anyway, I was glad that Stacy remembered where the course went, because I sure didn't. Anyway, off we went. First we headed out west on the Coal Creek trail. This is the section I am most familiar with in other races. I had kept my long sleeve shirt on because it was still really cold when we started. I was happy to have it, I pulled the sleeves over my hands - they were freezing!

The first part of the course is fairly flat and not technical. There was a small, maybe half a mile section that was on pavement, but most of it was on a wide, dirt path.

Cow on the loose!

After a half hour or so (maybe about 2.5 miles in), we looped around a small lake/pond and headed back the way we came.
There was a coyote hanging out in the fields nearby, causing havoc with the people walking their dogs. He didn't seem interested in the runners, however. Shortly after the turnaround I shed the extra layer, AND the lead runner was heading towards us (a Roost teammate, of course).
About mile 4 was when we ran by the finish line and continued to head east for the back part of the course. I didn't realize that the back part was where the 5k and 10k runners had to go. I had told A the course was flat, so when I realized the biggest hill was on her course I figured she'd be mad.

However, I saw her when she was 2-2.5 miles in and heading in to the finish. She looked really happy!
I walked up most of the hill, enjoyed the flat on the plateau, and then the small switchback section down the backside, where there was another aid station. This section of the trail was really pretty, and I didn't remember it at all from when I ran it in 2013. About mile 7 I figured I should take some Honey Stinger chews, only to realize I must have left them in the car. OH NO! Luckily, there was an aid station soon after and they had jelly beans. Can't believe I actually forgot my fuel, first time ever!

I ran pretty decent until we turned around, and then I was pretty much done (not good, I still had like 4 miles to go). There was a lot more walking than I would have liked, and my legs were feeling pretty fatigued (I had gone to barre classes every day for a month, so it wasn't really a surprise). Took all my pictures from this section on the way back since I was walking more.

Atop that "giant" hill
I did finish fairly strong and was really pleased to go under 2:30 for the first time in ages.

Garmin Time - 2:29:21
Garmin Distance - 13.10
Garmin Pace - 11:24
Overall Place - 130/152
Gender Place - 87/105
Division Place - 31/40
Elevation Gain - 453'
Mile 1 - 12:33
Mile 2 - 11:34
Mile 3 - 11:47
Mile 4 - 10:57
Mile 5 - 10:26
Mile 6 - 11:08
Mile 7 - 10:17
Mile 8 - 11:14
Mile 9 - 10:59
Mile 10 - 11:57
Mile 11 - 11:39
Mile 12 - 12:35
Mile 13 - 11:07
Mile 13.1 - 11:24

A was at the finish line handing out medals for the kids' race (by the way, they nearly trampled me, lol). I made a quick stop to the bathroom and then went to the finish line party to hang out. There was a special awards ceremony for the season pass holders. I was surprised and super excited to get a custom growler, 6 pack of beer and medal for completing the half marathon distance at all 9 races of the season.
I have no idea what I'm looking at (Photo: Lynette Johnson)
ERS Season pass holders! Can you find me? (Photo: Lynette Johnson)
A got third in her age group, although only overall finishers received awards at this race.

We stuck around for a bit talking with people and ate a quick lunch before we had to head out.

  • What a difference a season makes! When the course was all brown and dreary I didn't like it nearly as much. Simply gorgeous with the changing leaves!
  • I really liked that the 5k and 10k did not do the first part of our course. This is the biggest event ERS puts on and there was NO congestion as a result.
  • Plenty of aid stations, and thankfully, they had food.
  • Gender specific shirts, royal blue color.
  • (Large) medals for all distances.
  • Awesome post-race party (although no beer allowed at this one).
  • I will be back again next year as an ambassador for the ERS race series. This year there were 9 races, next year there will be 10, with a new race in Silverthorne. I will have a discount code for the season pass (available for 10k and half marathon) and individual races later this year. What an awesome series this is, I am so happy to represent for them and hope to see some of my readers at a race next year. I have added the dates to my calendar if anyone wants to start planning ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Another gorgeous race - and good job finishing this series.


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