Thursday, February 2, 2017

Freeze Your Cookies Off #1 (Race Recap)

Sunday, January 29
Denver, CO
Half marathon #158
Weather - Warm, sunny

Months ago, a few of us brainstormed and came up with the "Freeze Your Cookies Off" race series. A grassroots half marathon series to 1). get some longer miles in during winter months and 2). to help A offload more Girl Scout cookies (by including two boxes with each registration).

We had the assistance of race director Bill Morton (who organizes Runs With Scissors that I ran in 2014), Daniel (who did the timing) and Ang and Maureen for volunteers. Months of planning and emailing and messaging and finally, the day was here for the first race in the series!

We were "blessed" to have some warmer weather, and it is CRAZY to be running in short sleeves and a tee in January and still feel warm. Anyway, we had planned on the races all starting at noon, because we were expecting colder temperatures, and wanted to give people the chance to go to church first.

We arrived at the start area at 10:30, which was plenty of time to set up a canopy and table and and wait for people to arrive. Bill had secured a private parking lot at the church which would prevent us from having to run across the parking lot to get to the trail, PLUS, we were given permission to use the bathrooms inside.

The first runner arrived around 11 and we started the process of checking in and handing out cookies. While I have assisted with registration and check in before, definitely a new respect for it when there are only two of you, even though the race was super small (I think we had about 20 runners). We sent the volunteers (Mo and Ang) to the aid station at the turnaround and it was decided that I would run with Colfax for the first half of the race.

Just before the race started we took a group picture, which was fun, and right at noon we headed out to the trail. The Highline Canal is a 70ish mile long dirt multi-use trail that I have run a handful of times in the past. Heather, Colfax and I headed out for what I hoped would be a nice, long run.
The trail was unfortunately a lot more icy than I expected. Even with it being almost 60 degrees, there were areas that were shaded enough that it was crazy icy - and with it being warmer, the areas where the sun was hitting was melting that ice and making it muddy.

We stopped about a half hour in to give Colfax some water. I could tell it was going to be a long day. The first runner, Brandon (the local Hoka rep) was the first runner we saw coming back, when we were about 4.5 miles out. When we got closer to maybe 6 miles, we saw a group of runners who told us the volunteers were not at the turn around. WHAT. OH SHIT. I immediately call them and they say that they ARE set up at the Highline and Orchard. And yet every single person coming back said no one was there. Luckily I had an extra water bottle on me and I was able to fill some people's bottles and had some snacks on me... I called Ang back and she said, no, we are set up on Highline and Orchard. WHAT.

Turns out (which I didn't know, and SHOULD have known), that there are THREE places where Orchard and the Highline Canal cross. Damn it!!!!! Luckily, I was able to ping our location to Maureen and Ang and they packed up and met up with us at the correct spot so I could hand off Colfax. There were still a handful of runners out that were able to get the aid they needed, but I was HORRIFIED that this had happened. Maureen and Ang were also super upset and once we confirmed the last runner was headed their way they packed up and did an impromptu aid station a few miles from the finish.
Due to the aid station fiasco, we had a mile that took us almost a half hour and our 3ish hour finish time was very unimpressive. Most of the runners were still hanging around at the finish and thankfully, they were all very understanding about the situation. I was apologizing right and left, but everyone assured me that they were fine. Ugh. At least for the next one, we know for sure the right place to go, and we have secured a traffic cone for a turnaround so no one runs long.

Definitely a learning experience!

Garmin time - 3:02:56
Official time - 3:02:52
Garmin distance - 13.34 miles (we knew it would be long, simply because of where the aid station would have to be placed)
Mile 1 - 11:55
Mile 2 - 12:54
Mile 3 - 12:25
Mile 4 - 11:42
Mile 5 - 12:46
Mile 6 - 12:21
Mile 7 - 27:44 (aid station nonsense)
Mile 8 - 12:31
Mile 9 - 12:27
Mile 10 - 12:19
Mile 11 - 12:48
Mile 12 - 13:41
Mile 13 - 13:05
Mile 13.34 - 12:35
This is what the "medal" looked like
  • I've been super unmotivated ever since I got back from Arizona. I had not run longer than 7-8 miles all month, and it showed. I had barely been running ANYTHING. So distance-wise, this was tough. I'm also used to running in early morning or at sunset, and it's been on average about 40 degrees cooler. So the temps were warmer than I'm used to.
  • I am still bummed about the aid station not being where it should have been. I can't really blame it on anyone, we should have gone out and marked it or something - chalk it up to being SUPER inexperienced.
  • Our entry fee was $18. That included snacks/drinks at the start (and aid station for those that were able to get to it), 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies per person and a handmade medal. All proceeds from this first event are being donated to Girls on the Run.

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