Monday, August 22, 2011

Divas Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Vail, CO
Sunday, August 21
Half Marathon #41
Weather - Sunny, HOT

L and I signed up for the Divas half marathon for a few reasons:

  • Fit into our schedule
  • Local
  • Have a goal to complete EVERY half (or full) in Colorado
  • The rumor about ginormous bling
There was NO race day pick up, and I was babysitting the H for L, so the kids and I made the 97 mile drive into the mountains to attend the expo.

Pretty Drive!
Outside the expo
Me and H
Kids made signs at the Luna booth
Very pathetic "diva poses"
A carrying my race bag
Another option of where to display your bling
I was super unimpressed with the whole expo experience. The website gave great directions of where to park but nothing detailed of how to FIND the expo. Much wandering around and annoyance (especially since kids do NOT move quickly). Unimpressed with the VERY SMALL expo and as usual, it's too expensive to buy anything. I do NOT like being forced to attend these. I'd rather pick up race day. Anyway.

So. Regular pre-race dinner, no dessert again, but I did have an expired beer:

I had the chance to go to bed early... although I had trouble falling asleep. Then I woke up ridiculously early (3:37 to be exact) and couldn't fall back asleep. We had planned on leaving the house around 5:30, which we figured would give us just a little extra time.

Well. Even with getting ready and making a quick stop for coffee we ended up arriving at 7:00. Two hours before the race. Yes, that means that the race started at the ungodly hour of 9:00. WHO DOES THAT??? Why does anyone want to race that late??? Anyway, we decided to wander around to see how long the walk to the start/finish would take and to check out the bathroom situations.

Yep. We were practically the first people there. The volunteers didn't even have things set up all the way yet.

View from the start line
Pre-race Diva shot
Start Line
We headed back to the car to hang out and wait for the race to start. Did I mention it didn't start until 9:00???

People really started to show up around 8:00. There was also a 5k, and that was to start at 8:45. We applied our sunscreen and headed out to the start around 8:30. We did some pictures:

Oh yes I did!
L didn't have a matching tutu, but is still sparkly!
Much to our annoyance, the already late race was LATE starting. The corrals were crowded and we didn't start until 9:12. The website didn't give very detailed information about the course and aid stations. I apparently misread the statement "This is a flat course with a total elevation gain of just 348 ft through the 13.1 miles."

I really don't like when organizers make comments like this. First off. The first 2 miles are essentially falling down a hill steep. I mean, I had to start walking like 3/4 of a mile in because my legs cramped up. But the view? A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I'll go ahead and say it. The first two miles sucked for me. Big time. And just leave it at that. I was running with my new Hippie Runner race belt which does not have water bottle and I was THIRSTY. The belt itself does not slide as promised but I was mildly unimpressed with the "zip tie" bib attachment assembly. I spent probably the first 30 minutes of the race messing with it because my number kept moving around. In the future I'll probably just pin the number down. (Even holding my iPhone it did not bounce around, and I loved the second pocket that was big enough for a GU and piece of gum). Anyway, the first aid station was just before mile 2, and I needed it!

Thankfully the course levelled out a bit after about mile 2.5, and I sailed through the next few miles. I was running at a sorta slow but comfortable pace and enjoying the scenery. Another "misleading" statement from the website "This run takes place within the valley, thus avoiding significant changes in elevation." LIARS!!! Anyway, just tell us that it is rolling with some significant hills so we are more mentally prepared. Remember that major downhill for 2 miles? We of course ran back up that later. The picture below IS an uphill but not even CLOSE to one of the major ones:

Between miles 4 & 5
Supposedly 7 aid stations on the course, but the second one didn't show up until mile 5. I was ready to faint from dehydration by then!

Between miles 5 and 6
I was cruising pretty well the next mile or so, and then we started to run through some of the neighborhoods. Roads not closed to traffic and even though there were cones in the road there were no arrows indicating which side we should be on. Confusing.

Still thirsty. Next aid station not until just after mile 8. WTH?! Lots more beautiful scenery, so I'm trying not to be too annoyed with the crazy hills and lack of water.

We ran by some of the ski lifts (not too interesting visually) and then another serious downhill around mile 10 where we were running on the frontage road for the interstate. I could see runners in the valley below running in the opposite direction, but couldn't get my bearings to figure how far in front of of me they were. Even though I was CRUISIN' down the hill I had to stop and walk because I over-drank at the previous aid station. Curses!

My pace sucks, I'm cramping and I'm hot. Trying not to be whiny, but man, this is a TOUGH course and I hadn't prepared for it. Lots of walking. Around mile 11 I get tapped on the shoulder by a woman I'd been running on/off with for a while. She says "C'mon bad ass, keep going!" (I was wearing my AWESOME "Bad Ass" socks from Razzy Roo). It helped a bit and I started running a bit stronger.

The course weaves through the village, which reminds me a LOT of running through downtown Disney. Cobblestone and everything. Totally bizarre as NOTHING is closed off and there are no markings of a course. Good thing I wasn't in front...

Mile 11-12 sucked. Lots of hills, trails, dirt, blah blah. Wondering... WHERE IS THIS TIARA AND BOA STATION?? So thirsty.

Try to run the last mile only to get confronted with a super ginormous hill at mile 12.8. WHY??? Hate hills at the end. But wait!! At the top of the hill I get my boa (which sticks to me because I'm sweaty and covered in sunscreen) and my tiara (that I can barely get stuck in my hair). Go around a corner and.... YES!!! I SEE THE DAMN FINISH AREA!!

Can you see me? 4th back, headed toward the finish line! (Photo courtesy of "")
Running on a skinny sidewalk (also the only way into and out of the start/finish area so lots of people walking TOWARDS us with kids, strollers, dogs, etc) and I'm pacing a bit slower than I'd like for the end because of the congestion. And then one of my biggest race type annoyances? Three women in front of me join hands and try to run through the chute together. SERIOUSLY??? Hate that. I push past them and sprint to the finish. I had planned to do a kick ass turbo kickboxing move at the end, but let's be serious. I was dead tired. Got my awesome rose at the finish line:

And YAY to them handing out bottles of water right then and there (PS, there were NOT 7 aid stations, only 6 + the boa/tiara station). Met L, got my tiny glass of champagne, then we did our finisher pictures. We were getting ready to head back to the car when I heard the name of a friend being announced, so I quickly headed back to congratulate her. FYI, she also said she felt mislead with the course description and said this was her worst time ever.

Official time - 2:24:12
Official pace - 10:59
Garmin time - 2:24:10
Garmin distance - 13.13 miles
Garmin pace - 10:58
Overall place - 283/652
Gender place - 283/651
Division place - 46/102
Mile 1 - 9:31
Mile 2 - 12:14
Mile 3 - 11:28
Mile 4 - 9:57
Mile 5 - 10:58
Mile 6 - 10:12
Mile 7 - 10:59
Mile 8 - 10:18
Mile 9 - 10:36
Mile 10 - 10:45
Mile 11 - 12:05
Mile 12 - 12:08
Mile 13 - 11:38
Mile 13.1 - 9:29

And FYI, my garmin posted a 712 foot gain with minimum elevation 7,953 and maximum 8,424.

Anyway. Race didn't go as planned, but the bling? MOST AWESOME AND HUGE EVER.

Check out it DWARFING my Disney Princess medal!
This isn't a race that I need to do again. I am REALLY looking forward to a flatter course at Disney with essentially ZERO elevation :D

Like my race outfit? The headband, skirt and "Bad Ass" socks can all be purchased INEXPENSIVELY at Razzy Roo! Check out the link in the top left hand corner of my blog and use the code to save 10%! I got TONS of compliments on the ensemble and it was comfortable to run in!


  1. You would think they would have water stations at every mile or two during a half.

    Congrats on the race!

  2. Ugh! The part about running on the sidewalk with people, dogs, strollers, etc. would have seriously pissed me off. And the false advertising of a flat course. Guess they don't care if people only run it once. Good job under sucky conditions!

  3. I feel like the Princess was awesome with the aid stations. Every time I needed one, it was there. Rock 'n' Roll was like that, too. But the rest - I always want more. I think I'd have being miserable at this race. Just that elevation alone is enough to make me wrinkle my nose at it.

    BUT you got a tiara and boa AND medal the size of a small child!

    Congrats!! Just think, after this one Disneyland will be a breeze!

  4. Love the bling! Looks like it was well deserved too! I thought this race looked like fun maybe a girls weekend or something...maybe they will get it together and do a little better job next year.

    And you look awesome in you skirt!

  5. You rocked that skirt, girl. So cute! What is up with high altitude races not being prepared to hydrate you? I had the same experience in Steamboat. That medal rocks. Great job!

  6. not a fan of misleading websites. you seemed to handle it really well. that is BIG bling. LOVE!!


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