Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Redline 13.1 at Westminster (Race Recap)

Saturday, April 6
Westminster, CO
Half Marathon #78
Colorado Half #18
Weather - Overcast for first half, sunny. Ideal temperatures.
As part of our goal to run all the half marathons in the state, we of course added Redline 13.1 at Westminster to our schedule. The course is on Big Dry Creek, which is probably where I have run most of my outdoor runs over the last few years. L had run it last year and wanted to run it with me again.

The race started at 8:00, and the start was only about 10-15 minutes from our house. We didn't expect a big turnout, and dropped off the kids around 7:00 at my parents house. We ate our pre-race fuel (donut holes of course) and had the car parked by about 7:15. We managed to get a spot just feet from the 5 port-o-potties. There were less than 100 runners participating in the half marathon, although there was also a 5k option that didn't start until 9:00.

We hit the bathroom a few times and headed to the start area with 10 minutes until it was supposed to start.

You can tell I've added some chub to my waistline!
I told L right from the beginning that I knew I was going to have a slow day and that she was more than welcome to run without me. (Spoiler Alert! - Glad I told her to run without me, she ran a 1:58 for her fastest time in over a year!)

I started in the very VERY back. Well, about as far back as one can get in a race that only has about 75 runners. I kept L in my sights for maybe the first mile, and then she was gone. The first aid station was about 1.5 miles in and I never saw her again. My stomach was feeling off AGAIN and I had to stop and use the bathroom that was at mile 2.5. I got passed by a few people around that point and never caught back up. I looked behind me and DID NOT SEE A SINGLE PERSON. There was a separate "walker" division that had started at 7:00, but it looked like I seriously was going to be the last runner. WTF.

The course is nice, but nothing special, I've run it a billion times. What I hadn't run was the section that split off after the aid station at mile 4. So there were a few miles in the middle of the course that were on sections of trail that I had not run before.

The course is partly paved bike path and partly dirt "trail." It is NOT at all technical and one of the most popular trails for dog walkers, runners, walkers, bike riders, etc. One of the issues I had was with how dry it has been, the dirt sections were REALLY packed down and it was hard to run on some sections that were grooved from bike tires and strollers.

I have not been wearing my garmin, and although I use mapmyrun on my phone, I do not look at it during races. My stomach was feeling off and my legs were extremely fatigued. I wasn't having any pain, I was just really REALLY tired. So I walked. A lot. It was very discouraging being so far in the back and I just stopped caring. The mountains looked so pretty but it's hard to capture it with an iPhone:

There were tons of volunteers on the course, so even though I was completely alone, I never felt like I could get lost. Not that I really COULD get lost, I know the area, even if I don't know the specific path that I am on. I saw the leaders coming back when I was just past mile 5. I saw L right before I hit the mile 6 marker, so she was well over a mile ahead of me at that point.

When the sun came out, so did the bugs. There were swarms of gnats EVERYWHERE. It was so disgusting. I spent the second half of the course waving my arms around like a crazy person trying to keep them off my face. GROSS!!!

I probably walked even MORE the second half. I finally DID see ONE person behind me. ONE. I was about a half mile ahead of her, so my only goal was to not come in last :-/

I had to stop and use the bathroom again around mile 7.5. I was starting to see more people on the trail... although they were people just out enjoying their Saturday morning.

The rest of the "race" was uneventful. I never saw anyone else in front of me, and the one runner that was behind me never caught up.

Top: INKnBURN, Skirt: Lululemon, Socks: Running Skirts, Shoes: Newton
I pulled my phone out when I saw the finish area and when I stopped the timer I was shocked that I came in just under 2.5 hours. Considering how deserted the course was, I honestly thought that I was looking at a 3 hour race.

Official Time 2:29:32
Gender Place - 58/59
Division Place - 17/17
Time - 2:29:24
Pace - 11:28
Distance - 13.03 miles
Mile 1 - 9:57
Mile 2 - 12:00
Mile 3 - 12:05
Mile 4 - 11:11
Mile 5 - 11:14
Mile 6 - 11:06
Mile 7 - 11:31
Mile 8 - 13:23
Mile 9 - 11:34
Mile 10 - 11:29
Mile 11 - 11:39
Mile 12 - 10:52
Mile 13 - 10:37
Mile 13.1 - 8:50

What, if anything did I learn from this race?
  • I'm NO faster if I "run" the whole race. Other than the first mile, I walked IN EVERY SINGLE MILE. And this is pretty much the average time I have been running over the last 6-8 months or so. And actually, although by seconds, this was my fastest time since last August.
  • It really REALLY sucks to be in the back of a race. I don't care what anyone says, it SUCKS. Yes, I know I finished and yes, I know I finished with an average time for my running, but it still SUCKS.
Thoughts on the race itself:
  • This is the third (?) race I have run put on by Redline and it was by far the best / most organized.
  • There was Cytomax (normally I would say ew, but the flavor they had was ok) and water at every aid station. There were gels at the turnaround - both GU and the Clif for a total of 4 flavors to chose from.
  • The shirt is nice - gender specific tech tee in a fun "orange-y" color.
  • Nice medal
  • Good post-race items. They had a bakery "Nothing Bundt Cakes" that was giving out samples, a restaurant that had samples of chips, salsa and guacamole and flat bread. They also had bananas, chips and boxes of cereal. Plus they had little Lara bars. The volunteers gave me about 40 bars, so that alone paid for my race entry :D
  • Only "complaint" was that there were supposed to be 6 aid stations and there were only 5. Didn't make that big of a difference to me though since it wasn't super hot out and I wasn't really over-exerting myself.
  • I guess a secondary "complaint" was all the bugs. No way to get around that, and certainly not the fault of the race, but still, SO GROSS.
  • The awards and raffle weren't being done until 11:00. That is a LONG time for the fasties to have to sit around and wait... I mean, for crying out loud, I am 100% aware I am not getting an award, it is perfectly fine to start that earlier. We didn't have time to stick around for the raffle because we had to pick up the kids.
  •  Overall, this was a good race and I would probably run it again.


  1. We have Nothing Bundt Cakes out here, and they are DELICIOUS. That sounds like the best ever finish line spread.

  2. I still think your amazing - even if you were in the back! Congratulations!

  3. you're pictures are gorgeous. I could't help but chuckle at the 40 free larabars... i do remember a time when you would give me yours since you didn't like them, oh how times have changed!

  4. Sounds like a pretty good race with a really speedy group of runners.

  5. Crazy small race. I agree with you, being in the back sucks, even if your time is respectable if it had been a big race. I felt the way you felt for the first half of our race in Nebraska, except that L stayed with me and we were almost last together, haha.

    So, how many Gu did you get?

  6. yeah - I hear you about being at the tail end of the race. I'm so OVER "just finishing" or saying "I wasn't last". I have definitely have done races as "training races", but even in those training races I have to be somewhat competent (mid-pack); otherwise it's not worth my time. Once upon a time "just finishing" was my goal, but I've way beyond that.


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