Monday, May 13, 2013

Fear the Deer Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, May 11
Littleton, CO
Half Marathon #81
Colorado Half #20
Weather - Sunny and Warm

The Fear the Deer was the one half that I was half dreading and half looking forward to. Whenever I get in a running slump, a trail race or crazy running adventure usually helps fix my perspective. However, the race is also deemed the "toughest trail 1/2 on the front range." THAT would turn out to be an accurate assessment.

The race didn't start until 8, but looking at the information a few days before showed that we would need to drive about 40 minutes, pick up our packets and then take a shuttle up part of the mountain to get to the start area. Pick up was a breeze and we were on the first bus to the park. The view from the trail head was pretty nice:

Kim always reminds me that hot air balloons are good luck
We chatted with a few guys at a picnic table waiting for the race to start. We hit the bathrooms a few times and it was disappointing that one of the two toilets didn't flush. That was awkward. The race was capped at 175 runners, and it did sell out. This is the start area about 10 minutes before we started.

As soon as the last bus arrived, we started, a few minutes late. We had no idea if there were any bathrooms on the course, but we decided not to take a chance, and we stopped, 100 yards(ish) after starting the race and used them one last time. By then, we were already playing a game of catch up to the last runner. Immediately, the hills were pretty intense, this is probably a quarter of a mile in:

I will admit, I was pretty excited about FOR REAL trails. Once we got going, it was pretty nice with a bunch of GREEN trees and some shade (how on earth it already felt so hot, I don't know):

The sign says One Mileish (LOL)
I struggled pretty early on going up the inclines.

Once we got up one the longest hill in the world, we noticed there were some cute signs taped to trees:

The up just kept going.... and going.... and going....

And then FINALLY, there was some single track that we could actually run. That was FANTASTIC.

The views from the top were pretty impressive:

All the turnarounds were unmanned - but clearly marked. Not sure where I would go, except to go back the way I came...

We had one of the volunteers take a picture of us at one of the scenic view summits:

My vest felt "off" all day. No wonder, the chest strap is all wonky
 And some pictures of me on the course:
Unexpected "medal"
Official Time - 3:16:55
Overall Place - 146/155
Unofficial time - 3:17:29 (Forgot to stop MMR)
Distance - 13.47 (according to MMR)
Mile 1- 14:57
Mile 2 - 19:59
Mile 3 - 16:33
Mile 4 - 13:15
Mile 5 - 16:04
Mile 6 - 10:59 (must have been the single track!)
Mile 7 - 13:36
Mile 8 - 13:53
Mile 9 - 19:37
Mile 10 - 12:40
Mile 11 - 14:22
Mile 12 - 13:03
Mile 13 - 11:58
Mile 13.4 - 12:05

So. Thoughts:
  • This shit was hard. But the type of hard I actually enjoy. The "ups" were crazy hard, I had to stop quite a bit to catch my breath. The single track was really nice, I love running "rolling" hills. The downhills were mostly ok, but there was a lot of loose rocks, I landed weird quite a few times. Biggest success was NO falling.
  • There was one aid station on the course that we hit twice - once around mile 1.7 and again at mile 8.5. I do not understand the people that didn't carry water!! I wore my vest, and had it filled with 50-60 oz of Nuun and I drank THE ENTIRE THING. Plus I took water both times I hit the aid station. I took two gels and had 2 red vines. And I was STARVING by the time we were done. L drank maybe one tiny water bottle (12 oz??) and NO GU. What.
  • L is so much faster and stronger than me I wish she wouldn't "run" with me. By "run with me" she is always about 20 strides ahead of me and I am always chasing her. Whenever I get within hearing distance, I get the "hurry up." Blah.
  • Pretty, pretty, PRETTY course.
  • Awesome volunteers. We had to take a "shuttle" back to the car, and one of the volunteers actually drove us down in her personal vehicle. That was really nice.
  • The post race food was PHENOMENAL. So happy they had food AND beer left when we were done (there were only maybe 10 people that finished after us).
  • Maybe, if I was in better shape, I would run this again. For the most part, I had a good time. Trails still make me pretty happy.


  1. Maybe you were out of breath because there's no oxygen?

    I think your "cure" might be a trail race in a place WITH oxygen. Maybe.

  2. I am always so jealous when I read your recaps. I live in Mississippi and we have very few races around here. Seems like CO has soooooo many to choose from!! I will be coming to CO for the Slacker Half next month, so at least I'll get to experience some of that CO beauty soon.

  3. This race looks so awesome! I've only done 5K trail runs, but I'm excited about expanding to longer distances in the future.

  4. That looks really hard.

    What is up with your knee in the thumbs up picture? I can't get a close up.

    You guys looked cute in your green shirts.

    It's tough to run with someone when you are different paces. We must discuss my "would you rather (I) ignore you when I pass you or do you want encouragement" question. I've decided I would rather (you) ignore me when you pass me.

    And, yes, hot air balloons are good luck!

  5. What a gorgeous place to run! It sounds like a really hard race. Wonderful job!

  6. that is beautiful! i love the medal too. Why won't L run ahead of you?


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