Friday, February 13, 2015

Ralston Creek Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, February 8
Arvada, CO
Half Marathon #126
Colorado Half #59
Ralston Creek Half #4
Weather - Sunny, warm, WINDY

I was really pumped in the week leading up to the Ralston Creek half marathon. I have run it every year since inception and this was going to be THE FIRST YEAR that temperatures were scheduled to be above freezing. Not just above freezing, but WARM. I think temps at the start were upper 50's, and a TON of sun. What I didn't count on was the wind...

We dropped the kids off at my parents house just before 8:30 and drove to the start. By the time we parked the winds had pickd up to mid 20 mph. It was SO windy. In the shade it was almost chilly, although I knew I was going to warm up as soon as I started running.

Heather and I had talked before the race and we planned to run together. I was pretty confident going into the race that I was going to have a good race. HAHAHAHAHA.

We were in the second wave, which didn't start until 9:45. Normally the late start is really nice because of the freezing cold, but that was not an issue and I wished we were starting earlier.

We cycled through the bathroom line a few times and then lined up, towards the back. I wasn't wearing headphones and we chatted through the first mile. I was feeling ok but knew I was moving too fast when I clicked a sub 10 mile. The  "speed" caught up with me and I had to take my first walk break around 1.5 miles in.

View from mile 5!
I was REALLY surprised that Heather stuck with me, but it was great to have the company. The first 8 miles of the course is a gradul uphill and we were running west, against the wind. I pretty much gave up about 3 miles in and we walked A LOT. As I remembered, mile 5 was the worst. Heather's hat blew off (again, this was already the third time?) I thought that I could run up the switchbacks like I did last year. NOPE. I checked somewhere around mile 6 and the winds were upwards of 30 mph. SO MISERABLE.

I kept trying to convince Heather (and myself) that once we got to the top of the switchbacks that we would have a nice few miles of downhill. Which we did, but WHERE WAS THE WIND NOW??? We were now headed east and the wind was not at our backs like we had hoped. I was tired and ready to be done. Had a sort of decent last five miles but not the race that I hoped. Heather's hat blew off for a last time as we were getting ready to turn the corner to head into the straightaway to the finish.

Not too much to say about this race other than I was really disappointed. We had a pretty good last mile and came in just shy of 2:30 on the clock. BOOO. I run with Heather almost every time we go to run club but I have never run for this amount of time with her. It was really great to have a few hours to catch up. It was a miserable weather day and I'm grateful she kept me company!

Garmin Time - 2:28:42
Garmin Distance - 13.24 miles
Garmin Pace - 11:14
Mile 1 - 9:42
Mile 2 - 10:30
Mile 3 - 13:56
Mile 4 - 11:29
Mile 5 - 12:10
Mile 6 - 14:01
Mile 7 - 11:52
Mile 8 - 12:07
Mile 9 - 9:22
Mile 10 - 10:05
Mile 11 - 10:01
Mile 12 - 10:15
Mile 13 - 10:55
Mile 13.24 - 9:21

Met up with Dan and L, and just like I remembered, we got chocolate chip banana bread and a nice breakfast burrito. There was also diet coke, which was great.

Freakishly Amazing is a stretch for me. L, however, got a course PR for her and was pretty happy
New medal this year!

  • I will run this race again. It is the only half marathon in Colorado in February. I hope that next year we don't have the wind. As miserable as the cold is, I certainly prefer THAT over THIS.
  • I hate this course, but I know what I'm getting into. The views are nice, the hills are not.
  • Related - with how little snow we have had the course was BROWN... so ugly :(
  • This year the race shirt is a 1/4 zip tech tee long sleeve. I probably won't wear it (just because I have a billion running shirs, not because it isn't good). Dark grey color, race logo small on left chest.
  • I LOVE the post race food. No beer, but the chocolate chip banana bread and burritos are good. And soda. Love me some soda.
  • They offered "free" race pictures but then sent the download links in an email with this wording, so I guess I can't even post them here, although they didn't come out terrible: Your order contains one or more free digital images., LLC reserves the rights to all images. This license is for personal use only and does not grant any copyright to the image(s). No other use is authorized. All other uses are prohibited without the express written permission of, LLC. Personal use does not include use in any media, publications, editorials, promotions or advertising of any kind. Unauthorized use of, LLC images is prohibited and punishable by law. Statutory damages can lead up to a $150,000 fine for infringements. If you have any questions, please contact us at 


  1. I'd like to see a picture, but sounds like then you'd have to go to jail, so I will survive without one.

  2. I've only bought one or two pictures in my career of running. They seem to be super expensive. I bought one for my first marathon and another a friend bought me for a Christmas present.

    Some races are offering free pictures but now they have advertising imprinted on them for race sponsors.

    Sorry to hear about the tough conditions. I've been through a few tough races where the weather has not cooperated. Wind is always one of the worst to deal with, especially if you are trying for a solid time.

    Good to see you racing and posting again!

  3. i just realized you are at #126. DAMN. amazing. sorry the wind sucked! i just got free pictures but didn't read a thing about them...wondering if it had the same thing....


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