I did this race last year in virtual form, and I was excited to get to do the live version this year, especially after becoming a 3W Ambassador.
The day before the race, I helped load up the truck that takes all the things you need for a race to the event location. Joined by the race directors and owners of 3W, James and Michelle, and two other guys, we played a live version of tetris to get everything in the truck.
Michelle is super organized, knows exactly where everything is kept and where everything goes and has check lists for each event/race to make sure everything goes smoothly.
I’ve run MANY, MANY races over the years and I’ve volunteered a few times as well, but now I have a new view of the racing community – behind the scenes! It’s quite amazing what goes on to prepare for a race that most of us never get to see. From promoting the race to packing up the truck, knowing how to set up a course, coordinating the workers and volunteers ON TOP of then actually running the race itself, there’s definitely a lot that goes into races.
After the truck was packed to the brim, I said goodbye and see you tomorrow!
Saturday morning game quick and early for me. I really didn’t want to get out of bed – it’s becoming a pattern because I’ve been so exhausted lately. But I eventually threw back the covers and got dressed, which is actually a pretty important topic for this recap. The whole week prior to this event it was FREEZING! In the negative double digits. BRRR! Plus, the heat in my house was not functioning. I was really tired of being cold and even with the forecast listing a balmy 37 degrees, I was so sick of the cold, I ended up wear TOO many layers, thinking that the temperature wouldn’t reach that 37 in morning during race time. Oh well.
I finally arrived to the scene, picked up my packet and mingled with my fellow ambassadors! It’s definitely a new feeling for me…I usually show up to races in one of two fashions. Either, 1) With family or friends, and I get to hangout with them before and after the race or 2) I show up alone, and mindlessly walk around until the race start, taking off pretty quickly after I’m done. This time, I may have showed up to the race alone, but I had plenty of people to talk to before and after the race, as there’s a total of about 30 ambassadors for 3W, and I hung out for a good long while after I was actually done racing! It’s pretty awesome! Definitely a new experience.
We all wished each other luck, took a group picture (I feel like we’re part of an exclusive club – oh wait, we are), and meandered over to the start line. Given all of us ambassadors run at completely different speeds and some had their children with them, or ever a friend that was a first time racer, we all filed into the starting line at different spots. I chose my normal spot: the front 1/3 of the queue line, but not right with the first lines of people.
I had no intention of running hard or trying to break any world records that morning, I just wanted to run, with people around, and with no pain to boot! So when the gun went off, I just followed my feet.
I started off slow and steady, trying not to think about all the people passing me. I just concentrated on the sound of my feet hitting the icy road. (It was really only icy in small sections – but that’s part of living in CO). I didn’t bring my music with me this day, I just wanted to hear all the people around me and remember why I like racing so much.
I didn’t feel like I picked up the pace, I was just going with the flow of my feet, but before I knew it, I was the one passing others left and right! I finally made it to the turn around, waved at the race director, and then took off back down the road. Woah! There really wasn’t that many people in front of me! As I ran back to the finish line, I passed my fellow ambassadors going the other way, and we cheered each other on as we high-fived over the two-way dividing line.
I rounded the last few corners and saw the finish line and decided to just go for it! I picked up the pace, hearing foot steps behind me, and even though my lungs and throat were burning from the cold air, I was almost done and I wanted to finish strong!
I crossed the finish line and looked at the race clock, 26 min and some odd seconds…not even close to my PR by any means, but not too bad for just getting over my “injury” and not racing for a while.
I let my fellow ambassadors (it’s weird when you know all the volunteers at a race) clip my timing chip off my shoe and grabbed some water and a banana. I stretched as other ambassadors came up and said “good job” or “man, you really took off” or “I was soooo tempted to catch up to you.” And I was thinking was, “I didn’t even run that fast.”
After discussing which after party to go to (there was two options – Fuzzy’s Tacos for 99 cent margaritas or Arvada Beer Company for buy one get one free), it was time for the awards and guess who placed 2nd in her age group?
YEP, this girl! I was sooo excited! I guess wearing too many layers was good luck….but makes me wonder how fast I would have run with proper attire….
And no, there wasn’t just two in my age group! HA! There was actually about 28!
I proudly picked up my medal and took my picture on the awards platform.
And you better believe I wore my medal all day!
(In case you’re wondering, I picked the “buy one get one free beer” after party over the margarita after party. Duh.)