What a great event. I am extremely pleased with the whole experience. To the Colfax Marathon Coordinators: You guys put on a great event!
I nervously anticipated the start of the Colfax Marathon Relay – the Government Cup (say that five times fast) for days before Sunday. I really wanted to start my team off well and I really wanted to make a comeback into the running world. I’ve been battling injury and motivation issues for quite a while now; going back and forth between loving and
hating just not loving the sport. The night before, I nervously talked my boyfriend’s ears off about running, made sure to eat well and took time to form roll. I was determined to do EVERYTHING right before the race.
I work up that morning at (GASP!) 4am. Brutal. Although, I can’t complain too much, as I wake up at that time for one of my clients twice a week. Ick.
I tried to get my mind and body moving. I poured my coffee, made my breakfast (that I only ended up eating half of due to the butterflies in my stomach), and took both items to go in my car (open coffee mug to boot). I didn’t want to be late and I needed to find a parking spot. This is a HUGE event in Denver, and I knew parking would be rough. I lucked out and found a spot on a near by residential street.
I finished my coffee, walked over to the race start in the brisk morning air. I still had about 45 minutes until start time. I took the time to warm up efficiently (a jog, high knees, butt kickers, and a few other dynamic stretches). Not wanting to leave the warmth of my sweats behind, I reluctantly walked to bag drop to get ready to line up. With 10 minutes to go, my stomach nervously twisted in my stomach!
“What is with me!?” I thought, “I’m a veteran runner, here. I shouldn’t be this nervous!” But I really wanted to do well. The national anthem was sung, and we were off! I trudged on, focusing on my pace, my breathing and the music in my ears. I put one foot in front of the other and sure enough by mile 1, I was running at a comfortable 8min/mile pace! I felt great! I was confident I could stick to that pace!
Each mile maker I passed increased my confidence; not feeling like I had gone the distance listed. With Mile High Stadium in sight, I pushed it into high gear! I was feeling great! No aches or pain! My lungs were strong! It was wonderful!
The crowd split between the full marathoners and the relayers. They went left, I went right. A course marshal called out my bib number as I enter the hand off zone. I had never met my hand-off person, and I ran right by her. I had to back track a few feet once I found the bright yellow shirt. Then, she was off!
I checked my watch….. Remember what my goal was? 60 minutes, right? I made it 6.4 miles in 53:35!!!!!!!!!! Although, I stopped my watched a little after the handoff, so I thought it was 54:14…and was still ecstatic. Then to find out when I got home I was even faster!? Thrilled!
I grabbed some snacks, hopped on the RTD Bus back to the start, and waited around. And waited…and waited… I had about 2 hours to kill until the rest of my group would join me at the finish line. The downside was the waiting time. The bright side was that I got to see all the booths sans the crowd!
I walked around to each booth, got some free swag, learned a lot about local non-profits and charities, petted some adoptable pound puppies, and watched runners as they finished.
I loved every minute of this event! It was put on very well. The course route was excellent (at least what I saw and what I heard from others). The people were great. The expo was great. The after party was great. Just great great great great great! I think next year, given I still work for the city, I would definitely still be down to run the relay again. I don’t see myself quitting this job, but you never know. IF for whatever reason I’m not able to do the relay, I would totally do the half. I would say the full, but honestly, I think when I do my marathons, I want to do them in other states, or with a more scenic, unique routes. The Colfax marathon is right down all the streets that I drive everyday. I don’t think I want to run that full marathon. But a half, or part of the full, I’m totally down for! To boot, the half goes through the Denver Zoo!
Race organization: 5/5
I’ve already said it a million times, this event is very well-organized from the start to the finish. From the expo to the after party.
I’m not sure. I honestly don’t know how much the race costed. I fortunately got to run for free thanks to the City of Golden. For how well the event was put on and the swag we got, I’d wager to bet it’s worth the cost. With the entry fee, we got a t-shift (which is super cute might I add), the medal of course (which came with a charm to put on a necklace, the chain we got in our packet pick up), a Colfax Marathon Relay sticker, coupons to various things and restaurants around Denver, a free beer for after, BBQ lunch after in addition to the normal water, bagels, and snacks at the finish line, and since the event was sponsor by Kaiser Permanente (a health care system out here), there was a whole Kaiser section at the after party which had a contest for sweet water bottles (which I didn’t win), free exercise bands, smoothies, AND a whole bunch of fresh produce, as in fruits and veggies, for runners to go “shopping” through and take. Pretty awesome!
Post Run: 5/5
There was all those booths set up as I’ve mentions, food, beer, music, big grassy area to hang out in. It was all excellent.
To top it all off, I had more company at this event than any race I’ve done. Obviously I got to hang out with my relay team and we celebrated with victory beers, but there was another City of Golden Relay team from Public Works, two marathoners and one half marathoner, all sponsored by the city. There was also a handful of 3W Ambassadors there (one running her FIRST marathon that day), and a handful of my friends were volunteering at the local charity booths! I meandered around for a long while after the race, even after my team finished and finally left around 1pm to go home and crash on my bed.
My Race: 5/5
I set a goal to run my 6.4 miles in 60 minutes, which actually meant I needed to run under 10 minute miles. Now, I haven’t raced in a long time, and I wasn’t quite sure what kind of pace I could pull out. But I figured that goal would keep my motivated. I ended up running it in 53:35! Which, if you do the math, is about a 8:30 pace! I’m pretty proud of my time considering I’ve been battling injuries and motivation issues! But, I think with a race like this, I’m back in the game. Mentally and physically. Actually, I didn’t have any pains during the race! And post race, my calves were cramping a bit but that’s about it! The day after, I was a bit sore, but that’s normal!
So, the relay teams are in a couple of categories. There’s the open, for pretty much anybody that wants to run in a relay. There’s the government cup relay, for teams through city/state jobs. And there’s a corporate cup relay, for basically the same thing, just not a state job. For both the government and corporate cups, the top three teams in the women’s, mens and coed teams get money to donate to a charity. Unfortunately our team didn’t win any prize money for our charity, which was the Golden School District. We placed 7th out of 26 female teams, I believe, with a total time of 4 hours and 6 minutes. I guess last year the same team (minus me, of course) placed 3rd. This year, the team ran faster, but apparently there was a lot more fast-ER people who enter the government cup. Too bad!
Above all, we had fun! We were running in name of charity at a great event! I don’t think I have a single bad thing to say about this whole event, except maybe the unfortunate witness to the aftermath of someone having lost their bowels on the race course. No joke. Poor runner!
Read this heart warming story about the “average Joe” that won the marathon! LOVE IT!