July 23rd, Castle Rock Prairie Dog Half/10k/5k – Review

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Many of you know I work for a running company in Colorado called 3W Races. This is a dream job that I started almost two years ago now!

I mainly do marketing for them (emails, local event promotions, acquiring sponsors and social media) but I have been transitioning into more race production and race day tasks. For our big races, our half marathons, after set up, I am the volunteer coordinator and organize all the water stations and course marshals. This means recruitment, mapping  out where they go, communication with volunteers and making sure they get to the right location and do the right thing.

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The next one that I have been working on is coming up on July 23rd. We have the Summer Splash Prairie Dog Half, 10k and 5k in Castle Rock. This race in particular I got to run two years ago! It’s a beautiful course that is just hard enough to give you a workout and feel accomplished without being too hard.

The year I did it, I placed second in my age group for the half marathon! I remember that day pretty well because I showed up early to help set up, ran the race, then stayed after to help clean up. I also remember my knee hurting really badly for that race after doing a double race weekend. You can read all about it HERE.

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Ragnar Trail Relay – Unique to Everyone

 

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For the past three years, I have gotten the opportunity to run the Ragnar Trail Relay in Snowmass, CO. All three years have been with 3W Races. The first year as an ambassador, the second year and both an ambassador and employee, and this year as an employee. 

I am a BIG fan of Ragnar Relays. I have loved and enjoyed every year in different ways. This race is a great event, well put together and good way to combine all the reasons I enjoy running! 

Below is my take on the relay, in a general sense. I plan on following up with this year’s post race recap.

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What is Ragnar Trail Relay?

It all ends when I finally get home, I examine myself, taking note of what I’ve done to my body and mind.

I am very tried, about to fall asleep.

I’m dirty, literally covered, head to toe with dirt.

I smell like a high school locker room.

My muscles are sore.

I have a few blisters spread out on my feet.

There’s chafing in places only my boyfriend sees.

I’m sunburnt in various spots, showing where I can’t reach.

My hair is coated in grease, staying in a pony-tail without a hair-tie.

My eyes are dry, my head hurts, and my ears are plugged.

But I feel accomplished.

It all started at 4am the morning before. In about 28 hours, I ran close to 15 miles between three separate runs. I climbed a total of 2,295 feet up a mountain, only to come back down, three different times. I slept less than 8 hours in total and tried to remember to eat when I needed to.

If you read the fine print, I tortured myself for almost two days straight and I called it FUN.

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I have made new friends and strengthened current ones. I watched the sun set then come back up again, all while sitting besides a giant bonfire. I ran 3.5 miles catching up with a friend of mine, four miles with just the light of my headlamp and the stars above, and 6.8 miles in the heat of the day, all while being distracted by tall, snow-capped peaks.

That is what my Ragnar Trail Relay was.

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Running is different to everyone. Some enjoy the roads and others like the trails. Some get thrills from the long run and others just run a few miles each time. Some appreciate company on the journey while others prefer to chase the miles alone. Most of us are a mix of all of these. No matter what type of runner you are, you can find your place at a Ragnar Relay.

My experience with Ragnar Relay has been three years in the making. Every time I join a team and start hitting the trails with seven other team members, I have a new experience. That’s what makes this race series unique. It may be the same three trails every year, but each year you can create new memories and experiences.

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The first year, I was chased by a sage grouse that I coined “The Velociraptor.” In year two, I desperately searched for some dry clothes to warm up in between runs. This year, my third year, I chased the sun and got to finally see the views from the red loop. I was also the last runner and was joined by my team to run through the arch at the end of my last leg. Each year has been made more and more memories.

The brilliant thing about Ragnar Trail Relay is they provide you with the essentials: Trails, music, good vibes, nutritious food, games, good products, a great host, and a campground. From that, each individual experience is unique; from person to person, team to team and year to year.

So I ask you….

What will your Ragnar Trail Relay be?

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Quote on the back of the medals when you put all eight together:

“We believe that being a Ragnarian is about more than being a runner, that misery loves company, that happiness is “only real when it’s shared”, that there is a badass inside all of us, that everyone deserves to be cheered at the finish line, that dirt in your teeth boosts the immune system, that what happens in the village, stays in the village, that adventure can only be found if you are looking for it, and that a little sleep deprivation is a small price to pay to watch the sun rise with our friends. Together we ran Ragnar trail. Together we can accomplish anything. We are Ragnarians.”

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Ragnar Relays

3W Races

Colfax Marathon Relay – Pre Race Prep

Picking up my packet for the 2016 Colfax Relay

Picking up my packet for the 2016 Colfax Relay

At 4:00am, tomorrow morning, my alarm will be going off.

At 4:45am tomorrow morning I will just be parking my car.

At 5:00am tomorrow, I will have finished my coffee and start walking over to City Park in Denver.

2016, running!

2016, running!

At 5:15am, I’ll be starting my warm up for a 6.4 mile run.

When it gets to 5:45am, I’ll have taken off all my warm clothes and be waiting in Coral A with a bunch of other eager runners.

And at 6:00am, tomorrow morning, I will starting the first leg of the Colfax Marathon relay for the third year in a row!

2014 Relay team, and all City of Golden employees running colfax!

2014 Relay team, and all City of Golden employees running colfax!

As always, I am running with four other lovely ladies that all work for the City of Golden in some way. Consisting of HR, police officers and rec center employees, our ladies relay team, the Golden Foxes, are racing in the Colfax Marathon Relay – The Government Cup to try to raise money for the Foothills Animal shelter.

A couple of years ago, we placed 4th and raised $1,000 for a different Golden charity. I hope we can do it again!

2014 Packet Pick Up

2014 Packet Pick Up

Chances are, when you finally read this, I’ll have finished the first leg of the relay, approximately 7:00am, and be patiently waiting around the expo for the rest of the Golden Foxes to finish so we can celebrate!

Celebrating after the 2015 Race!

Celebrating after the 2015 Race!

Check out my recap from 2014.

Have you run any of the Colfax Marathon weekend events?? 

Erin Go Braugh 7.77k Recap (first race of 2016!)

This post is about a month over due, as is always my fashion, but we’ve got a wet, slushy snowstorm in CO, and I have time to work on my blog. Here it goes anyway..

Back in March, it’s been a month now, I finally had a Saturday off from working. Almost every weekend I was either working one of 3W’s events or going to promote 3W at someone else’s event.

I decided to sign up to actually run the Erin Go Braugh 7.77k in Westminster, instead of sleeping in. This would be my first race of the year! It is one of our signature holiday races at 3W Races and I have run it for the past three years, this being the fourth.

The first time on this course was in 2013 with a couple of friends of mine, before I was a 3W Ambassador. We dressed up in lots of green, someone even wore a cape, and we took to the Westminster trail.

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2013 with Shay, Bajia and I can’t remember that guy’s name….. : /

In 2014, I was an ambassador and raced with my fellow 3W Friends.

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2014

Last year, I remember feeling really sick that day, but raced anyway since this is my favorite 3W event (tied with Turkey Trek in November).

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2015, Susan and I ran together for a lot of the race, then she took off! Yes, I ran with my clover balloon the whole race!

This year, I was super stoked  to race but hadn’t really set any goals, unsure of how I would do. I kinda wanted to PR (at this 7.77k distance), I kinda wanted to win my age group… but I wasn’t sure how fast I could actually run. My training has been on and off for a lot of reasons.

So I showed up to the race, tied my shoes and set off to run how I felt.

Turns out I felt pretty strong! I came in at 39:24, my second fastest time on this course (although this year’s course was tiny bit different). In 2013, I ran the 7.77k in 38:35, super fast, although I don’t want that to take away from this year’s accomplishment.

I started off steady, focussing on my breathing and found a nice comfortable pace. I found people up ahead to stick with and focussed on my form. As I got further and further into the race, I picked up my pace, dropping a lady I was running with for a majority of the race. Then, I found a girl ahead, “Purple Shorts,” I nicked named her.  In my head I told myself to catch up to her. We kept going back and forth with being in the lead. With about a quarter mile left, finish line in site, I kicked it!

I felt STRONG and flew like the wind (at least in my mind’s eye), and reached the finish line with a smile on my face! I found Purple Shorts to tell her good job and she says, “Geez, you have a good kick! I tried to keep up with you!”

While waiting for the results, hoping I had done well, I joined my friends and the boyfriend for a Lucky Charm feast!

Finally, results were in. I took first in my age group! Extremely happy with the race, Ben and I left, I took a nap and we finished the day with some rock climbing.