The first weekend in October, I headed to Denver with my family to run the Denver Rock n Roll Marathon, my 5 RnR event this year, my 5th marathon this year & my first race of the fall. I’d picked this once because I love Colorado & I wanted to spend some time with my family. Earlier this summer, I’d convinced my mom, step-dad John & Gram to make the trek to support me and also visit our family there. Getting into downtown that morning was easy & I arrived fairly late- I had no desire to stand out in the cold any longer than necessary. We started and ended at the same location, which is always preferable to some of the point-to-point courses that RnR likes to use. There are many gorgeous buildings and a great park downtown- the start line was right beside the US Mint.
Since I was running this race alone & my tummy had been a little temperamental lately, I decided to splurge and purchase $150 gear at the expo to gain access to the Brooke VIP Porta Potty. I figured I’d waited in enough lines this year & this bought me a few extra minutes of sleeping in. Plus, it was colder than I expected & I needed a heavier jacket and I wanted some cool RnR t-shirts since I’m a little bit of an addict at this point. The bathrooms were awesome- short wait, tons of last minute things you might need (hair bands, mints, chapstick, lotion, etc.). I do really wish they would create & pass out maps of the start & finish line- it really helps with confusion. There were thousands of people looking for bag check & wandering around lost.
I did splurge and get the professional photos (left above) and getting to the start line was chaos. The streets were narrow and the corral was taking up the whole road- leaving only a very small sidewalk for people to leave the main area & walk backwards towards the higher numbered corrals. I just stood in place for about 5 minutes on a curb unable to get back to my corral- they should have had signs directing the higher number corrals around the block instead of down the sidewalks. Got off to a great start from the back of corral 10 and the wind wasn’t too bad. This time I decided to strap on my new camera since my fingers were going to be cold and/or glove covered much of the race.
I love running downtown- a great way to see gorgeous buildings, lots of things to be distracted by and the roads were nice and wide. Ran by some great old places like Union Station (I’d seen it in the dark before) & checked out Coors Field (too bad I wasn’t there with hubby earlier this year).
Within 2 miles of the start, I’d taken of my jacket and was enjoying the morning sun warming me up. Unfortunately, I lost a glove during this transition and ran the rest of the race all Michael Jackson 1-glove (and hand warmer). We wound through a mostly empty downtown & then headed north through some more residential areas.
I really loved this RnR course- my favorite so far. But it’s easy when Denver has tons of parks dotted throughout the city. We hit 3 major parks with gorgeous lakes on the full course & our first one was by the zoo.
So calming to be running among the trees & beautiful flowers running through City Park. I didn’t care much for the looping- it stinks when you can see people snaked 4 times back & forth in front of you, but it was a really flat & fast course for being in Denver.
I’ve seen many signs during my marathons, but the center one totally cracked me up. I use that line all the time. Several laps and loops around City Park & then we headed south through more residential areas.
The RnR inflatable greeted us as we entered our 2nd park Cheeseman Park and where the half-marathoners split to head back towards downtown & the full marathoners continued south through more beautiful tree-lined streets.
This is obviously from the day before, when we were driving the course, but it shows how pretty the park is & I’m sporting some of my new RnR gear.
This was on Saturday, after it had stopped snowing & it was very cloudy and cold out! I could run all day staring at the mountains and all the gorgeous trees everywhere.
Part 2 tomorrow!
GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Clean house, clean puppies and cold front on the way tomorrow.