Rocky Mountain Half Marathon/Elk Double 2016

First thing’s first and we need to get this out of the way: the Rocky Mountain National Park Half Marathon DOES NOT actually go into the park. It takes place and around the town of Estes Park, CO. This should not in any way discourage you from doing the race because it is absolutely so much fun and the views are lovely. You also get to see the Stanley Hotel (where The Shining) was filmed. We did not stay at the Stanley. We stayed at the YMCA of the Rockies. It was much cheaper, but…I mean…it was the YMCA. It was about 15 minutes to get to the start line, it was clean, and there was no AC, just a box fan in the window. Would I stay there again? Ehhhh if I decide to bring the birds and rent a cabin sure? Otherwise try to snag something in town.

Stanley Hotel

On to the races. First came the 5k on Friday evening and that just went around the lake. It was pretty. There was water. A bald eagle perched above the starting line and nearly crapped on three people and then flew off during the national anthem. Was it an omen? No idea.

The half was a much bigger beast. Organization-wise, there was a little bit of mess when it came to the corrals since I was put into the 2:30 pace corral and we all know that is aspirational. I mean, I managed to take half an hour off my time, but 2:57:09 is not 2:30:00. OH WELL. Lots of people were flummoxed about their corral placements but nobody died.

Waves

HAHAHA no. Also horse trailers. There was a horse show next door.

There were portable toilets as far as the eye can see, so A+ there. There were also plenty of water stops (I’m not sold on Gnarly…Nuun is still my go to drink, but whatever) and they had gels at pretty much every stop. I love Honey Stinger chews, but the gels are pretty decent as well. No complaints.

As far as the other perks? The photo company had a very reasonable $20 deal at the Expo which I took advantage of. They didn’t really cover the 5k, so be aware of that.

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This was near the lake at the end.

Overall, this race was great. The 5k was fun, the half was pretty and challenging, and the medals…did I mention the medals?

Finish with Medals

Best. Medals. Ever. They’re huge.

I want to also mention that Vacation Races was fantastic in every possible way when we had to make changes to my dad’s 5k registration. They’re prompt and accomodating and they have an awesome refund/transfer policy. With Disney eliminating the option to defer…well…I’m probably gonna stick to VR for a while after the Dopey 2017 races. I really want RunDisney to get their shit together but I’m not optimistic.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions!

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Race Recap 2015: Bolder Boulder 10k

This is going to be a short one because literally everyone has run this race. And if you haven’t run it, you should. It is fun, slightly chaotic, well-managed, and just generally a good time. This was my first year running it, and while I had to miss part of Denver Comic Con, it was totally worth it. There was live music all along the course, the waves were well-marked, and there were plenty of portajohns. Packet pickup was the easiest ever since there were locations all over the city. The t-shirts are fantastic and I’m regretting not getting some kind of Sea Level is for Sissies merch (a hat or new sweatband would have been good).

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My mom and I got my dad to drop us off so we wouldn’t have to fight parking, and we walked about a half mile to the starting line to meet up with our wave (PF). They sent us off pretty much right on the dot of when they said they would. The course is mildly hilly and goes through a lot of suburban areas, but because it is Boulder the views are awesome and tons of people were out bbqing and cheering and hollering, since it was also Memorial day.

Two things were a bit disappointing: Buffs stadium is under construction right now so that was less than thrilling as we climbed to the finish line, and they ran out of beer for the later racers! But other than that not bad, and the sample bags had plenty of food. The photos were free, but they weren’t individual ones, just big group shots, which is fine. They are decent quality so they’re easy to crop down. I didn’t set a PR since we had to stop to pee and the course was crowded, but who cares we had a great time.

My time: 1:40

2014 Race Recap: Color Run Denver and Blacklight Run

This is what I looked at after the Color Run, including the mosh pit o’ color.

I’m adding quick blurbs about these two races just in case someone is wondering whether or not they are worth doing. My take is that they are both fun, both decently organized (neither stood out as great) and both worth doing once. The Color Run was in the morning, the Blacklight Run was at night. The Color Run was a bit more expensive so if you are on a budget, sign up early for the Blacklight Run and do that one instead. Parking at both was kind of a mess, though less so at Bandimere for the Blacklight Run. Apparently, the Blacklight run won’t be at the speedway this year, so it is anyone’s guess what the situation will be at the new location. Use the lightrail for the Color Run if you possibly can.

There were enough portapoties at both, and the water stops were fine. Color Run gives you way more STUFF, but since I didn’t need a trucker hat, wrist sweat band, or either pair of socks… meh. I will say the Color Run t-shirt is MUCH better quality than the Blacklight Run shirt. Apparently the Shine Tour Color Run is giving out finisher’s medals, but I don’t know much more than that. There’s also supposed to be a bunch of shiny powder at the end (hence the name).

All in all, they are different enough that I would suggest doing both of them once, and then maybe picking which one you like better if you want to repeat the experience. The music at both was fun, the people were fun, and my mother and I enjoyed ourselves at both races. (Yes, my 60+ year old mother likes to do themed 5ks).

I’m doing Color Me Rad on July 11th, so I’ll report on that one as well. I’m told the overall “color” experience is better, but we will see. I’m also doing the Foam Glow Run in September, which is run by the same people who do the Blacklight run and uses the same course, so I’ll get to see if they’ve upped their game at all.

This picture makes me look pregnant for whatever reason, but it gives you a good idea of what you’ll look like at the end of the Blacklight run.