I ran the Denver RnR half-marathon this morning. It was a beautiful sunny day with temps in the lower 50′s.
I wasn’t sure what to expect of myself for this race but felt comfortable predicting a projected finish time of 1:45. So, despite the altitude and all of the injuries I’ve suffered this year I was pleasantly surprised when everything fell together and I finished the race with a time of 1:39:40, a full 5 minutes faster than predicted!
Have you ever had one of those races or runs where everything just seems to come together nicely and jives harmoniously? Well, that’s what happened today during this run despite a bad start.
I say I had a bad start because I shared corral 2 with a lot of runners who perhaps did not belong in that corral. A lot of the runners started slow and continued a slow tightly clustered pace making it very difficult for me to get around them and find my pace. It wasn’t until I reached .58 mile that the crowd of runners began to disperse and I was able to find my pace and stay there without interruption from my fellow runners.
To give you an idea of how slow we were moving in corral 2, by the time I hit the one mile mark, though, my watch read 9:21. That was much slower than I had wanted to start but I guess that’s the way things go when you are running a race with 16,000 other folks.
My sea-level accustomed body suffered greatly during the hills. My pace was significantly reduced every time I hit a hill. I quickly learned who the locals were because those runners flew past me during the hills. I would then catch those very runners again on the flats only to fall behind again and again as the hills came and went during this race. All of my Thunderbolt bridge hill training didn’t pay off, dangit!
The race course was phenomenal. The race planners smartly routed the half marathon through some of the prettiest areas of downtown Denver. Denver is such a beautiful city! I love this city and call it my second home.
Just as they did in Savannah last year, the Rock n Roll team put together a very tight and well-organized race. At the end of the race there was plenty of food, water and refreshments readily available. The bands they had stationed along the half-marathon route were outstanding! The band that was playing in the amphitheater at the finish line was phenomenal. And, the Denver spectators were great in cheering the runners and lifting our spirits.
These are my running stats according to my Timex Ironman Run Trainer:
- calories burnt: 1910
- total descent: 1067′
- total ascennt: 1079′
- minimum altitude: 5189′
- maximum altitude: 5436′
- avg pace: 7:28
- distance: 13.36 miles
- minimum heart rate: 98 bpm
- peak heart rate: 132 bpm
- avg heart rate: 118 bpm
Although, the 1:39:40 finish time was not a pr it was well enough to please me greatly. I think I tend to handle altitude better than the average person but having lived in the Low Country for as long as I have, anything over 10 feet above sea level has me huffing and puffing hard! The hills during this race certainly taxed me but I still managed to finish this race with the following stats:
- overall: 370 out of 8138 runners
- division: 45 out of 440
- my chip (official) time: 1:39:40
- official pace: 7:37
Another great thing about this race was that my older brother, Bobby, was in it. Bobby is the reason I’m a runner today. Bobby started running at a very young age and ran his first marathon at 17 years of age with a finish time of 2:40. Yeah, that was fast. Today, at 48 years of age, my brother is still kicking pretty good. He did the marathon and had a finish time of 3:28. After hearing my brother’s finish time, our mother said, “not bad for an old man.” I responded, “not bad for anybody!” I’m very proud of Bobby and thank him whole-heartedly for introducing me to best sport ever, running!
Next comes the RnR Savannah! I am very excited about getting back home and preparing for the RnR Savannah half marathon. Yes, I’m going to do the RnR half marathon. I’m doing the half because I think I may be able to pr at sea level.
My half marathon pr is 1:34 which I did two years ago during the Tybee half marathon. It’s going to be tough for me to beat 1:34 but with this recent experience in Denver I feel hopeful that I can beat 1:34. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and train hard for the next few weeks.
Thank you all that have supported me as I prepared for this race. Knowing that I have running friends in Savannah cheering me as I raced in Denver was a boost to my confidence and overall drive.
I look forward to racing in my beloved Savannah again and among great friends.
peace to all of you.