“Ran” the inaugural Revel Rockies Half Marathon in Denver last Sunday. I was pretty pleased with my time considering the amount of training I put in leading up to it. It was advertised as a fast downhill course…. Once you got past the two uphill sections that began AT the start line, it was 98% downhill. I was worried that the almost 2,000 foot elevation change would wreak havoc on my knees and thighs, I didn’t even think about what toll the steeply bank roadway would take. Exactly at mile 7 I got a cramp in my left calf (the predominantly down slope leg) that I ran through for the entire remainder of the run.
After about a 40 minute bus ride to the start we arrived in Evergreen, CO where the temperature was a very pleasant 55F. Unfortunately the porta potty lines were soooo long (nearly 20 minutes) that I didn’t have any time at all to stretch before the start which probably had nothing to do with the cramp.
The scenery was spectacular, without a doubt the most scenic half marathon I’ve ever entered. The weather was perfect, hardly a cloud in the sky with the course mostly shielded from the sun by the towering rock faces that lined the roadway.
Aid stations were well placed and well stocked, staffed by enthusiastic and supportive people.
The finish was a little brutal, reminded me of the Marine Corps Marathon, with a 300 yard uphill section just prior to the 100 yard downhill dash for the finish line. The finishers coral area had plenty of great post run snacks and water as well as a large water trough filled with iced cotton towels (that was a nice touch).
The other nice touch was the free can of beer from Upslope Brewing Company for each finisher. I had the Belgian Style Pale Ale which was reminiscent of Celis White from many years ago. Of course the volunteers had the ubiquitous American tip jar there… what runners do you know have tipping money in their running shorts? What gall to even set out a tip jar at an event like this. Makes me think that I should put a tip jar on the desk at the front of my classroom, everywhere you go in America these days you’re likely to find a tip jar – maybe Revel should put one at the finish line itself.
All in all, it was a great run. I won’t do it again simply because of the extreme slope of the roadway, but it was certainly well worth the 8-hour drive from Omaha to be a part of an inaugural event.
I forgot to mention the fact that my split time was only a 1 second difference! How I managed to pull that off while running with a severely cramped left calf I don’t know, but that was pretty cool. I know that I’m not very quick these days compared to when I was running 15 years ago. I’m pretty happy in knowing that I’m even able to do it at all considering all the procedures my heart has gone through. I did manage to finish 15 out of 39 in my age group, so that’s good. In the future I’ll post a link to my garmin connect record of runs – here’s the link to this event.