Rock and Roll Half Marathon Denver
Denver rocked Sunday October 17 with the inaugural Rock and Roll Marathon and Half Marathon!
I ran the Half Marathon (my first Half) so keep that in mind as you read my review. I’ll recap race weekend from Expo to crossing the finish line during my review beginning with Friday afternoon.
I live in Broomfield, and drove to Denver Friday afternoon to wander through the Expo and pick up my registration. I arrived about 20 minutes before the Expo opened. There was a good crowd prior to my arrival, but I breezed through the pick up anyway as the well organized staff had no problem handling the early crowds. I browsed through the Expo R&R store but wasn’t too motivated to buy any massive selection of R&R gear. I suppose if I had been running the marathon I might have purchased an extra shirt or visor but I really have never been much on buying gear to show I raced. It must be a marathon thing. J
I checked out the endless supplies of nutritional drinks, energy bars and running shoes, socks, sunglasses. After about 30 minutes I determined that the Expo was pretty good, but really did not catch my fancy to purchase much. So I bolted and headed back to work to finish the day and rest before the race.
With the race scheduled to begin at 6:55am (I was in the first corral) I decided to make sure I was in Denver at least an hour before the gun went off. My wife drove and we followed the directions to the letter on the race packet instructions and everything went great, we only ran into traffic the last 5 minutes after turning on Broadway. My wife later told me that traffic was pretty rough as she closer to Metro State where she parked for the $5 fee. This could have been a problem if I had drove myself to the race so keep that in mind if you decide to run.
With the race taking place before the daylight saving time switch, it felt like midnight right up until first gun as it was pretty dark. I factored that into my training but it still seemed off to be in downtown Denver while it was so dark. Fortunately, there were hundreds and hundreds of runners wandering the streets and into the staging area. I was surprised by how many runners did not have long sleeve shirts or blankets/trash bags but I bet they will next time. I also decided to buy a cheap pair of lightweight gloves and I am glad I did.
Other than the parking/traffic problems for my wife, I had smooth sailing. The staging area was well lit, if a little cool—and that made for excellent running weather. There were lots of port-o-potties but there seemed to be some pretty long lines. With less than 30 minutes to go before the race, I dropped my gear at the check in station and headed to the race corral. No problems getting through the crowd and I give the organization high marks for having so many people around to answer questions.
The course was awesome. It was well marked. There were plenty of spectators along the route. I will admit that I paid more attention the endless numbers of volunteers at the water stations and cheer teams than I did to the bands. Each group was full of enthusiasm and that made for a memorable race day experience. I thought I might enjoy the bands more than I actually did—maybe next time I guess.
The course was not too difficult with really just one short uphill and a smoking downhill finish. The pacer for the 1:40 was remarkable –he kept us about 30-40 seconds North of our goal for most of the race. He chatted us up most of the way too, offering lots of advice on when to rest, when to drink and generally made the race first class. I bolted from the group at the 11 mile mark, making my last two miles negative splits and my fastest miles on the course. I finished the race in1:38:33, which is my new PR since it was my first effort at the distance.
I give R&R Denver 10 out of 10—I would compare it favorably with the Bolder Boulder—the race I believe to be the best run race in Colorado.
Broomfield? Where? We got to get together for a run