Sunday, May 4, 2014

Colorado Marathon - Just Another Day at the Office

Wow, what a great race. It all starts with Fort Collins, a gem of a town nestled in Northern Colorado right up against the mountains. Less than an hour from Denver, Fort Collins is the home of Colorado State University and many other major employers. Rarely will you find a town with such a bustling urban area--mom and pop shops, restaurants galore, walkable areas, bike shops, boutiques (if you're into that stuff), cafes, great pubs, etc.

The race started at 6:30AM but we had to be at the buses by 4:30. The ride up into the canyons took about 45 minutes and was relaxing as I talked with a runner from Albuquerque. The gun went off on time--always a good thing. After the start, it's mostly downhill via canyon roads for the first 16 or so miles, and then the course levels off, with a few little hills here and there. The biggest hill is at mile 19 but it's not bad at all. The race starts at 6,100 feet and ends at a little over 5,000 feet. The weather was mostly nice. When I finished just past 9:30AM, the temperature was probably 70 degrees and the sky was fairly clear.

I ran a 3:04:19, finishing 28th overall out of 1,086 finishers and second among the masters. In the last six miles, my pace slowed from about 6:50 per mile to 7:25-7:30. I didn't blow up by any stretch and never at any time was I "in trouble"; I just slowed down. I'm not sure why that happened because I did a good job of fueling; it just did. Fortunately, I kept running but at a slower pace and ultimately crossed the finish line proud of the result, especially given that I had not felt well all week and had a tweaked left lower calf. With a time that betters my Boston qualifier by more then 10 minutes, I am now virtually guaranteed a spot in Beantown next year if I decide to make the trek to the northeast (would be my third Boston).

Here's a photo my son took of me within a few steps of the finish this morning.

Yep, displaying good form, as always.

I'm still not convinced my days of sub-3s are over. I think I can break 3 again but it might have to be at a sea level race and it would need to be in the spring, when I'm fresh (versus the fall, when I'm usually a little hung over from the summer racing season).

This was my first race since last October--a 7-month layoff. I think it's really beneficial to take a true off-season. Too few runners these days take an off-season. It's the lack of an off-season, I think, that causes short "careers," burnout and chronic injury.

Next up: the Leadville Trail Marathon on 6/14!


  1. Fantastic result, well done! Leadville is a very exciting prospect.

  2. Your first paragraph needed to mention breweries. And the Fort would be a much better town if they didn't hate dogs.

    Was going to wait for you at the finish line, but for some reason I thought you said you were just going to run 3:30. I got thirsty and took off.

  3. Hi Wyatt,
    Congrats on the race!!!
    Hey, I work PT at the Runner's Roost in Aurora (Parker and Arapahoe Roads). Your kickass award for 2nd place male master is here for you to pick up at the store. Hopefully you'll read this comment and get it but I'll give you a call if you're not here in a few days.
    Way to rock the race!