Name of the race: All-Out Runapalooza Half
Where: Arvada, CO
Date: August 20, 2016
Time: 7:00 am
Distance: 13.1 miles
Terrain: Modified lollipop, 5 miles of uphill (almost 500 ft of elevation), then downhill
Entry fee: $75 without a shirt, $80 with
Swag: Finishers medal, goody bag filled with treats (organic fig bar, chocolate covered granola bar, etc), free race photos
Post-race Food: Egg & Cheese (& Bacon) breakfast burrito, orange slices, bananas, quarter pieces of bagels, water and Powerade
Performance: Overall 46/136; Gender 17/89; Age (30-39) 9/42
Weather: 50 degrees, 87% humidity
Obviously I can’t go somewhere without seeing if there might be a race near by, hence the Run-Out Runapalooza Half. I modified the training plan from RLRF. I was supposed to take a cut-back week the previous week and do a 20-miler on August 20th, but I figured doing a 20-miler in altitude was too much. So I did the 3rd 20-miler the week before and took a cut-back week while we were traveling. Boy, did I need it! I was exhausted and actually cut down the mileage slightly bit more in order to recover.
The cut back long run was supposed to be 15 miles, but I figured 13.1 in altitude and uphill for the first five were good substitutes for fewer miles.
Colorado is not lacking for races. I had several choices, but I chose Run-out Runapalooza because I need downhill training for Steamtown and because (of) breakfast burritos. They offered hot post-race food of breakfast burritos, so I kinda felt like I had to pull out my credit card and register.
Arvada was 35 mins south of where we were staying in Boulder. We made a stop at Starbucks so I could get a pre-race croissant and coffee. In Boulder Starbucks open at 5 am, which I love because in NYC, it’s actually hard to find one that opens at 6 am (the annoying thing is that even if the websites say they do, in real life, they’re still closed). The croissant was really sad. It reminded of Costco croissants that more bread than an actual flaky croissant. Still I needed something, so I ate it.
The race field was pretty small, but we were an eager group of runners. All-out Multicourse Productions is the group that puts on this race (and others) and I could tell by how well run it was that they were seasoned veterans who really care about runners and their race day experience. Lots of volunteers were out on the course and it was absolutely impossible to get lost. Wherever it was possible to go a different way, they set up cones to block the other path, plus have a volunteer to steer you in the right direction.
The race was on a “trail.” The trail was a paved pedestrian path that winds all over Arvada. For the first few miles, it was a slight uphill run going through suburban neighborhoods. It was pretty empty except for a few mothers and strollers and some people walking their dogs. I had no specific time goal. I wanted to run comfortably hard. I didn’t want to race this (after all, this is a training run), but I didn’t want to take it too easy either. I settled into 9:00’ish pace.
Just before Mile 4, we got out to a recreational area and then the MAJOR UPHILL BEGAN. Miles 4 & 5, I thought I was climbing the Alps. Two miles of sustained steep uphill was hard. I slowed down, but I wanted to keep a nice steady pace. At 5.5 miles, I reached the top and I was rewarded with a spectacular view of mountains and a reservoir. It was gorgeous and I wish that I had taken a photo of it.
I knew the rest of the course would be mostly downhill, so I sped up. I wanted to run down as fast as possible. Looking at the splits, I didn’t run down all that much faster and I lost some steam at Mile 12.
I was still doing pretty well, but at 0.6 miles til the finish line, all of a sudden got the most horrible side stitch, like a dozen steak knifes were jabbing into my ribs. If I hadn’t been so close to the finish line, I would have stopped and walked in order to ease the pain. I hadn’t had a side stitch that pain in a few years. I tried all the techniques to ease the pain, but none of them worked. I gritted my teeth and stumbled on to the finish line.
Ben was proud of how well I tolerated the pain until I could get to the finish. He could tell from my face and my body how much it had hurt.
I had a lot of fun at this race (even with the side stitch). The course, obviously, not PR friendly, but has really lovely views that make the long sustained climb totally worthwhile. The volunteers were great. The race was really well organized. Race results were posted ASAP on a board with a giant sign that clearly read RESULTS so you knew where to go (plus the announcer told us before the race where to find them). Basically everything you want as a runner, they had and did. If I lived in the Denver/Boulder area, I would definitely do more races by All-out Multicourse Productions.