This morning was the Denver Marathon and Half Marathon. I headed down to Denver with a co-worker, Jessica, to run the half marathon. Josh and Erich, Jessica's boyfriend, also came along to spectate/photograph/support. The conditions were pretty nice, with temperatures in the low 50's at the start. Normally I would say this is a bit cold, but I ran in below freezing temperatures earlier this week, so today felt nice and warm.
Jessica and I headed out for a short warm-up jog about 40 minutes before the race. We then headed to the porta-a-pottys for one final stop, but the line was about 100 people long. So, we jogged a couple blocks to the Sheraton, where only four people were in line for the restroom. By the time we handed off our warm-ups to our spectator boyfriends, we had about 10 minutes to the start. We walked to where we wanted to be in the start line, but unfortunately were on the wrong side of a fence separating the spectators from racers. We then realized we would have to walk through the crowds (spectators) about a block to make it to the end of the starting corral and then push our way back through an even bigger crowd (racers) to be in the 7-minute/mile starting zone. The fence was too high to jump over and too wobbly to climb over. I contemplated attempting to slide under the fence, but this would be a bit close and it would be awful to be stuck under the fence when the race started. Then I saw a man help a woman over the fence. Left with no other option, I asked this stranger if he could also give me a lift. So with the one guy on the inside grabbing me by the armpits and one on the outside boosting my legs, I safely made it to the start line with time to spare. Jessica made it over the fence in the same fashion. Thanks kind strangers ... I really owe you.
I started the race much faster than I should have at 6:40 min/mile. At mile 2, I realized that although Jessica insisted that she was going to slow down, she was obviously lying. So I let her take off in front of me. The rest of the race wasn't too exciting. Just put one foot in front of the other, repeat.
I finished the run in 1:31:04, which is a bit faster than I expected. However, this just makes me want to run another half because I know I can go more than a minute faster and break 1:30. Jessica finished 2 1/2 minutes ahead of me and won her age group. It's probably for the best that I didn't try to stick with her as she never did slow down much.