It was supposed to be my first marathon—the 2nd annual Sports Authority Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon Series in Denver, aka The Mile High City.
I was SUPER excited. I trained for a solid 13 weeks! But when I picked up my registration packet, I realized I had mistakenly registered for the half-marathon and on-site registration for the full event would have been $210. Needless to say… I decided to stick with the half.
More than 14,000 people took the challenge. Participants either registered for the relay, half marathon or full marathon. October 9, 2010 was the big day! Runners hit the pavement early at 6:55 a.m., and boy was it a chilly start to the race—a brisk 35 degrees.
But honestly after about 20 minutes, I didn’t notice the cold anymore. I was ready to get into the zone and pass this test of physical endurance.
The course was no joke.
There was the high altitude to contend with and numerous hilly areas. The race was truly designed for someone in tiptop shape. I don’t know why I was so surprised—after all Denver is considered one of the fittest cities in the United States.
Thousands of spectators lined the streets of downtown Denver. Keeping with the Rock ‘n’ Roll theme, the event featured live bands along the route. Some people even got into character and came dressed like Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, and Fats Domino.
And the volunteers were great! Along the route you heard them shouting: ”You’re doing a good job,” “Looking good,” “Almost there,” “Chuck Norris never ran a marathon, but look at you.”
I even saw a sign that read: If you were running through hell would you stop?
I have to admit that one got me thinking. However, the marriage proposal I saw at mile 6 took the cake. (I wonder if she said yes…)
I didn’t finish as strong as I would have liked. See, normally I sprint to the finish line when I’ve got about a mile left in the race. But things got a little difficult right at mile #13, so I had to back off. Still, I finished in 2:21:39….a new personal record.
Top finishers finished in record time. In fact, 30-year-old Chris Siemers of Arvada, Colorado broke a state record which had stood since 1993. He finished the Full Marathon in 2:18:48 and qualified for the Olympic Trials!
Siemers was followed by Andrew Smith of Denver, Jonathan Ndambuki of Kenya, and American record holder Josh Cox, who placed fourth.
Here’s a look at how everyone else stacked up:
Place, Name, Age, Hometown, Time, Prize Purse
Full Marathon – Men
1 Chris Siemers, 30, Arvada, CO, 2:18:48, $1,000
2 Andrew Smith, 35, Denver, CO, 2:29:29, $500
3 Jonathan Ndambuki, 35, Kenya, 2:29:50, $250
Full Marathon – Women
1 Heather Utrata, 29, Englewood, CO 2:50:38, $1,000
2 Trisha Miller, 31, Missoula, MT, 2:51:43, $500
3 Nicole Chyr, 33, Englewood, CO, 2:52:06, $250
Half Marathon – Men
1 Josh Eberly, 31, Gunnison, CO, 1:06:57, $1,000
2 Bernard Langat, 29, Kenya, 1:08:59, $500
3 Nicholas Sunseri, 25, Steamboat Springs, CO, 1:10:43, $250
Half Marathon – Women
1 Lidia Simon, 38, Romania, 1:14:54, $1,000
2 Nuta Olaru, 41, Romania, 1:15:16, $500
3 Brianne Nelson, 30, Fort Collins, CO, 1:17:12, $250
Denver’s downtown district reveals a city that’s looking to the future. It’s a clean and lovely business district with modern skyscrapers, great food and friendly people. I had the time of my life!
I am already planning my next race…any suggestions?
I’m thinking about the Pensacola Marathon in November, so all my previous marathon training doesn’t go to waste.