This past weekend I convinced my hubby to run another 10K with me, just a few short weeks after the BolderBOULDER. I am one lucky duck because he lovingly agreed without any begging on my part. The race took place on Father’s Day, and was therefore appropriately named the Denver Father’s Day 5/10K. The hubs and I wanted to get him a qualifying time for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November, and because we didn’t run the BolderBOULDER for speed, this was a great opportunity.
I knew the race would be small, given that this was the inaugural race and the route was located in a section of Denver not often used for races. Stapleton is a newly developed area of Denver that was built over the old Denver Stapleton Airport. While the airport no longer exists, the control tower still stands, and newly built homes, townhouses, apartments, and parks have taken its place. The race began in the middle of Central Park along Martin Luther King Boulevard and Central Park Boulevard. The 5K course ran entirely through the park, while the 10K course veered off onto the Westerly Creek Trail.
The race didn’t start until 9:00am, which is surprisingly late for a starting time, so we leisurely woke at 7:00am, changed into our race-day attire, ate some breakfast, and were out the door by 7:45am. We were picking up our race packets at the event, and I was worried the line for packet pick-up would be similar to that at Lucky Laces (some folks missed the start because the line for packet pick-up was so long). However, given the small size of the race, we didn’t have to wait at all. In fact, we were able to park in the lot just beyond the race-day tents, walk right up, get our bibs, and still had 40 minutes to spare. We watched the kid’s fun run take off and made note of the speedy 8 year old at the front of the pack. Afterwards we wandered around and commented on the participants of the ugliest tie contest. There were some incredibly ugly ties, I am sure it was a close call.
Finally we lined up to get ready for the race to start and noted how few people there were.
Little did I realize that these small races are breeding grounds for speed. Local athletes use these races as opportunities to place, focus on their time, and just be downright impressive. The hubs and I were a little out of our league, but we were there to enjoy ourselves regardless. Finally we set off and worked our way around the park. Just over two miles into the run, the 10K group veered off out of the park onto a gravel trail to complete the additional four miles. The trail took us east onto some questionable terrain. Portions of the gravel trail were washed away by rain and a nearby creek, leaving large cracks in the earth. Another section had some construction going on around it, which left large muddy tire tracks in the ground.
Finally, this trail hooked up with the paved Westerly Creek trail, which, one would hope, follows Westerly Creek. The scenery was lovely, the views of the mountains were awesome, but the entire race was void of shade. Given that the day was very sunny, and the temps were already warm around 9:00am, it was a bit on the toasty side. Truly I can’t complain too much, given the whole lack of humidity thing, but I haven’t come across many courses without a spec of shade. Thankfully there were two aid/water/Gatorade stations along the course: one around two miles, and one just after four miles. The race volunteers were amazing, signage was excellent, and the event itself was incredibly enjoyable.
Upon reaching the finish line (obviously hand-in-hand yet again), we knew we were among some of the last to finish. At that point we were so happy to be done, get a qualifying time for the hubs, and grab some Naked Juice and burritos before heading home. When you run with the pros, you just can’t worry about being left behind. Overall it was a good local event with awesome race volunteers and workers, a quiet laid-back atmosphere, and a whole lot of impressive people. I would probably do the race again, although an earlier start may be worthwhile.
Up next I will be participating in the Liberty Run 4 Miler in Washington Park, a nice easy drive from my house. The Run/Walk takes place on the 4th of July at 8:30am and includes a competitive race walk. I didn’t know this was a thing until recently reading The T-Rex Runner’s blog post on the sport. I am pretty excited to see this first hand. While I personally plan on running it, I am intrigued! You can be sure that I will be decked out in something obnoxiously Patriotic – Americuh!
How was your Father’s Day? Did you have any races this weekend? What are your thoughts on small, local races?