Garden of the Gods 10 miler and 5km

There has been a 10 miler in the Garden of the Gods since 1977, but this was the first year that they added a 5km as well. The 5km was very small – only 172 runners, compared to 1462 in the 10 mile.

When we’re on holidays I normally take a break from running. Being married to a non-runner makes this an easy decision, but I also think it’s a good idea to give my body an extended break at least once per year. I still like to maintain a little bit of fitness, which is normally with hiking, but this year I decided to do the 2 fun runs as well. Fun runs provide good souvenirs, as well as the experience 🙂

J came to watch the race, which was really nice. It was good to have some company before my race started (especially seeing that I always get to races super early), and it was good that he could mind my bag while I was running! J finds running quite strange – he thinks everyone should get out there and ‘just run’. He finds all the other rituals involved quite bizarre (like gels, water belts, skins etc). I agree to an extent, people spend a lot of time looking for that magic bullet that will make them quicker, but they don’t realise that only thing that will make a dramatic difference is training harder!

We watched the start of the 10 mile, then I went for a short warm up jog. It was a little bit windy, but otherwise it was perfect running weather. I love small races, it’s so easy to get a decent warmup, and to still lineup towards the front. When the race started I tried to keep a steady pace. Nonetheless I ran the first mile at my normal 5km pace. That would be fine, if I was running a flat course at sea level!

The first mile was a relatively flat run up to the park, but the second mile was where the fun began. The hills weren’t dramatically steep, or dramatically long. Just big enough to cause some pain!

I knew that there was one girl ahead of me, and on one of the climbs another girl passed me. I managed to complete the race without walking any of the hills, which I am very proud of. I normally don’t mind hills, but hills at altitude are lung-busting ordeals after about 5 steps!

I finished in 3rd place, in a time of 24 minutes flat. I was pretty happy with my race – it’s a slow time but that really doesn’t matter. What does matter is the awesome trophy I got!

I live in a pretty weird suburb. When I was entering the race they asked for my address, but I didn’t realise that my suburb would be used as an identifier! I’m also fairly sure that they weren’t expecting an Aussie to be claiming an award.

And third place goes to Tyra Evans, from………

Um, where are you from? Oh you’re from Australia!

Just a little bit awkward.
It was a really well organised event, and it had a really nice community feel to it. Anyone who finds themselves in Denver or Colorado Springs around the middle of June should definitely check it out!

We went back to the Garden the following day. Prepare to be awed by some more photos soon…

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