Honestly, I should have stopped to take more pictures, but I really just wanted to run. However, Jake will have some footage in his short video, but not of the beautiful hills where the first 8 miles took place.
I came in 121st (9 better than I joked about on Instagram) and my finish time was 2:44 (16 minutes better than I hoped and almost an hour better than I predicted). My average mile was 12:36 and I was 26th in my age division (under 40 years old). So I feel pretty good about it. I mean, I feel REALLY GOOD about it. I really impressed myself and am so happy with my first trail halfer. I can't wait for the next honestly, and I think I spoiled myself inadvertently because anything less than 2000ft elevation gain will seem like I'm a cutting it too easy, lol. (Though in two weeks I'm participating in a free race that climbs 4 of the 14,000 ft peaks in 8 miles and I'm terrified of that one)
The downhill was extremely fun and my shoes freakin rock! I passed so many people going down (and was really impressed with how many I passed going up!). But seriously, going downhill is like taking drugs for me. I probably look like I'll fall any second and in fact get so caught up in it that I've lost some of my gracefulness, but it's still so much fun. There were some nice big drops too that definitely felt like parkouring.
Protip: Trail races aren't like road races. Stopping is like Nascar needing to change tires, pretty much everyone will do it at some point, so it doesn't really affect your time. Instead of wearing down and stopping for 5 minutes at one station, stop at three stations for 1 minute. Boom, 2 minutes shaved from your time.
That aid stop was totally a second wind, and honestly, I think it was the bra ice that helped the most. Soon enough two people were coming the opposite direction cheering us on and saying there was less than a mile left. Woohoo! I picked up speed (but soon dropped down when it felt like more than a mile) and then I was able to pick it (and my spirits) up again when I saw the parking lot, heard the cheers, and figured out we were so close! I felt like I finished strong and was so stoked when I saw I had finished in under 3 hours.
I met a lot of great people while running but really need to work on my social skills post race and make more friends. I think it will help when I start running with Denver and Boulder groups. And in looking up this race again I found another running group that seem a little more elite. I'll see what they say about me joining and get back to you on the blog about it.
I didn't stop much to take pictures, but it was a gorgeous fun trail and I think I'll force myself to enjoy it more next time, taking photos and resting in the process which might actually help me run faster overall, we'll see. I'm excited to train more and improve my speed. Maybe one day in the long future I'll actually win some awards =)