I’ve been trying to figure out how to write up my most recent race. As I was reviewing it in my mind I realized I approached this race somewhat differently because it was a different type of race. This is the first high altitude race I have ever done. It was to go from 10,600 to 8400 feet. While I’m Colorado born, raised and lived, I haven’t done much in the high country for years. So, I was a bit concerned about how my body would handle it.
We, my husband, friend Betty and I headed up on Friday afternoon to Georgetown. We went up early to get our race packets and spend the night so we wouldn’t have to drive up the morning of the race. We would get to sleep in a little longer. When we got to the motel, we met up with another friend who was also doing the race. Joanna and her family went off to enjoy Idaho Springs, while we headed into the main part of Georgetown to walk around, do a little shopping, pick up our packets, and get some dinner. After all that was done, we headed back to the motel to get things ready for the race.
After a not so sleep filled night (for any of us) the alarm went off at 5:30 and we were up and moving. We dressed, ate breakfast and because we couldn’t get a late checkout we packed up and headed out to the car to drive to the shuttle area where we caught the bus to the start line. We were to start in the upper parking lot of the Loveland Ski Area. We got off the bus, got our timing chips and then it was time to head to the potties. That started the “oh, crap” moments. Instead of putting the potties right near the start line, the company put them in the LOWER parking lot, “Oh, Crap!” We only had 20 minutes before the race was supposed to start and we had to walk almost a ¼ mile to the potties and then back up the hill, “Oh, Crap!” We would miss the group photo, “Oh, Crap!” We had long lines to wait in and might miss the start of the race, “Oh, Crap!” And I would have to carry all our extra stuff because I’d miss getting it to our Sherpa, Dave, a final, “Oh, Crap!”
As we were walking down to the potties, my husband said, “Hey, at least you get to preview the start of the course.” I “GET” to. I “GET” to know what is coming. I “GET” to know where the ruts, rocks, bridge, and mud are. All of a sudden I went from the stress of I “have to, oh, crap” to the joy of I “GET” to. So before the race start, I’d get to preview the roughest part of the course, get to talk to others while waiting in line at the potties, get to walk down the hill and back up it to warm up and begin acclimating to the altitude. While we did miss the photo (oh well), we didn’t miss the start, I saw our Sherpa after the race started and I was able to toss my bag to him. That was the start of the amazing race, I GET to do.
Joanna, Betty & me before the race (we missed the group pic so we did our own)
Going through the beginning of the course was easy because I knew what to expect. Then it was off onto the dirt road. I felt the first hill a bit, but controlled my breathing and heart rate because I knew what to expect after walking up the hill before the race.
Since the race started so well, I decided that I didn’t care about time for this race because I was one of just 1113 official participants to get to race through one of the most beautiful places on earth. I saw waterfalls with the sun shining on them.
I saw wild Columbine.
I was able to watch a father and his 12 year old daughter walk her first race. I got to see the Georgetown train cross the trestle (something I had hoped for but figured wouldn’t happen).
My friend Betty came out onto the course to cheer me in as did my husband. Were there any drawbacks to the race? Only one, a blister on my heel, but that was only because I did what I always tell others not to do on race day --- something new. Despite the pain it caused I got to do, enjoy and finish a wonderful race. I’m a Slacker and I have the medal to prove it! Lately, I have tried to look more at life from the “Get to” rather than the “Have to” point of view and I’m glad I did just that with this race because it took if from an “Oh, Crap!” to a “WAHOO!”
Me, John & Betty after the race
This one makes a total of 7 half marathons so far this year and I have another 9 on the schedule which goes through November so far, and I just found one I’m considering for December. Here’s to being a half-aholic.