The 2007 Colorado Colfax Marathon was worse than expected. Wow...what a difficult marathon!! I came into this race thinking that the altitude wouldn't be a big deal. And from miles 1-13 it wasn't.
The course began in Aurora, Colorado right off Colfax street. There was no runner drop off at the start, so I got up at 4am, left the hotel at 4:15, and arrived at a high school to be bussed to the starting line. I didn't fall asleep that night until maybe 3:30am, so I was already a little tired.
The Colorado Colfax Marathon, in addition to the full and half, puts on a marathon relay consisting of a 2 10k legs, 2 5k legs, and a 12k leg. Most of the people waiting at the starting line were relay members. The half started at mile 13, so I never saw any of those runners.
The race started promptly at 6am. The first 13 miles flew by, almost effortlessly. I came through the half in an easy 2:04. Even though I thought I was adequately trained, I started to feel really taxed by mile 14. It is sort of a demoralizing feeling when you know you still have 12 miles to go. However, I kept shuffling on.
Mile 17 on was downright ugly...and uphill! There is a 700 ft elevation gain between mile 17 and the finish. By mile 20, I was having a difficult time convincing myself to keep running. I started walking up the hills and jogging/shuffling (I just love that term!) if I had a flat or downhill portion. I wanted to beat 5 hours, but that goal changed to just finishing the "death march" (as one lady called the marathon as she passed me by). I could really feel a difference as far as altitude goes on the second half of the marathon.
The last mile was pretty tough. Not only was it over 80 degrees, but there were two giant hills before the mile 26 marker, and another one the last .2. I ran the last mile with a girl who was doing the marathon relay. She was not happy with the fact that she volunteered to run the final 12k of the race. All in all, I am glad I did this marathon, but I am not sure if I will run it again.