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Drama in Denver – Revel Rockies Half Marathon

July 23, 2015

Lifetime 41, 2015 4, States 7, Countries 4

Revel Rockies Half Marathon, Denver, CO July 19, 2015

Summary: The venue was beautiful, and support on the race course was great. I wish I had enjoyed it more, but I just felt crummy. Taken me two days to recover, which is one day too many. Revel did the right thing by offering refunds to the people who didn’t get to race. I will be doing their race in Utah in September.

So now I know what it is like to race the Revel Rockies in Denver with no sleep, no nutrition, a touch of altitude sickness, and a lot of race drama.

I couldn’t sleep. Nauseous with a headache. My Mamma Chia squeeze slipped out of my hydration vest pocket somewhere in the morning dark. The Half Marathon was cancelled after I caught the one and only bus to the start line. (The bus company didn’t send busses and left 1700 half marathoners unable to get to the start line. The marathoner’s busses did arrive, though, so they raced.)

Before the race

Before the race

I just flat got lucky. Since sleep was not forthcoming I got to the bus pickup area at 3:45 AM, although the half marathon busses were not scheduled to load until 4:15. There was a long line of people and when I couldn’t find the end of it, I stopped and asked if this was the half marathon line. Someone said it was the marathon line but that there was a half bus right behind me. I turned around, asked the driver if this bus was for the half, she said yes, and on I jumped. That’s how I got to the start line. Once the bus was loaded off we went. Up and up and up. This was a downhill race, after all. Well, mostly downhill.

The start line had lots of portable toilets and volunteers handing us space blankets, gloves, and coffee.

Waiting at the start line

Waiting at the start line

I met some other Half Fanatics.

Cathrine from California and Mary from Kansas City

Mary from Kansas City and Cathrine from California

I saw other racers dropped off at the start line by friends. We were told the race may be a half hour late starting. That necessitated a call to Alaska Airlines to move my flight home to Seattle from 1 pm to 3:45. I had known it would be tight making the 1 pm flight but a late-starting race gave me no chance.

I still had a headache and my tummy was not happy. I was cold. I wondered why I was doing this.

Then I remember I wonder the same thing at every race I do!

At 6:15 the Revel staff guy told us the half marathon had been cancelled except for those of us at the start line. So at 6:30 am the race started and off I went!

Takes me three miles to settle in and accept that no one is going to rescue me from my folly. By the time I see the 4 mile sign I am thinking that I am a quarter done and I only have three quarters to go.


(All regular racers think of the race mileage in some way that makes it seem easier. I think of the miles in terms of two 5ks that surround the meat of the race. Once I see the 10 mile sign I know I have only a 5k left and I am almost done!)

Ten mile sign

Ten mile sign

The race itself was a lovely downhill in a lovely area with a noisy (okay, burbling) stream on my right. We had a whole lane to ourselves and plenty of room on the right, which I needed since marathoners regularly passed me!


I ran by a smokehouse restaurant with two guys in front sitting in lawn chairs, beers popped open. I commented it looked like they were starting the morning right and one answered back, “Better than what you are doing!”

I got a bit of caffeine gel from a support table and puked that up. I drank a lot of water. It was overcast and humid.Doing the Revel Rockies

It was surprising to hear my name called several times as I went through the finish chute. Took me a second to realize my name was on my bib!


Got my medal and loved the washcloth on my head.

Washcloth felt so good!

Washcloth felt so good!

I grabbed two bags of Tim’s potato chips and stood there weaving like a drunk as I ate them both – then I had a banana!

Having a banana after the race

Having a banana after the race

Finish Line Revel Rockies

Then I walked a mile back to my car. Changed my clothes, (I was so tired I couldn’t even walk 200 feet to the portable toilet – I just opened the car door and hoped it hid me from sight as I changed!), got to the airport, flew home. It wasn’t that easy, though. I got lost, ended up on a toll road … Needed that flight change! Love Alaska Airlines!

Next up? Officially Big Cottonwood in Utah in September, but I am looking at a couple of smaller races in my area before then. There is one Aug 1 is Anacortes and one in Sequim on Aug 22. That one is called Valley of the Trolls and I am not sure I can resist that!

  1. That sounds like a truly miserable experience. At least this one was free, right? You are strong to persevere! Love that you think someone will rescue you at the beginning! Sometimes when I am struggling at golf when it’s too hot, I count the holes the same way you count kilometers. “That’s three holes … I can do that twice more.”

    • You are funny! Yes, the entry was free so I count myself lucky. We all have our ways of persevering, don’t we!

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