Race Report: Platte River Half Marathon 2010

Wow, what a spectacularly perfect day for racing! The weather was heavenly and nearly the entire race course runs along the Platte River trail with it's gurgling water, grassy banks, shady trees (as you get into Denver; not to be confused with Shady Figures, see following sentence)...and goose poop. Now, the view on the other side of the trail is typically pretty disgust (industrial buildings, Waste Management dump and the like) but as long as you only look to the River side, it is beautiful. Keep that in mind if you run this race.

Now for the race/organization assessment: plenty of parking, well organized, started on time, easy to navigate, porta potty attendants to keep the lines moving, fast-moving post-race food lines, plenty of post-race seating, good water/gatorade/gu stops, a free RTD light rail ticket back to my car at the race start. Can't ask for much more than that. Oh wait, yes I can: good shirts. Well, PR1/2 delivered with a decent-looking white LS tech tee that I won't be embarrassed to wear (Highlands Ranch, take note). This race is a SCORE in my opinion. A great value for the money, and very convenient. It was a good sized crowd (2,000-ish runners) but not so large as to be unmanageable. I give this race an all-around Thumbs Up. If you need more specific metrics, it would probably get an A in my book.

Unfortunately, despite the organizers best attempt to persuade me otherwise with their little PR1/2 logo, this race was not a PR for me. I did go into it as a training run on my marathon plan, but also naturally thought I could probably best my 2:07:08 from last years Colfax 1/2. So, I went into it with a good plan for an easy PR.

The plan
Run 9:30 for miles 1-4, assess at mile 5 whether to maintain that or pick it up a little
Run 9:20 for miles 5-10, assess at mile 10 whether to maintain or pick it up a little
Run 9:10-9:20 for miles 10-13.1
Finish 2:02-ish

The reality
Miles 1-5: Ran 9:30 (splits: 9:32, 9:35, 9:33, 9:30, 9:37)
Miles 6-9: Assessed and felt a little tired so decided to slow to 10:00 pace (9:53, 10:19, 10:11, 10:34-included walking through Gu/water stop)
Miles 10-13.1: Little pick-up after the Gu (splits: 9:54, 10:00, 10:05, 10:41-HUGE viaduct over to the other side of the river at mile 12=very slow running uphill, 9:33)
Finished: 2:11:23

So, the moral of this race story for me was to learn that I cannot use the same fuel strategy when I race as when I do a LSD at 10:30 pace. I need fuel sooner to keep the fast pace going and not feel tired. Should have Gu-ed at mile 5 and again at 9 or 10. I think I would have been able to stay 9:30 and below had I done that. But I did learn that 9:50-10:00 is probably an achievable marathon pace for Colorado, as long as I fuel properly. So all-in-all it was a great race and a great MP training run!


  1. Good job on the "training" run. Doing a race as a training run can be tricky, but regardless of the result, you seemed to have learned quite a bit.

  2. Woo hoo! Sounds like a great day to race. THe stage is set for marathon day. :oD

  3. Welp, the good news is you're not over-exhausted from racing the hell out of it - now you can kick the CO marathon's butt!! (I am so excited!)

  4. Congrats and take in those lessons learned!

  5. Great job. I've always wondered what that race was like. See you at the CO Marathon.

  6. 2:11 is still pretty fast, sister! Congratulations!

  7. Sounds like a fun race, congrats! It's always nice to learn some of those lessons about fueling and strategy before a marathon.

  8. I've done a few races for training and they are always harder than a regular run....sounds like your 2:11 was just perfect! You sound like you're all ready for the marathon, it's just around the corner :)!

  9. Not too shabby, and you took away some lessons learned. Nice job! Can't wait to hear about your marathon!

  10. Sounds like a good run to me - with some great lessons learned for the marathon!

  11. It's training runs like this that get you ready for your races - excellent job!!

  12. Pretty cool looking shirt. Maybe the 1/2 means that you take your PR time and add half, and then that's your time. :) Good work on ramping up your training for your marathon.

  13. 從人生中拿走友誼,猶如從生活中移走陽光........................................