Last Saturday A and I drove up to Ft Collins in Northern Colorado for the evening. It is about an hour and some change north of Denver. We went up on Saturday because of the distance to travel. A ran in the marathon on Sunday and since he had to be at the bus pick up really early, like 5 am, and didn’t want to have to be driving at 1 am from the Springs.
We got to the Hilton around 11 for race packet pick up. There was a small expo for runners and can I just be honest? It sucked. The swag bag was piddly – I have never had a race (or A for that matter) in which there was some aspirin and a coupon for swag. His shirt for racing wasn’t even that good. It’s red, which is cool since most of his shirts are white or some shade of blue. But instead of the big, bold words highlighting the ‘Colorado Marathon’, the phrase first noticeable phrase is: Access Health. Access Health! Really? Okay I get that this group is the major sponsor, but why does it have to be on the front of the shirt?
Anyways, more on the race later (I have a few complaints). After packet pick up we went to a small breakfast/lunch cafe near Colorado State University called Wild Boar Cafe. The food was really good (at least my sandwich was) but all together a bit pricey. For a sandwich, some mac-n-cheese, a juice and a coffee, the total was about $21! Yikes.
After lunch we walked around the college a little and stopped off at New Belgium Brewery before heading back to our hotel to rest. For dinner we got pizza at Pelican Jo’s in Windsor (it was a few minutes down from the hotel). The pizza was very good and I recommend it to anyone in the area.
Here are some pictures from our Saturday afternoon:
Now, onto Sunday and the race! We got up super early – for A at least. I am used to getting up early on the weekdays for my job. A had to be dropped off at the bus pickup for 5 am. I am glad we got there when we did because the line was already really long! I stayed with him until just before he boarded then headed back to the hotel. My plan was to go back to sleep for a few hours, but of course I didn’t. After a small continental breakfast and checking out of our room, I headed over to the first spectator viewing point, at mile 17. Yeah. Since the first part of the race in within La Poudre Canyon, it was dangerous for the runners to have tons of cars and spectators crowding the race lane. And let me just say that I have some serious issues with the first spectator spot. First of all, there is hardly any parking. I got kicked out of the spectator area because some a**hole decided to park in front of me within the area reserved for spectators, THEN proceeded to move the ‘no parking’ signs behind me so that other cars could park there. I gave him a piece of my mind, let me tell you, when another car came up behind me and asked. me. to. move.
Anyways, I saw him at 17 mile mark, the 21 mile mark and then again at the finish line. Second complaint of the entire race: A paid over $100 for his registration to run. In all other races we have done collectively and separately, the fee covers not only a great swag bag and technical shirt, but also covers the post-race food like bread, fruit, Gatorade, beer etc. This race? All they provided was oranges, water and a free beer for the racers. So basically, the race made a lot of money from registration and didn’t seem to bother to a. give some to a charity, or b. provide non-cramping material (like bananas) or even something to help replace all the calories just burned from running 26/13/6/3 miles! If they offer a survey to the racers, I am going to fill one out. As a spectator. It was a crappy race.
To finish, here are some pictures from Sunday!