Denver Half-Marathon Recap

Hello,

Well the Denver Half-Marathon went a lot better than expected!  The goal was to hopefully use the race as a progression-run workout.  In an ideal world, I could have split 5:30 for the first 7 miles, in the 5:20s for the next three, and then averaged sub 5:20 for the final 5k.

Denver Half Marathon 2010 from RunColo on Vimeo.

However, a Kenyan Japheth Ng’ojoy took the race out fast and we went through an uphill first mile in 5:01.  I’m normally pretty good with knowing pace, and I thought it was around what I wanted or a little slow — I was wrong.  At that point, I decided that it wasn’t appropriate to slow to 5:30 and let the Kenyan gap me, so we ran side by side and chatted for the next few miles.  He talked about his best races, being a 6-time all-american from UTEP, winning Penn Relays steeplechase in 2007, 28:24 10k, 1:03 half-marathon, and a 2:15 marathon where he went out in 1:05.  He was very nice, talented, and wanted a hard effort.  I’m sure he was not hoping for a 1:03 nor is his fitness in 1:03 shape right now, but he was ready to race.  The race turned to gravel/dirt/sand singletrack trails and ran through the Cherry Creek Park in Aurora, Colorado.  The course was advertised as flat and fast; however, it was anything but flat and fast!  In addition, sharp turns made us nearly come to a stop about a dozen times.  I was not looking for a personal best time, but rather a great workout and hopefully a win so I did not let the slow course deter my goals.  After he surged at 4-5 miles, he faded and I had a comfortable lead by mile 7.  Crossing through ten miles in 52:40, I knew my pace was 5:16 and felt smooth.  I decided that I was already running faster than expected so I attempted to keep the same pace for the final 5k.  However as I approached the 13 mile mark I knew I was still far from the finish, and my 6:04 mile split was definitely inaccurate.  The last “0.1” miles took me 2:50, clearly inaccurate.  I came across the finish line in a time of 1:12:26, about two minutes ahead of the second place Kenyan.

Denver Half Marathon 2010 from RunColo on Vimeo.

Later, the race director/announcer apologized that the course was too long and I talked to two guys who wore Garmin GPS watches that showed 13.42 and 13.49 miles.  (I do not like to wear my Garmin in races, just a small wrist-watch that can take mile splits that are marked.)  I know from my garmin on singletrack trails it always shows too short, so I’m guessing the distance was between 13.5 and 13.6.  Regardless, I averaged between 5:15 and 5:20 at altitude for over an hour an twelve minutes.  For the week, I ended up with 87 miles and have now strung together over three weeks of solid training in Colorado.  Doing a “back-of-the-envelop” calculation/conversion to 13.1 miles at sea level, that effort was right around 1:07:00.  It is hard for me to judge my fitness coming off of some time off at the end of July/early August and moving to altitude.  To do a “workout effort” 1:07 flat half-marathon in training really makes me excited for the 13.1 miles I’ll be running in the BAA Half-Marathon Oct 10th.  Hopefully some redemption will come for me and the sub 1:05 barrier there!  The group at Endurance Events Marketing put on a great event and post-race party. It was a pleasure to meet the local and west regional running reps for Mizuno at the race and really a proud moment to don a Mizuno racing singlet.  After finishing a vanilla Honey Milk, the Jay Johnson Myrtle Routine, and some Wharton Rope Stretching (that’s a lot of links!), I called two really good friends Megan Duerring and Jeremy Matula who finished as 2nd female and 3rd male at the VIA half-marathon in my hometown in eastern PA.  The support from my friends, sponsors, and family makes such a difference that they believe in me, just as much as I believe in them.  Megan and I had a conversation about how supportive the running community is – I couldn’t agree more!  I had conversations with numerous runners that were just so pleasant and supportive of each other.  I’m amazed at the number of people in Colorado training for Ironmans and Ultra-Marathons.  I’m sure that there is some talent required to finish an Ironman or an Ultra-Marathon, but it is really just a lot of hard work, time, and being tough-as-nails.  Good luck to everyone competing in those brutal events, you are an inspiration to all runners!! Thanks for reading and hope that everyone’s weekend surpassed their expectations as mine did!

Tyler

Mile Splits:
5:01
5:07
5:24
5:31
5:06
5:12
5:31
5:08
5:11
5:24
5:31
5:19
6:04 (incorrect)
2:51 last 0.1 (incorrect)

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3 thoughts on “Denver Half-Marathon Recap

  1. Nice work and nice meeting you out there.

    I agree with you on the course, you’re a lot nicer about it than I was though.

    Japheth has been racing around the state a lot this summer. He was third at the Park to Park 10 miler the weekend earlier and dipped under 15 on a road 5K earlier in the summer too. He hits up most of the money races.

  2. Justin,

    Great to meet you as well and excellent effort on the slow course. Let me know if you want to meet up for a run sometime! Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are the best days for me to meet up. Shoot me an e-mail at tcm5026@gmail.com.

    Good luck in your training and take care,
    Tyler

  3. Great job Tyler!! I’m guessing that Colorado “flat and fast” is different from Pennsylvania “flat and fast”, no? As always, I am continually impressed and in awe of your accomplishments, you continue to rock your races and bounce back so quickly. Best of luck in Boston next month. Are you stopping by home for a visit?

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