Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Denver Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
“Emily, I don’t know if I am going to be able to run this race.” I said at 6:15 AM as we parked and started walking to the starting line. The day before, as I was going to pick up my Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon bib, I stepped out of the car and noticed a serious pain in my knee.
Thinking that it wasn’t anything to worry about, we walked the expo. The expo had a great layout. As you walked in you got your bib and race info. Note: this was a one way flow, you couldn’t pick-up your race stuff and just walk out. Once you got through the official stuff, you walked into Brooks Running pop up store. Brooks was doing running style evaluations, I certainly could not pass on that. They also had many of their shoes on sale and a bunch of merchandise. After the Brooks area, you go into the rest of the expo. There were about 20 – 30 different vendors. I totally bought a new SPI Belt and a bunch of Honey Stinger Waffles.
“Why don’t you try to run around a little and see how it feels,” Emily suggests to me as I am shaking my head trying to stretch. I was not very confident that I was going to be crossing the starting line. I have only dropped out of one race and I did not want to add to that number.
After doing a few runs around the starting area, my knee started to feel OK and I decided I would give it a shot. I knew that I was not going to be setting a PR, but I definitely did not want to just bail without trying. Once at the starting line, I found Kathrine and Steph, the other two BibRave Pros (sorry I was late, I thought we were meeting by bag drop…). We took as awesome picture and we started to line up.
The starting line at the Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon was not a boring one. The race is a “loop” so you start and end in the same area. You have access to a bunch of porter potties, bag drop, there are special areas for VIPs and charity runners, and the starting line had an awesome DJ. There are a ton of people that run the race, so there were at least 7 corrals (maybe more?!) and they were all full. Luckily they keep the entrance to the corrals open so once the race started they were funneling people in pretty quickly.
As I was standing in the corral, holding my phone because I forgot my SPI Belt that I just bought, I decide that this is going to be a fun race for me. I am going to turn my Garmin to watch face, not pay attention to my pace and just enjoy the race. I also decided that I was going to InstaStory the whole thing. And boom! As the race started, I started to monitor my knee and enjoy my run through downtown Denver.
The race started in downtown Denver and followed the streets through town. It was a very pleasant course that had views of the mountains, the Rockies Stadium, and the city park. Between every mile there was a band or a DJ playing music. There were also spectators and cheer squads almost none stop. There were plenty of water stops and they gave out energy gummies at mile 8(ish).
I was very much enjoying my race. Steady pace that did not bother my knee, snapping pictures and videos every couple of miles, cheering on the wheelers, and saying, “Thank You,” to all the volunteers and police officers. At mile 12.5 I realized that I was going to be able to make it under 2hrs. I picked up my pace a little and was able to run through the finish line.
Emily found me right away and I told her that I was skipping all the food and going straight to the Medical Tent. I quickly checked in and they started trying to figure out what was going on with my knee. Being that they can’t do an MRI or X-Ray, they told me that my ACL is good and it probably is an aggravated nerve or muscle that I will need to baby for a while. At that point there was one thing left to do… drink beer!
The finish line had a bunch of activities. There we vendors setup selling product, there was the Rock n Roll tent selling discounted race entries to other races, there were food trucks and of course a beer tent. There was plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the post race festivities, like listening to the bands.
To think I was so close to not even running the race. I am glad I had Emily talk some sense into me and push me to run. I am glad that I took it easy and threw out my race goal. Hope you guys enjoyed my InstaStory.