I realized that I'm not very good at taking photos during the run. I've often planned to "take it easy" during a race but once it starts I just want to go, go, GO!
The course is a big loop, which is my 2nd favorite after a point-to-point. I think out-and-back is the worst! It starts at Santa Rita Park on the Animas River. The first two miles are up, up, up, to Fort Lewis College on the mesa above Durango. The course loops around the college, with some pretty views from Rim Drive, then it's down, down, down, and along the river back through town to the start & finish.
This is the 4th time I've done this race. I ran it in 2007 & 2008 when I was in college. At that time the course was a little different and went backwards, so you went up the 2nd big hill around Mile 5-6. I like the course better the way it is now, although the long downhill finish was fun.
I grabbed a cup of water at every aid station (every two miles) and had a GU at Mile 4 & Mile 8.
Shoes: Brooks Glycerin 13
Capris: Athleta Be Free Knicker
Mile 1 & 2 - 11:05, 11:05. Very consistent pace on the uphill here! I don't mind an uphill start... If I have to run uphill at all, that is! It helps me from starting out too fast and it's nice to get the hill over with rather than dread it the whole race.
Mile 3, 4, 5 - 9:58, 10:17, 9:48. This was looping around campus. I paused to take a couple photos of the view. I felt really good at this point. I was happy that I'd made it up the hill and my legs felt fresh.
Mile 6 & 7 - 8:49, 9:39. A faster mile going down the big hill at the north end of campus, and then a slower mile winding through a neighborhood back to the river.
Mile 8, 9, 10 - 9:59, 10:13, 9:55. These last three miles on the bike path along the river were a little rough but not actually that much slower. I was feeling pretty tired though. Also, I know this part of the course really well and sometimes that makes it go by faster, but this time it just made it so that I knew exactly how far I still had to go.
Final time - 1:40:47
In 2014 I did this race in 1:32:12 when Swede was 6 months old. So I'm definitely slower than I was then, but I knew I would be. My goal was to finish in <1:45 this time... Success!
At the end I picked up a pint glass (instead of a medal) and a breakfast burrito, then headed home!
What is your favorite type of race course - Loop, Point-to-Point, Out-and-Back?
Would you rather have any uphill start or an uphill finish?