This Sunday marked the seventh annual running of the Colfax Marathon. My training partner Anna was racing, and I jumped in at mile 12 to help her along. Here's what I learned:
10. There are a lot of super-fast runners in Denver. Few of them ran the Colfax Marathon. That's because the Bolder Boulder, the premier 10k in the state, is next weekend.
9. It's totally possible -- and totally okay -- to be passed by people in costumes during the race. Know that their victory is short-lived: They're the ones who will have to deal with whatever chafing is caused by wearing a tutu and angel wings on a 26-mile run.
8. A shout-out to the residents of Lakewood, who spent their morning cheering from their front yards. Some extra love to the guys who handed out orange slices around mile 15.
7. To the people with the balcony overlooking Cherry Creek who played the Rocky theme song on repeat: Thanks! But also, didn't you get tired of listening to the Rocky theme song on repeat for three hours?
6. It's in bad taste to take the Gatorade and water offered at the aid stations for a race you didn't pay to enter.
5. Also in bad taste: to complain at mile 7 that you're bored of running to someone who has already run 19 miles.
4. The hardest part of the course was mile 23, running uphill from downtown on 17th Avenue. To encourage Anna, I pointed to the traffic light on Grant, and told her we just had to get to there. She couldn't hear me -- her headphones were in from mile 16 on -- but I believe all of my gesturing helped.
3. For the last two miles, I ran a few feet ahead of Anna to push her through the end. This did not please her, but ultimately helped her set a new personal record for the marathon.
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2. There's no need to pace on the last 100 meters. I dropped out of the race once the finish line was in sight. Plus, it would have been awkward to receive a Colfax Marathon finisher medal for running 14 miles.
1. Running in a marathon without running a marathon is a whole lot easier.