In preparation for my 77 mile attempt next month I have two heavy mileage weekends on my training schedule before I taper. When Coach Dave told me to plan on running 20-30 miles two days in a row I admit I was skeptical. The difference between a 50 k and 77 m is huge in many ways so I planned for a rough schedule.
Coming off a recovery week after Greenland I only put 20 miles in on several short runs prior to the weekend. Saturday dawned misty and cloudy and I soon headed out for the club’s weekly run. This week we were in Lakewood with a 10 mile out and back course marked for us. With so many club members running the Colfax Marathon the following day few showed up for the run. Even so, with a few new friends the 20 miles fell quickly and, mostly, effortlessly.
Sunday’s weather was clear, sunny and warm—a beautiful spring day. I jogged the mile plus to City Park, the start/finish of the marathon, in the predawn as the stars made way for the sun. Over 4,000 runners were signed up with 700 or so going the full distance. With that many runners and their support crews the park resembled an ant hill stirred up with a stick by a small child. Even in the mass of Lycra and tech T clad runners I met up with Allison as arranged. She is running six marathons (and a 50k) in two months as training for the Midnight Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska which is part of her honeymoon next month. Since it was a training run for both of us we headed out at an easy pace.
The course is mostly along Colfax Avenue, thus its name, which would not win any scenic awards on its own. Instead the energy for this race came from the excellent support crew volunteers (aid stations every 2 miles), the bands and the residents who lined up along the course and cheered everyone along. The course is not flat but has almost five miles of minor uphill before the midpoint turn around. Once we headed east the course diverted off Colfax into the Highlands before going through downtown and back to City Park.
The post race party certainly earns high marks for the variety of vendors giving away edible schwag—Mix1, Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ, Mountain High yogurt, Myoplex, Aquafina, Gatorade—and those are just the ones I tested…er…tasted. The crowded beer and massage tents, that I did not visit, appeared to be very popular. Numerous charity vendors were also on hand to promote their worthy causes. It was a heck of a party!
As my first Colfax marathon I had no expectations going into it but am happy to say it was an excellent experience all round. And Coach Dave was right I could run almost two marathons in two days. Laurel Highlands looks a little less of an unknown at this point.
Run On & Get out and Explore the World!