Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler Race Recap

Last weekend I combined a visit to see my daughter with the Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler. We arrived Friday and stopped by the expo before we went to my daughter’s place, spent Saturday hiking around Colorado Springs at Garden of the Gods and Seven Falls, and dedicated Sunday to racing, recovering, and heading home. What a weekend!

Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler Race Recap
Since it’s Friday, I’m linking up at Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness, and since it’s the last Friday of May, I’ll toss in a Runfession or two in my Urban 10 Miler race recap.

My Five Questions Answered

First, let me answer the five questions I had as I headed to Colorado last weekend.

  1. How did I get to the start? A very long Uber ride, necessitated by all the detours required to get around the road closures.
  2. What time did I start? Shortly after 8:00 am. 
  3. How did the elevation impact my running? I let my breathing set my pace, which shows in my pacing. Afterwards, I definitely felt my exercise-induced asthma even though I used my inhaler before and after I ran.
  4. How did my husband find me? He had no problems finding the finish area, but I had to call him to tell him were I was. It was the biggest post-race party I’ve ever seen with the three races converging in City Park.
  5. How did I manage on the flight home? The flight home was no problem! I made sure to eat right after I finished the race, which for some reason seems to ward off post-race GI issues. I wore compression socks and did a few stretches while waiting at the gate, so maybe that helped too.


If anyone from @RunColfax is reading this, you should know that I learned about this race when you sponsored #Runchat. How cool is that?

Five Things About The Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler

Since this was such an unusual race, I’m going to try an unusual race recap format, and focus on five things I learned at the Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler.

Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler Parking Lot

1. Although parking for the Urban 10 Miler is in a shopping center parking lot, the race start is at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design behind the shopping center. It took me about 1/2 hour to figure that out–a 1/2 hour well spent cheering on marathoners and using the bathroom at the laundromat. Once I turned the corner I heard the music, saw a bank of port-a-pottys, and realized where all the other Urban 10 runners were warming up.

Posing by the big gold nugget at the starting area.
My weather app said it was chilly, but the sun said otherwise.

2. The rolling start was pretty neat.  I was in Wave B, and Waves A-C were scheduled to start between 8:00 and 8:30. At 8:00, they invited elite men to start, then elite women, then Wave A, then Wave B, etc. For each wave, a few people lined up at the start, the race photographer took a picture, and then they took off with a “go” signal. Someone said it felt like waiting to go down a water slide. 

3. The course was varied and interesting. One reason I chose this race was the promise of an interesting course, and it certainly was. Before the race I had mentally divided the course into four segments: (1) the first straightaway down Colfax; (2) the detour through Mile High Stadium; (3) the run through downtown Denver; and (4) the final push through City Park. Each segment looked and felt different and the variety helped keep me going.

Colfax Denver Urban 10

Hiding from the sun on Colfax

Colfax Denver Urban 10


Running through the stadium! 

Now that I’ve run the course, I’d add a fifth segment–the section along South Platte River between the stadium and the city. 

Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler Race Recap

Running along South Platte River

4. The elevation profile is a net negative. Seeing the elevation profile gives me more insight into my pacing.  My legs took advantage of the first downhill miles for sure! There really was only one legitimate hill, and it was a short one in downtown Denver. 

5. I still suck at pacing–or maybe not.  When my first four miles were pretty evenly paced, I thought I was in for a steady race, similar to the GW Parkway Classic. I lost hold of that pacing when I ran through the stadium–so many twists and turns–and struggled as we ran along the river. I had decided to let my breathing set my pace–since my exercise-induced asthma is usually pretty quiet I didn’t know how hard I could push myself without triggering a full-on asthma attack–and that really slowed me down in the middle miles. Instead of letting those upper 8s and 9s mess with my head, I decided to enjoy the day and reminded myself that I could ramp up from a slower pace when I was ready–something I’ve learned from those OTF treadmill intervals.

I was confused as we approached the finish area, and ended up starting my final push too soon. I saw runners heading in from the right, and thought we somehow had to do an out-and-back until I realized those were the half marathoners merging in. Then, I thought I saw the finish line over to the left, but it turns out that was the starting line from the marathon. I seriously thought I was going to run out of steam a hundred yards too soon, but somehow I made it across the finish line.

Colfax Denver Urban 10

Are we there yet?

I was pleased with my Garmin time, but then bummed when I saw my official time was slower–1:26:13. (Who else but a runner gets bummed over 7 seconds?!)

Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler

But then I kept reading my “official results” email and saw that I placed 5th in my age group!

Not only that, but everyone else in the top 10 was from Colorado–and used to the elevation, right?

OK, maybe all the serious runners were doing the half or full, but I’m still going to be proud! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post-Race Festivities

As I said, the post-race party was the biggest I’ve ever experienced. After we collected our medals, we were offered bagels, bananas, yogurt, Cliff bars, Muscle Milk, ice cream bars, and more. (Maybe that’s normal for a marathon?) I took a bagel, banana and ice cream bar, and made my way to bag check where I hoped to find my husband.  

The view from the bag check hill –look at the snow on those mountains!

I wasn’t much in the mood for a post-race beer, so I gave my husband my beer ticket and my lunch ticket (!)–he opted for a BBQ sandwich (there was a vegetarian option) and it came with a bag of Pop Corner chips and an orange. He was enjoying the live band, but I really wanted to get back to the hotel for a shower, so I dragged us away.

Mellow Mushroom Pizza

After I showered and packed, I was ready to refuel, and the Mellow Mushroom pizza place near our hotel sounded just right!

Post-Race Runfession

The Urban 10 Miler might be a “one and done” race for me, but after seeing the pictures from the half marathon course–being cheered on by firefighters and running through the zoo!–I might be back for another Colfax Denver race next year–want to join me?

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29 Responses to Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler Race Recap

  1. Kimberly G says:

    Wow! Talk about a whirlwind weekend! It’s great that you were able to race and visit with your daughter. I’m glad that the flight back home went well – I know you were a little worried about that! Hope you have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kimberly G recently posted…Join Me For May RunfessionsMy Profile

  2. Congrats! I would have done a destination 10 miler too! That’s great that you did so well, with altitude and all. How fun!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Runfessions: It’s May…My Profile

  3. When I ran a race in Boulder last year the altitude really got to me I was gasping for air at times. Awesome that it really didn’t bother you too much

  4. I think you did awesome! I’ve hearad the Denver elevation is a challenge tot he “tourists,” but you kept pace (pun intended) with the best of them. I love the 10-mile distance ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Shall we RUNFESS?My Profile

  5. Yay for the 5th place. I was wondering how the election would impact the race but looks like you handled it nicely.
    I always hate when my Garmim and official times are more than a few seconds off, especially when my garmin measures the course longer than it is.

    • Coco says:

      I think the Garmin usually measures longer because you may run longer than the measured course – if you do any weaving or don’t take corners tightly. I didn’t understand how the time was off, but I think it auto-paused when it lost a signal downtown or through the stadium.
      Coco recently posted…Colfax Denver Urban 10 Miler Race RecapMy Profile

  6. Darlene says:

    I love Denver. I was there for a conference but couldn’t find a race that weekend but took a running tour of the city. And yes, it was a challenge to breathe in the elevation. I think you did great!! Congrats.
    Darlene recently posted…Friday Five 2.0: FashionMy Profile

  7. Chaitali says:

    That sounds like a great course! And a really fun post-race party. I don’t think I’ve ever been to another race that had a lunch ticket included with the bib.
    Chaitali recently posted…Friday Five – RunfessionsMy Profile

  8. Marcia says:

    You did so great! That is a really fun area to run in. Glad you liked it enough to do again!

  9. Lesley says:

    I still use my inhaler at times to help with the altitude. Some days I feel like I’m still adjusting, and I’ve been here for 5 months already.

  10. That pizza looks amazing!

    The elevation for UT is intimidating, I won’t lie, but hey, the scenery should take my mind off of it.

    I think you should be darn proud!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…I Love You . . : Runfessions May 2017My Profile

  11. Great job! Congrats on the 5th place! Glad the altitude didn’t bother you too much!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…A May Runfession or TwoMy Profile

  12. Rachel says:

    Sounds like a really fun race! Congrats!!

    I’ve never been to Colorado. I need to change that! It looks amazing.
    Rachel recently posted…May Runfessions: Rainy Days and Summer RunningMy Profile

  13. Karen says:

    I think you did awesome pacing! Ha, you are so right no one but a runner would even notice 7 seconds LOL It sure is beautiful there. It is a good day to rock a great time and take in all the beauty ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats!

  14. Teresa says:

    Congratulations Coco! I think you have every right to be super proud of that finish time! Sounds like a cool race!

    The hubs and I visited Colorado Springs a few years back and hiked Garden of the Gods and Seven Falls as well….just absolutely gorgeous! Have you tackled the Manitou Incline? Goodness, I thought I would die trying to complete that thing!! If you haven’t, be sure to do it next time you’re out there…it’s quite a challenge.
    Teresa recently posted…May Runfessions: Utah Valley Half MarathonMy Profile

  15. HoHo Runs says:

    Great job Coco, especially running at elevation! And 5th out of 200+ is something I’d be shouting from the rooftops! I’ve been wondering if I have exercise induced asthma. My lungs stay sore and I have this weird shallow cough.

  16. Congrats on your 10 miler and 5th place AG spot! You were pretty darn speedy in my book! It sounds like a really interesting course – I’ve only been to the Denver airport so it looks like a great way to see the city!

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