- 5 miles/8K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
- Event Website
So first off I will note, the rumor is (rumor because I can't find an official source confirming) that this is the last year for the Rock 'n' Roll Denver Full Marathon. This was the 6th year for the full marathon and apparently the City of Denver and Rock 'n' Roll can't figure out how to make this distance work for both parties. Sad.
Now on to the review!
Expo: I went to the expo for the last half hour it was open on Friday and flew through it! Waiver: Check! Bib: Check! Shirt: Check! Additional goodies: Check! This is the second Rock 'n' Roll event I've participated in and I LOVE that they basically have a "Grab Bag" style goodie bag. Once you grab your shirt, they have a couple bins set up with other samples and coupons from the sponsors. This year they had some "Dirty Chai" from Celestial Seasonings so I might have grabbed a couple (or five) and some gummies vitamins. Pretty awesome way to make sure they aren't needlessly bagging this stuff if you don't care about it. After you are funneled through you are then sent into the main merchandise area and Rock 'n' Roll is a well oiled machine when it comes to merch since they partner with Brooks. From there you are then in the large expo area with lots of different vendors and EVERYONE was there. From Garmin to SkirtSports, if you needed something, ANYTHING, for this race, they had it there. All in all I was in and out in about 25 minutes.
Race: So there was some weird logistics with the race that had a trickle down affect. While the Half Marathon was at 7:15, the Marathon didn't start until 8am which I thought was weird. Since my boyfriend was dropping me off, I didn't have to worry about parking at the Civic Center and then getting bussed the ~26.2 miles to the start area. I didn't hear any runners griping about the busses though.
The start area was pretty serene and we got a beautiful sunrise over the lake. There were a good number of porto-potties but definitely waited in a very long line.
With the playing of the National Anthem we were off! There were 10 (I think) corrals and each was released every 30 secs. So it was a fairly rapid release!
The course was... pretty dull. It's intimidating seeing the skyscrapers so far away and knowing you are running to them. Most of the time we were running through fields, pastures, and industrial areas on a multi-use path. There were pockets of cheerers but there really wasn't a ton of distration on the course which made a personally difficult race more difficult. The course also had a slight uphill for most of the race, one that is only perceptible if you are running for 26.2 miles but not so much so that you want to slow down for it. We also crossed the Platte River on these metal bridges that had a significant bounce to them because of the runners which was unnerving. Around mile 24 we were finally in the downtown area so there were things to look at and people cheering which made the last few miles nice but didn't make up for the rest of the course.
Post-Race: Again Rock 'n' Roll is great at race organization. Like the expo, there was a lot to grab in the finisher's chute which led out to the beer garden (Michelob Ultra anyone?) and finisher's area. However, being a ~4hr marathoner, most of the party had already ended. I missed the main act and most of the runners from the other events had already cleared out. I don't really run this race for the concert but if they had started the marathon earlier, it would have made the finish area feel more rockin'.
Overall: It was an okay race. The course was pretty flat and the aid stations had great volunteers. If you are looking for a truly Denver marathon, this isn't it. If you are looking for a marathon in Denver or Coloraro, there are so many more interesting (sometimes challenging) courses. I had a great time at my first Rock 'n' Roll event in SF but this one was just okay. If I ran this event (and they were still offering the marathon) I'd choose the half instead.