Athletics Magazine

My New Favorite Race

By Brisdon @shutuprun

I’m not spontaneous (unless I get the runner’s trots, then I am very spontaneous going to and in the bathroom). Overall, I’m more of a Type A planner.

Yet, two days ago I started living on the edge and signed up for the Ft. Collins Trail Half Marathon that was today. I don’t know. I had a 2 1/2 hour run scheduled for today and felt like racing. Plus, if you read this blog, you know how much I love the trails. This one, north of Ft. Collins, promised to be a scenic course. With just a bit of climbing. Holy sh*t. After a 60 mile bike ride yesterday, I wasn’t sure if my legs would work and be able to reach that pointy nipple at the top.


I talked Joie into doing it with me. We started out early to a beautiful sunrise.


I love any race where you have to turn on this road to get to the start.

My New Favorite Race

We picked up our packets and enjoyed a nice continental breakfast (I called it the Costco-tinental breakfast because it was all from the big “C”, but I love Costco’s stuff so I was thrilled). I had some big pieces of loaf cake. Carbs, man.

The only bathrooms available were in a church near the start line. 2 stalls for women, 1 for men. Those poor church people. Sweet Jesus the smell was bad by the time I went in for my second deposit. No, the smell wasn’t ALL my fault.

I love trail races because they are super mellow. No corrals, no feelings of being smashed in like sardines or weaving around people.

This was to be a half marathon, but when we got there, we saw this sign. Yay! It’s the special of the day! Only 12.5 miles today!


I think it should be illegal to start a race going up a huge hill, but that is what happened. Why do pictures never do climbs justice? I swear it was 95x this steep.


The first mile was brutal.

I didn’t bring water because the website said aid stations were every two miles. Well, I suppose if you averaged the aid stations they were every two miles. But, the first three were close together, then there was  a five mile span with nothing (due to the trail being too remote), which is a long time when you are climbing on the trails.

I have to tell you - I had the time of my life. I LOVE the challenge of climbing up (and occasionally walking) these huge ass hills then screaming down them. The scenery was probably the best I have ever had on a run. There were a lot of single track trails that wound in and out of little canyons and small streams to jump over or splash through. I wish I had pictures for you, but I don’t. There were, however, two younger girls (women) taking selfies of each other for  a good part of the race. WHAT?

In total, this race only ended up being 11.5 miles. A bit short of the half distance. But, I was okay with that. I finished in 1:56 for an average pace of 10:07. For me on the hills (1,900 feet of climbing) that is very good.


And, I was shocked to learn I got 1st in the 40-49 old lady age group (I have no clue how many were in my AG – I think they capped the race at 200 for both the half and 10K – so not many). Us old women can still rock it, clearly. And, drink beer at 10:00 a.m. after a race.



Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

What is the most scenic race you’ve ever done?


PS: “Hi” to reader Sonia who introduced herself today. WTG on the 10K! And nice meeting you out there, Louisa! Sorry about your leg.

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