Race morning came and it was a chilly start. It was a small group for the marathon, about 250? They billed this as a mostly flat course, but the course elevation chart showed a different story. I started slow because I really didn't know how the altitude and hills would effect me. The first few miles felt great. I felt like I was going ridiculously slow and was having no trouble breathing. Silly me thought the thin air would cause me to lose my breath more quickly. Then the hills started and there were some doozies. I still felt ok and my legs were good. It was getting warm though. The temperature was only in the 60s but we were in full sun the whole time and I was feeling it.
Around Mile 10 I noticed everyone around me was really sweating. I looked at myself and no sweat. Just salt rings on the shirt. Uh Oh. So altitude causes dehydration. I started trying to drink more but by then the damage was done. I told myself to just get to Mile 20 which is what I wanted for my training run and I could walk the last 6 if I needed to. I didn't want to beat myself up to bad for my goal race of the Omaha Marathon 3 weeks later. It was a struggle, my stomach was starting to cramp and I was just done running. I made it to 20 saw Dave and said I'm done, I'm walking and I'll see you in 2 hours.
The first mile of walking was a struggle, but then I started to feel better and felt like I could run a bit. But every time I tried to run my stomach would cramp up. So a fast walk it was.
I still managed to finish in under 6 hours and did manage to run it in across the finish line. I'm glad this one is over and I learned a lot about running in altitude. The course was challenging, but the volunteers were awesome. Every time I came in to an aid station I would be asked what I needed: water, Gatorade, bananas, oranges, Gu even ice! The ice saved me big time.
I would definitely recommend the Boulder Marathon to anyone looking for a challenge.
Here's our video from the race: