Denver’s Liberty Run 4 Miler Race Recap

Can you tell I was excited? It is my go to pre-race face!
Can you tell I was excited? It is my go to pre-race face!

It’s time – the LONG overdue race recap of the Liberty Run 4 Miler in Washington Park on July 4th!  This was one of my favorite small, local races to date.  Everything about the race was so well organized, carefully planned, and just plain fun.  The race began at 8:30am at the southern edge of Wash Park in Denver, right along E. Louisiana Avenue.  As per usual, the emcee was making announcements, commenting on the awesome patriotic ensembles, and pumping up the crowd.  Packet pickup occurred race day, and was a very smooth process.  The hubs and I picked up our bibs and awesome tech tees, dropped off the goodies at the car, and prepped for the race.

This race contributed towards the Make-a-Wish foundation, which is a charity I have always admired.  Fulfilling incredible wishes for ailing children will always tug at my heart strings.  Furthermore, all of the volunteers were absolutely incredible – decked out in red, white and blue attire, completely friendly and cheerful, and full of great energy for all of the runners, walkers, and kids participating that day.  Before the start of the race, the emcee directed us through our pre-run warm-up: the Chicken Dance!  It was pretty cute, I must admit.  And finally it was time to run!  The first wave included the more seasoned athletes, then runners, and finished with the competitive race walkers (it is an impressive sport, and to learn more, check out the T-Rex Runner’s recounting of her race walking experience!).

Pre-chicken dance race line up.  Gotta love that red, white and blue!
Pre-chicken dance race line up. Gotta love that red, white and blue!

The first mile took a loop around a third of the park, and then back through the starting line to begin a loop around the perimeter of the entire park.  It was a lovely morning, but incredibly humid for Denver (about 85% humidity when we started), so the weather warmed up quickly.  There were two water stations on course, which we very welcome.  Once the perimeter loop was complete, we ran back through the starting line and took the smaller loop through to the finish line.

The course was easy to navigate, well marked, and fairly level - great for race day!
The course was easy to navigate, well marked, and fairly level – great for race day! Source
I was particularly pleased with the post-race loot.
I was particularly pleased with the post-race loot.

Upon finishing, the emcee was great about cheering folks on and maintaining momentum.  Volunteers were there with bags for us to grab the incredible loot that we could line up for.  Once in line, there was free sunscreen, awesome beer glasses, packs of Tylenol Allergy/Sinus, and other great giveaways.  Naked juice was handing out smoothies, and BornFit provided the great race day tech tees.  My favorite RunColorado store had a booth promoting their running gear.  It was all around a fantastically represented and coordinated race.

Following the Run/Walk portion was a Kid’s Firecracker Fun Run, which looked like a blast.  The best part was seeing the costumes and creative ensembles.  There was a legitimate Captain America (complete with head gear), and tons of red, white and blue all over the place.  My favorite group of runners donned kid-sized animal innertubes, fun sunglasses, and tossed beach balls all throughout the race.  They even had water squirt guns and cooled people off as they ran past.  They were my new best friends for about 30 minutes.  I decided to recycle my BolderBoulder outfit, but this time paired it with my Patriotic starry Sparkly Soul headband.  I managed to attract a fantastic group of volunteers who would yell “SPARKLE SKIRT!! WOOO!!!” each time I made another loop around the course, which obviously made my day.  The hubs donned a blue RunColorado shirt, although I couldn’t convince him to rewear our patriotic sunglasses.

I would love to run this race again next year.  I do wish it had been even half an hour earlier given the heat and humidity of the day, but otherwise it was a superb race.  So much fun, great energy and atmosphere, and the perfect way to start the holiday weekend!  It made me feel less guilty about the giant burger I consumed later that day.  What can I say?  The hubs makes a mean burger – on a pretzel bun, to make matters awesomer.

Check out this amazing race day video!  The hubs and I managed to repel the cameras that day, but it’s such a perfect way to showcase the race!

What has been your favorite small, local race?  Don’t you just love the 4th of July (yeah, Americuh!)?  How do you feel about races less than 6 miles?

Return to Grace

Isn’t it just amazing how quickly life catches up with you?  June was one of my favorite months this year, maybe even of the past few years.  I was able to travel, spend time with the hubby and my pup, celebrate my birthday and anniversary, hone in on my health, and take advantage of parts of Colorado I love.  Then came July… It has proven to be a crazy tornado of a month, primarily due to work.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job.  I am one of those rare folks who actually loves going to work: I really enjoy my coworkers, appreciate the institution for which I work, and adore my boss.  I am truly lucky, and I know it.  However, about eight months ago I was tasked with coordinating the move of our office, which at the time seemed so easily manageable, but I have learned so much in that timeframe.  The move took place last week, and the weeks working up to our scheduled move date are in every way a blur.  Being the planner, Type-A, mild control-freak, OCD person I am, this was quite the endeavor.  During this same time, my dear friend Ms. BakeNBurn was moving to her new home (which is fabulous), so we were able to commiserate on the crazy, thankfully!

However, throughout this process I learned one important distinction between moving homes versus moving an office: you are not in control.  There are some elements during a home move you can’t control, of course,

Moving an office is a messy business.
Moving an office is a messy business.

that’s inevitable.  But with an office move, you have absolutely no control.  There is a move team managing the actual movers, how many boxes you get, the day you move, when your space is reviewed and repaired.  There is a planning team that picks your furniture, layout, and overall style.  There is an architect, lead contractor, and building team who all seem to work on their own timeline, whether you’re scheduled to move in or not.  It’s a control-freak’s worst nightmare.  Imagine my utter dismay.  Despite all of this, we did it.  We are in our new space, moved in, and thankfully I was given the time to organize our storage (I became extremely close with our office label maker…) and get things set up before the rest of my coworkers got here – my one moment of control!  Hooray!  With all that being said, blogosphere, I apologize for my incredible absence, and I am so glad to be back.

Going from an office to a cubicle... not ideal.
Going from an office to a cubicle… not ideal.
The Liberty Run 4 Miler was a blast, as was the loot!
The Liberty Run 4 Miler was a blast, as was the loot!

Besides the move, a lot of other fun things have happened in the past few weeks.  I ran the Liberty Run 4 Miler with the hubby on the 4th of July, and must admit that it may have had some of the best swag for a small race – I got an awesome beer glass (which I feel more proud of having earned by doing exercise) among other fun things.  I attended a performance by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, in which they presented a number of pieces from each of the eight Harry Potter movies (if you don’t know, I am a HUGE Harry Potter geek… I started reading them in middle school and never stopped loving them) with some awesome friends.  One of my closest friends from high school just moved back to the US from teaching English abroad in Turkey for the past two years, and decided to move to Denver (I AM SO EXCITED)!!  I rediscovered an awesome running trail that I can access from my front door, and have been loving my weekday evening and weekend morning runs there (the hubs and I are in training mode for two half marathons this fall, so it’s the perfect option).  I made my first batch of gluten free red velvet cupcakes which were a HUGE success (recipe to come, of course).  I started a cleanse this week, and have been feeling pretty positive about it so far – more on this later!  So overall, it’s been a great, busy, whirlwind of a month, and I am so glad to be back on the normal side of things.

Don't worry, I will share this recipe - they were amazing!
Don’t worry, I will share this recipe – they were amazing!
Getting adjusted to our new space - thankfully!
Getting adjusted to our new space – thankfully!

Have you just had a month where everything seemed to get away from you?  Ever been in charge of moving an office?  Was July kind of a crumby month for anyone else?