Monday, July 4, 2011

Race Report - Liberty Run 4 Mile

There was typical July 4th weather for the Liberty Run this morning which is to say it was warm. With yesterday's high in the mid-nineties, it's hardly a surprise that it was still pretty warm this morning. Nice thing about a holiday is that there 's almost no traffic so I got from Parker to Washington Park in short order.

There was no problem picking up my packet and technical shirt (though I wish they would tell you in advance if the shirt was technical so I could get the right size). They were also distributing HydraPouches as this was a cupless race. If you're not familiar with then, they are small pouches that hold about two small cups of water and clip onto your shorts. They are refilled at any water station using a spout that hooks up to a standard water jug. It fills the pouch in a couple of seconds. More on that later.

I managed to arrive early enough to have time to pick up my stuff, but not so early that I had to stand around for a while. That's the way I prefer it.

Wash Park is a great place for a fun run type of event like this one. The scenery is nice, there is lots of shade (important on a day like today) and it's large enough that you can run a four mile race in four loops. It's also adjacent to South High School so that means plenty of parking.

I felt good through the whole race. I wasn't trying for a PR (I still have tomorrow's Aquaman and I'm going to do a Stroke & Stride again this week) but I still kept my pace consistently under the 9:00 mark without having to push it too hard.

There's not much more than that to tell. It was a four mile run, I was in, I was out and it was a good way to start my July 4.

Here's my review:

The bad:

Clarity about shirts - Unlike some other races, this one actually had a decent website including a course map which for some reason seems to be hard to find for certain events. And by that I mean a good, big map (I'm talking to you Rock and Roll Marathon). What the site did not say was that the t-shirt is actually a technical shirt. I'm more than happy to get a shirt I can run in, but I also get them a size smaller than the usual cotton shirt. It would be nice to know in advance.

HydraPouch - Not to be all un-earthy, but for a shorter race like this, the pouch does not make much sense. I'm not a speedster, but I don't want to sacrifice time filling up a pouch to take water (or worse waiting in line to do so). I think this technology makes a lot of sense for longer races (particularly marathons and half marathons) where a few seconds of stopping does not really impact the overall time.

The good:

Timing bibs - My timing chip was a metal strip covered by a foam pad on the back of my bib. No chip, no hassle, just an easy way to be electronically timed. This race was using an outfit called Hallucination Sports for their system. As of this writing, results aren't up yet, but I expect they will track pretty close to what I have on my Garmin. It's a good idea and my guess is you will see more of it in races.

Course - The internal streets in the park are a good venue for a race and they were properly conned off with turns clearly marked. I've done one other race there and it really is a nice place to enjoy a race. It was worth the drive.

Post Race - I've come not to expect too much from smaller races on the post race front but this one had plenty of food and beverage available. No, there was no beer like after the BolderBoulder, but that's kind of a rarity at a race anyway. I did get one of those reusable grocery sacks with some goodies in it and the sack itself has some utility.

I'm usually not around town for this holiday so it's hard to say if I'll be back next year. I may find myself up north. If not, though, I may very well be back for this one. If you live or are going to be in the Denver area on the Fourth, I give this race a recommendation.

Happy Fourth of July everyone and talk to you soon!

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