The Question
Did those young whipper-snappers beat the old man?
Yes, they did. I was actually very proud of them. Out of 128 people, they came in 16th and 17th. I came in 69th. Tom came in 72nd. We all came in with a lot of fun.
Ismael, Carlos and me. We had just registered and were waiting for the bus to take us to the starting line.

5:00 AM sure comes early in the morning! I woke up just before the alarm went off. It was tough, but we were out the door at 5:45 AM.

Interstate 70 goes from Denver into the front range of the Rocky Mountains. It starts to climb just as you leave the city. It was a crisp, cool morning. The drive to Georgetown took about an hour.

We were all calling each other as I arrived so we could meet up. Even as we saw each other, we still talked on the cells. All of us got in the lines for packet pickup. At that station, we got our bib numbers and some pins. We only had to wait for the bus for a few minutes. The bus took us to the starting line.

We got off the bus and went right over to get our chips.
The chips were mounted on an ankle bracelet that closed with velcro. They were comfortable and I barely knew it was there.

We met a young runner. Brian is talking to us here. It is his first race. He felt he was ready. He was taking in all the sights of the event. He had trained for it and felt he was ready. He ran with Tom and I.
Brian’s first race. He was full of anticipation and full of questions.

The race started a little late. There were a lot of on-site registrations and that meant additional bus trips. The Slacker has a tradition of starting all phases of the race at the same time. Once everyone was ready to race (at both locations) we heard the count down and the start.

Clear Creek at the Start Line.

The Slacker runs along Clear Creek and I-70. There are some beautiful things to see this time of year. The snow load in the mountains was heavy this year. The creek was very full due to run off from the snow level.

The gun goes off. The race is on!

Ismael and Carlos started off the line and stayed ahead of us.

There is a ‘tourist’ train that runs from Georgetown to Silver Plume. Known as the Georgetown Loop Railroad, it is well known on this side of the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels on the continental divide.

The Silver Plume terminus of the railroad. See the railroad cars at the right side?

We were able to see this railroad trestle for quite a while before we ran under it.

The first three miles were all downhill. We made good time. As we enterred Georgetown, the terrain leveled off. There was turn after turn as we ran through the town. With half a mile to go, the course started to climb. I saw that Brian was moving out ahead. With leaden feet that just did not want to respond, I tried a kick. I moved forward. I got even with him, then passed him. I was able to keep that advantage just long enough to go through the finish line!

That last half mile was a killer rise in elevation!

Tom took a picture of his finish time as he ran toward the finish!

Carlos came up to me as I got out of the chute. We high-fived each other on a job well done. We waited for Brian and Tom to finish then went off to get our T-shirts and swag. We had hot dogs, water, and visited all of the booths.

When they posted the times, I found my time to be 37:47 and a pace of 9:27. A PR! (OK, OK… It was my first 4 mile, and was a PR anyway) I was still pleased with my time and pace!

It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

Quote of the Race
I got a kick out of Tom as we got to the bottom of two switchbacks and he looked back up on the course. “Oh good!” he said, “There are runners behind us.”