Fri 8 Jul 2011
I woke up late. I never wake up late. Most especially, I never wake up late for a run competition.
The 2 of us were scheduled to run 13.1 miles at The Slacker Half-Marathon in Georgetown, Colorado that morning. The 2 of us? Sami is my 2 year old yellow Labrador Retriever!
Sami has been approved by her Vet, gone through the training, and is ready to run the race. She is a social creature She just doesn’t know that it will be the longest run of her life so far.
As I prepared both Sami’s harness and my running gear the night before, I just had to get a cup of coffee, load the car and go!
Tom, my good friend, offered to drive us up and he also volunteered to help at the finish line. We got parked, got Sami out and harnessed, then headed for the racers bib table. We got no further then a few feet when Sami decided it was time for a rest stop. I carry doody bags in my belt, so it only slowed us down a little.
I got our bib number. I was told to wait in a certain line for a bus (the one that transports dogs). I was also told that this year’s race was dedicated to the director’s dog that passed away just 2 weeks earlier.
Although I had used Body Glide on my nipples at the house, I planned on combating upper thigh chafe just before the race. Tom volunteered to go get it. While he was gone, the bus arrived and Sami and I were on our way to the start line.
Tom had seen us get on and go, so he returned to the car and then headed toward the finish line.
The start line for this race was the parking area for the Loveland ski area. My Garmin watch said we were at 10, 753 feet. We went and got the chip and I fastened on my left ankle. It was slowly warming up, so I checked my racing jacket. Sami and I found the actual start line and waited for the race to begin. Sami interacted with other dogs and, as usual, a lot of us runners talked nervously. This is a great race and is getting more popular every year.
The race started lated due to a late shuttle run. But all too soon, we started. This race was on.
Although, the race drops in altitude 2,200 feet over the 13.1 miles, the first half mile was an uphill run. Sami and I started out slow to allow other runner’s without dogs to get ahead of us.
The first 2 water stations had water only. I got 2 cups. One for me and one for Sami. We both drank them down and then got going again! The third water station (and all of the others) had doggy pools. Generally, Sami has never loved water contact. She found the pool and drank from it. I could not get her to put her feet in the pool, though. That certainly changed as the race progressed.
We talked to quite a few people as we ran. A lot of runners were not used to running with dogs on the course. It made for some fun conversations. A lot of runners were impressed with Sami and her running skills (and responses to my commands).
This is a beautiful race course. Mostly and asphalt surface, we ran on trails, through parking lots, some streets and some recreation trails. Every where you look there was something to see. We ran by the Georgetown/Silver Plume loop railroad station and storage lot in Silver Plume, then as we approached the town of Georgetown, the train was at the bottom. We waved at the train as it was starting up the hill. The riders all waved back and pointed.
Tom and I agreed that when we were one mile out, I’d call him. While I was talking to Tom, Sami found some shade and lay down. I felt guilty as I got her up to finish our run. Reluctantly, she got up and we went on. At the mile 12 water station, Sami stood in the pool, drank from it, and then lay down in it. Volunteers manning the station felt her pain (Sami can be a drama queen) and poured water over the rest of her. I was able to get her once more and we ran the final 1/2 mile uphill to the finish line!
It was a slow race, but a great race! Sami is a half-miler!!!