by Michelle Kalinski
On May 21, 2017, I had the pleasure of taking part in my very first marathon relay. We ran to raise funds for There with Care, an organization that provides support to families that have a child with a critical illness. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, they are. And when they suggested that maybe BRINGtheKIDZ could put a team together, I was super excited to help out. At first, I tried to get people to choose distances, but since Colfax offers so many (5k, 10k, 10 miler, 13.1 miles, full marathon…), it got too complicated and the relay ultimately seemed the way to go.
The race itself is well-known, and I had been curious about it for a few years, but found the idea of a full marathon a bit daunting. I’ve done some before, but it’s been a long time, and training for a full marathon is no joke (don’t let those untrained people who run them “just to see if they can” fool you!). The Marathon Relay is really well-organized into 5 legs of between 3.4 and 6.7 miles. Basically a 5k or 10k and change. Totally do-able!
It was a bit of a last minute scramble, but ultimately, Laura, Marcie, Andrew and Jay agreed to be my teammates, and off we went! Jay (who, in the interest of full disclosure, is my husband) took on the painstaking task of mapping out who would do which route and how/when drop offs and pick-ups would happen.
Laura took the first leg, starting at City Park in Denver and finishing at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. She was a rockstar and after handing off the baton turned around to re-do her 6.7 miles in reverse to get her training mileage in for the day!
|Laura (far right), our first leg runner, with some other friends at the start (Way to go, Allison and Erin!)|
The van dropped me (Michelle) off for leg #2 at Sports Authority Field early in the morning, like six something. We all stretched and used the facilities before the rest of the team headed out to the next exchange point. I waited in the sunny but chilly (because we were in the shade of the stadium) morning until Laura ran up and baton-ed me.
Up Colfax I ran to Sloan’s Lake, which was beautiful. Lots of advertising around the lake informed me that they’re building a whole new community in the area, so stay tuned if you are looking for lakeside urban living!
After what seemed much longer than 3.4 miles, I handed the baton off to Andrew, who blew through his leg so fast he surprised us waiting at the van at the next exchange in Lakewood!
Jay made his way from Lakewood back to the stadium, braving a head and chest cold but stepping up to complete his leg and hand off to Marcie for the final stretch. At this point it was sunny, clear and warm. A perfect Colorado spring day!
As Marcie made her way from the stadium to City Park, we tried our best to get there in the van, but were repeatedly thwarted by road closures. I suppose that’s why they provided alternate directions…
|Andrew, Michelle, Jay, and Marcie following the Colfax Marathon Relay|
In any case, we made it to the finish just in time to see Marcie cross the line and gather our medals. We all enjoyed a nice post-run lunch and a lovely after party in City Park.
Huge props to the race organizers for putting on such a nice event, to Mother Nature for giving us such a nice day, and to my teammates for going along with all of this! Special thanks to everyone who donated to There With Care. Every bit helps!
Lessons learned: Next year, we’ll pull the team(s) together and start fundraising earlier, plan some cool t-shirts, and get a better full-team post-race photo and celebration.
Save the date, May 20, 2018!