Partly to explore Denver and partly to run my first-ever race in Colorado, I registered for a 10K with The EatingWell & Fit Foodie Festival & 5K/10K, taking place in Westminster at an altitude of nearly 5,500 feet on August 3, 2019, and drove to the Mile High City the morning before. I felt the slight effect of thin air every now and then but could not confidently say placebo or my nonstop singing did not play a role. I hydrated myself more meticulously and extensively than I usually do, especially the night prior to the event with a large can of coconut water and two bottles of water from the hotel. Walking around the mini-festival with thirty minutes left until 10K runners took off, I suddenly and rapidly felt my breathing become uncomfortable; thus, I drank an additional two cups of water, hoping I would not have to use the bathroom in the middle of the run.

When the race director told the “five, six, and seven-minute milers” to line up front, I naturally moved to the back of the line, thinking for sure this untested territory would deteriorate my performance. When the race commenced, unsurprisingly because I see this way too often, numerous joggers and even walkers audaciously clogged up the front, which forced me to spend the first thirty steps or so going through and around them. (Forgive me, but this annoys me a bit.)

Considering how I felt simply moving around right before the start, I was pleasantly surprised how efficiently my body adapted and kept up, especially adding the heat and constant rolling hills. Hardly any participant passed me and I passed quite a few throughout the entire distance. After managing to maintain a seven-minute-mile pace for the first couple of miles, I gradually slowed down and crossed the finish line in 51:25, gold out of nine in my age group of 30-39 and 10th place out of 127 finishers overall. I had always been under the impression most runners in Colorado must be intensely competitive, and due to this being my first time ever running at altitude on top of so much of the unknown, I never even imagined receiving an award outside the finisher’s medal to be a possibility. I remember praying to God, like a child, to pleasantly surprise me, and He did pleasantly surprise me. (I do not normally pray this immaturely and selfishly, so do not judge!)

The race most certainly lived up to its name, as the post-race festivities made the day far more exciting and memorable. Like the motormouth that I am, I could not stop talking to everyone around me and ended up being one of the last runners to leave the scene. I did not travel all the way to Colorado from Kearney, Nebraska, solely to run a 10K, but this event alone made the trip worth it. As always, thank You, Jesus!

P.S. Shout-out to the awesome representative of Omission Brewing Co. who graciously stored my keys while I ran and gave me a free twelve-pack of Ultimate Light Golden Ale on my way out (even though I rarely drink)! 😉