So sorry for the delay. It was a long weekend of very very bad wifi. And me hangin’ with friends took time, too. We were busy just …. hangin’ out. Oh…and gettin’ this pretty thing.
The first time I ran this race, the first year it was run, was 2013. I couldn’t even find the words to tell you how great the race was. I loved everything about it and the company. It was that good.
They got better.
The Rocky Mountain Half Marathon put on by Vacation Races is a race series that celebrates our national parks. They are run in or near the national park of that race and then they choose a hike or activity near it to celebrate the park and encourage the runners and runners families to visit and enjoy the area. If you choose to do one of their hikes, you get a discount off of next years entry fee upon posting a photo of you and with bib and medal. Very cool. It’s pretty brilliant.
Things we loved about this race (prepare…it’s a long list):
That is all.
Okay..I’ll break it down.
The expo is held at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado
The course support.
The company thinks of everything...to include in no particular order…
clothing drop off at mile 3 besides bag drop off at the start
hydra pouches for a cupless environmentally friendly race~ I love this. I’ve done it both years and it’s unbelievably easy and so much better than looking at all those cups thrown on the ground.
three (yes three) race shirt colors to choose from
They had samples of the aid station supplies at the expo for people to try out
really clear concise emails to include the best race guide ever
upon arriving at the race expo you are presented with the race in booklet form
You can have someone else pick up your packet for you~ I know, a lot of races do this but really people, it’s the little things.
when you finish the race you are given a box of “race recovery and hiking food” and if you don’t like something they have bins to put the extras in so nothing gets wasted or thrown away.
you can purchase your photos beforehand if you choose and the after race photos are SO beautiful. Really clear and incredible.
They encourage you to go hiking and enjoy the National Parks. It’s the point of their whole National Park series. If you choose to do one of the three hikes they have suggested and tag the race you can get a great discount at the race next year. Totally worth it.
The military discount is fabulous.
OMG the course. Did I already say that?
The police support and volunteers were SO positive and we really appreciated how encouraging they were.
If you find you can’t run you can defer or potentionally get some of your money back even up to the day before. Seriously. That’s nearly unheard of.
The medals are unbelievable. They do kind of look like a missile or an arrowhead but wow. Beautiful.
Seriously, even the bibs are beautiful. It’s the prettiest bib I’ve ever had.
The race is capped at 1500 people and we couldn’t be more thrilled about that. Estes Park, Colorado is a very small town that just has trouble supporting that many people anyway and it’s not shut down to just runners so it is BUSY that weekend. Hotel rooms are in short supply and you can expect places to be crowded. The beautiful thing…everyone was so nice and polite and clearly having the most wonderful time.
Bart Yasso chatted with us at the expo and it was SO fun to meet him and engage him in talk of my favorite subject…Mt Everest! I loved it. LOVED it.
I read in the comments the leftover medals are used for a race where the runners get to choose the medal they want. HOW COOL IS THAT? No waste here.
It’s an entire series of races covering the national parks. If you go to their website you’ll see all their races and when and where they are held. What a fabulous adventure to take to challenge yourself and to celebrate our beautiful nation. It’s a good reminder we sometimes get it right. #nationalparklove
There are so many things I can’t remember them all. Every time we turned around there was another little things that would make us shake our heads and say, “they seriously think of everything”.
After the race they send out a survey and ask how you liked it and what can they fix.
Then they fix it.
I KNOW>…if only the government worked the same way.
If it’s not my favorite race it’s in my top two. It was amazing. It’s my second time running it and I love it more than ever.