Last weekend, I ran the Revel Rockies Half Marathon in Colorado. It was picked by our 50 state runners as a pretty downhill course. And realizing that it was just 30-40min from Boulder, I jumped on it as a race + a visit to my sister. The weeks leading to the race were crazy with last weeks of school and work and everything else in between. I couldn’t prepare my long runs as well as I’d hoped to but I had put in a lot of consistent weekday work.  

With all the crazy stuff going on, logistically I was very unprepared. All I knew was that the race was on June 11th and it was called the Revel Rockies. And that a number of my friends would be traveling to run that too. This whole up in the air thing is very very alien to my personality. And even though I had hopes of a PR when I signed up for it, I didn’t hold out much hope for an actual big number PR. Maybe I’d PR because the race was downhill and my previous PR was from one of the hardest half marathons (Georgia Publix Half), or maybe the altitude might play games with me and I’d just finish the race.

Once I finished the race, it went from “what time is the race in the morning” to “I want to do this race again!” Of course, any PR course automatically becomes a favorite race but this race emerged a favorite for plenty of other reasons. 

Revel Rockies

1. PR/BQ race

The race is advertised as “We do PRs and BQs”.
Yes, I PRed. By almost 6 minutes.
In the first couple of miles, I wasn’t sure if I’d be even able to run at a 12:30-13:00 pace. I was breathing hard and my legs were heavy. But once the legs warmed up, and the heart figured out that it wasn’t going to die from altitude, all I had to do was maintain the middle miles steady and go for it after mile 8.

Revel Rockies

2. Most beautiful race course

I wish I had run with my GoPro. Such a beautiful course with the sun coming up over mountains. We even saw an elk mid race! I borrowed some photos from Erin and one stock photo to show that they were not joking about the beautiful race course!

Revel Rockies

3. Great race swag and medal

The swag bag included a pair of socks (one can never have enough), a pair of throwaway gloves and space blanket for the chilly 6:00/6:30am start (thank god, because I totally forgot to bring any warm or throwaway clothes) and a protein bar.

4. Well organized with great volunteers

Logistically, the race was a challenge. We had to park and take a shuttle to the start and then bused from the finish to the cars. But everything was so smooth that we didn’t have any issues at all (We also had Sherpa extraordinaire in Lisa!).

The race course was such that we didn’t have much crowd support (or any crowd support), but the volunteers more than made up for it. I even had a random person call out my name – she’d recognized me InknBurn and my SparkleSkirts (Seriously, that gave me the biggest smile ever! I love crowds and draw my energy from people around me)

5. Finish line food

A race with pie at the finish, that too both apple and cherry pie! ‘Nuf said! They also had pizza and the other usual race food like bananas, bars, yogurt, etc.

The Revel Rockies will also hold an extra special place in my heart because I got to meet my Ragnar Napa Valley BAMRs, even if it was for very short time (my craziness of over scheduling with family and friends on a racecation!). We had our pre-race henna and some yummy pizza that JMart whipped up and relaxed and chatted before heading to bed for a 2:35am wakeup!!

Revel Rockies Half Marathon

This is  one race I will definitely want to do again, even if I wasn’t chasing a PR! And I’m already looking at the other races in the Revel series for more PR opportunities in stunning courses.

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Smitha Barki, The "FauxRunner", is a runner, triathlete, vegetarian, User Experience Professional and a mom of 2 little minions. Slow and steady, she is passionate about her fitness journey and eager to share it and help others Redefine their Impossible.
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Why Revel Rockies is one of my favorite half marathons
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  • Smitha

    Revel Races are hands down my favorite race series!

  • O
    I’ve never done a Revel race, but this looks like a grand time! Your outfit is adorable…and pie? Oh my…where can I sign up? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Michelle@Running with Attitude

    Sounds like an awesome race! I’d love to try a downhill race – I wonder if my quads would survive ๐Ÿ˜‰ Congrats on your PR!

  • Jaycie Sullivan

    aww, what a fun time! I love free food after the race haha. Thats half my motivation to register haha

  • Rachel

    You’re so right — any PR race quickly becomes a favorite! Great job! Sounds like an awesome time.

  • hanzelboyzmama

    I ran the Colorado half marathon in May and it was mostly downhill! The views were spectacular! Great job!!!

  • eatrunsail

    Looks like a beautiful place! And so happy you had such a good race and fun time!

  • Katie Shepherd

    That race does look beautiful! Congrats on your PR!

  • Toni Church

    Awesome, I am trying to BQ next year, maybe this it the race for me!!!

  • Kathryn Thayer

    That elevation map looks perfect for anybody who wants to PR. Absolutely perfect. And congrats on running a great race and getting your own PR!