Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Platte River Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
This race was my first half marathon since at least 2011, maybe even 2010, so I was really excited. I didn’t PR (and didn’t expect to), but I was super proud of myself anyway, and beat the goal I had in mind (2:30). It was also super exciting because I got to meet fellow BibRavers Bradley & Katherine IRL!
Registration: The registration process was easy and was with Race Roster online, and you could get your name on your bib! I received a confirmation email, then a couple emails the week before the race that told me the final instructions were posted on the website. It would have been nice for the instructions to have been emailed, but that’s not a huge deal.
Communication Leading up the Race: I was a little disappointed in the lack of social media engagement. I posted on IG and tweeted regularly, and never received a like or response. In fact, the last post on their Twitter account is from St. Patrick’s Day, even post-race. Again, not a huge deal, but some engagement would have gotten me more excited about the race.
Packet Pickup: They offered three days to pick up your bib (Friday, Saturday, or race day) so I went on Friday afternoon, and there were only a couple other people there. Packet pickup was quick and easy. It was at a local Runner’s Roost, and this particular location has a great downstairs space for events, so I was lead downstairs and easily picked up my bag and long-sleeved shirt. There was also some sponsor samples down there. Runner’s Roost and Asics were main sponsors of the event and offered a discount on Asics products at the store that day.
Pre-Race: The day of the race, it was really easy to find parking. There were two bigger lots, but we chose a street spot that was only a block away so my boyfriend could drive over to the finish. He didn’t have any trouble finding a spot within a couple blocks of the finish line, either. There were plenty of Port-a-Potties near the start line, so the bathroom line moved pretty quickly.
THE RACE!: The race started in five waves, which helped us get a bit spread out and it wasn’t as packed as it usually is when you have 1500+ runners starting at once. The point-to-point course started in downtown Littleton and then headed out to the Platte River Trail. It was a cool, cloudy day, so it was perfect racing temps!
The Platte River Trail has some dirt and gravel, but the multi-use path is mostly paved. There are some small uphill/downhills underneath roads, but overall it’s mostly flat and scenic along the river, with a couple industrial sections.
There were plenty of volunteers along the course, and hydration (water and nuun) every couple miles. Because this was also a relay, there were two points where runners were handing off, but the process was smooth and didn’t disrupt the race in any way.
Around mile 12.5, there is quite a hill going up and over an overpass, but the perk is that you get to come downhill and then cruise around a corner to the finish line.
Finish & Expo: At the finish line, I got a big medal and *another* swag bag with a glass and a bottle opener. There was plenty of water and signage so I knew where to go to find the expo. It was a couple blocks down the road, but again, easy to find. At the expo were plenty of samples of nuun, Noosa yogurt, Skinny Pop popcorn, and a few others. There was beer and food as promised (hot dogs, burgers, mac & cheese), and a band playing music.
The expo was right next to the RTD station, which was the way back to the start line where most people parked, but as I mentioned above, my boyfriend picked me up, so I didn’t experience that. Runners were supposed to be able to ride the RTD back for free.
Post-Race: The results weren’t posted until a couple days after the race, and my posted time was two minutes off of my watch time. I have a feeling that maybe my chip was picked up as soon as the waves started, because I started in wave 4. I’ve never had my watch that far off, and I always hit it as I’m crossing the mat, so it could just be me, but I’m not sure what happened there.
The race pictures came out on Friday, so five days after the race. The photographer wasn’t very easy to spot, so I didn’t even realize they had a photog out on the course. The pictures were sorted by time (instead of searchable by bib) and didn’t really give an indication of where they were on the course, so it was a matter of looking through many photos to try to find mine. I also wasn’t able to find a picture of me at the finish line, which is a bummer (but luckily Eric took some pictures for me!).
Overall, this was a well-organized race, a lovely course at a great time of year, and I definitely recommend it! There are a few things that could definitely be improved (social media, photographs, etc.) but those are what I consider to be add-ons and not essential to the success of the race.
For more pictures and a different perspective from Bradley, who came here from sea level check out Bradley on the Run. Also head over to Katherine’s blog, a fellow Coloradoan, who wrote a lovely review as well.