Posts Tagged ‘Colorado Marathon’

The runners arrived in different styles and different speeds, 1,150 of them in the annual Colorado Marathon along the Poudre River. A few were speedy. Some, steadily fast. Most, just jogging along. Some walked. Some limped.

One runner was blind. He kept on track (and on a good pace) with a string connected to a friend running alongside him.

The youngest: 14. Many older runners participated in 2013. Two were 74.

{Click on the video to view the activity at the Friends of the Poudre water station: water-bearers: Jerry Aiken, Bill Bertschy, Patty Jackson, Bill Sears and Charlie Wrobbel.}

All breathed hard and, when they glanced away from the road ahead, they saw the river at a scenic best, small whitewater rapids and dark pools waiting for the high rise of the spring runoff that will come later in May.

May 5 was just right for the long run, cool, refreshing. The sky was a cloudless blue. Wild grasses on the mountainsides were greened up thanks to a 14-inch snowfall that blew in May 1. By the Sunday race day, the day of the marathon, the snow had melted away.

{The Colorado Marathon website and race results.}

As usual, canyon residents staffed a water station at Poudre Park, six miles from the start line. Members of Friends of the Poudre and canyon residents staffed a water station about 10 miles from the start.

And, as usual, those of us at the water stations spent the morning filling and passing out small paper cups containing water or goo (a delightful name for a liquid that replenishes lost electrolytes and other nutrients during extreme exercise). We served up about 50 gallons of water at the Friends of the Poudre water station.

Gracious marathoners

As in years past, the marathoners who passed by the water stations were as polite and thankful as can be—for the cups of water and goo they received from us and particularly for the volunteers who staffed the water stations.

Even after more than a decade of volunteering at the water station, I was still amazed at how gracious and good-humored the runners were by the time they reached the 10-mile mark.

They are always  sweat-covered, drawn-faced, panting, chest-heaving. But the humor remains.

“Margarita?” at least one marathoner a year invariably asks as a small cup of water or goo is handed over. Another traditional quip: “Cold beer?


The Colorado Marathon is promoted as America’s most beautiful marathon. The event also has a half-marathon, and 10k and 5k races. The full marathon goes on Colorado Highway 14 along the river through the lower Poudre Canyon, and then out into the foothills and onto the Poudre River Trail. All of the races end in Old Town Fort Collins. In total, 3,477 runners participated in the 2013 event.

At the finish line

As runners crossed the finish line, an announcer belted out their names and hometowns. This year many non-Colorado runners came from Minnesota and Texas. One hailed from Mexico City.

The three blocks leading to the finish line were lined with enthusiastically clapping onlookers. Many displayed fun signs of encouragement. My favorite:

“Kick Asphalt!”

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