If you walk straight forward 12 inches, 5,280 times, you will end up 1 mile away from the original place from where you started. If you live on the beach, and somehow, someway, turn yourself horizontal, and do the same thing…you will end up the same distance away as the steps to the capitol of Colorado. I….LOVE….DENVER!
This dog loving, trail riding, sun shining, mountain viewing town (and yes…I did use that word right in my mind here) is just awesome! Having lived here for a number of years, even then you just don’t realize how much this place has to offer the running community…so let’s explore…shall we?
So what does a runner really need to do something? Yeah, ok shoes…well…actually nowadays with the whole barefoot thing that’s not true…how about a road/trail/track? Yes…ok…we do need that. Well in Denver, there are an abundance of these. There are sidewalks all over the place, trails from the east to the west to the north to the south, and with the mountains less than an hour away (sometimes 10 minutes to the foothills); you can go as high as you want on some of them.
Now another fact of this great town (I am getting to why I call it that) is it’s one of the FLATTEST in the entire country! I had my PR in the Denver Half when I ran it. Denver itself sits in the flat area of the mountain section right before the plains and the continental divide smash right into each other at the Eisenhower Tunnel. The ironic part about this, is that with all the mountain views that we get with our Denver Bronco/Colorado Rockies/Whatever Other Event being held there, they don’t really mention that it’s about as flat as a pancake (minus the blueberries). So what’s the phrase….”flat and fast?” Use that (as long as you can get past the lack of air, then you’re all good)!
Let’s get to that town thing. Denver, yes…there are millions of people that live in the central and surrounding areas, so from a population standpoint, let’s not get the census people all riled up. And yes….there are hundreds and probably thousands of restaurants, banks, clothing stores, malls…you name it, it’s got it! And sure…Bolder, one of the surrounding towns (which is home to the largest state University) does hold each and every year the 2nd largest 10K race in the world (Bolder Boulder)! From here though…after you digest all of that…it’s just a small little town! You have to really dive into the running community to understand what I’m talking about here. There is an underlying current of respect among all of these folks. Go into a local running store…be prepared to talk for ½ an hour about where you go, what you do there…what’s your Bolder Boulder time…etc. There is just a small town feel in these little microbreweries (that are packed after a local run), to the waves along the Platte River and Cherry Creek Trails.
Look…you might have something like this in a town smaller than Denver, but we all can’t find jobs in your little community. Take that travel vertical 5,280 times, to the place of ever scheduled races. Wait though to do that long distance run until maybe the second day your there….just so you don’t pass out. But please…after you think you’re acclimated to the lack of oxygen, don’t be an idiot…look down and lace up!