|The Colorado Colfax Marathon|
by Stormy on May 20, 2007
In the marmot world you run for two reasons. If there's a really good flower patch that you want to be the first to sample or if something really big is chasing you out of it. It turns out, though, that there are other reasons to run!
For the second annual running of the Colfax Marathon the City of Aurora and the directors of the Colfax Marathon asked some of my friends to help with communications at the race's start line. When I heard, I had to ask if there was room for a marmot to tag along!
The Colorado Colfax Marathon follows Colfax, the longest continuously named city street in the United States. It starts in the eastern plains of Colorado in Strasburg, goes through Bennett, Watkins and then enters Aurora, the first big city along the way. From here Colfax flows through Denver, then Lakewood and eventually terminates in Golden, Colorado. It's a very historic string of cities and for the majority of the street's length, Colfax serves as the border between Adams and Arapahoe Counties. It also passes through Denver County and Jefferson County. The total length of Colfax is listed at 64 miles.
26.2 miles of Colfax serve as the marathon course. The race starts in Aurora Sports Park, runs through Denver, past the State Capitol, ending in Lakewood at Colorado Mills.
In the first running of the Colfax Marathon in 2006 the start line was hopelessly gridlocked with traffic as runners were dropped off, spectators looked for places to leave their cars and media jockeyed for the best positions. The plan for 2007 was to use some outside help in the form of radio communicators experienced with managing large events.
It was a very early morning! We had to report to the start line for a briefing at 3 AM. By 3:30 everyone had their assignments and the team spread out to cover the designated areas, including all of the park and satellite parking areas from where athletes and spectators would be bussed in.
The Aurora Sports Park is a huge complex. It sits on a square mile of land between Sand Creek and Colfax and houses dozens of baseball and soccer fields, a lake, picnic areas, playgrounds, recreational areas and much more.
People started showing up by 4 AM. By 5 AM the park was a sea of people. The good news was that everyone was getting through quickly and the staging area at the race's start line was filling up fast. The race was able to start on time at 6 AM and the last bits of traffic were cleared out shortly after race's beginning. By 7 AM the Aurora Sports Park was dead quiet with only a couple dozen personnel representing the race's staff.
Looking back at the event I must say that I have never seen anyone run this fast when food or predators were not involved. Wow!