Monday, August 17, 2009

Race #5 of the Season: Alferd Packer Cannibal Run

After the tri, Brandon and I hadn't really planned on doing another race until the Autumn Color Run, which would be the technical end of our racing season (with a thanksgiving race for the hell of it).

However, I came across a fun-sounding race in one of the free local sports magazines given to us at another race (one of those mags that have lists of all local competitions) - "Run For Your Life: The Alferd Packer Cannibal Run."

For those of you who don't know who
Alferd (or alfred) Packer is/was, think the Donner Party of Colorado. Long story short, Packer led a group of miners from Utah to Colorado hoping to find gold. The trek was in winter, they got lost ... Packer was the only one who showed up out of the group to Colorado. Remnants of the bodies of the others were found and Packer was accused of cannibalism; got tried for murder, but only served time for manslaughter. His grave is found in Littleton Cemetery ... and Trey Parker and Matt Stone of "South Park" fame made a musical movie about his story which is hysterical and I recommend it to all (and will eventually make brandon watch it).

ANYWAY, as part of Western Welcome Week, the Littleton Rotary club apparently hosts a 5K/10K race in Packer's honor called the "Alferd Packer Cannibal Run." It landed on Brandon's birthday and as he "didn't want to do anything" for his b-day ... I figured running a 5K would be fun. So we signed up for it.

We arrived at the race at 7am to pick up our packets and despite some snafus regarding the race people figuring out who we were, we got our stuff and were pleasantly surprised to learn that you had the option of being chip timed. Obviously we exercised said option.

Alferd Packer Cannibal Run
Brandon before the race with Ivan and Nelson.

Given that we were there so early, we took time to do our, um, business (mine didn't go so well; of course, my food consumption lately has been crap, crap and more crap) and stretch out really well. Also, given that it was Brandon's birthday, I got him a party hat to run in!

Alferd Packer Cannibal Run

We had discussed a sash, but I forgot about it and had found the hat a few days prior, so we went with the hat.

Anyway, there weren't a lot of people lined up for the start despite there being two events, so we snapped another picture before we ran.

Alferd Packer Cannibal Run

At 8am, we were off. The race went partially along the Platte River on the same trail that we'd cycled on a multitude of times before. We knew that the race would be partially on the Platte ... but we didn't know that it would be less than a mile of it. Right around the marker for the first mile ... we made the left to go back under Santa Fe and head toward Prince (and Packer's grave) ... which, go figure, was uphill. However, it was also out of the headwind that we usually bitch about while on our bikes, so that was good.

Much of the second mile was uphill including some fairly tough sections within the first quarter mile of mile two. Stupid me also forgot that Prince was also a nice, hilly road. Anyway, we kept plugging along until the second mile marker which was right after we ran past Packer's grave.

We continued on Prince for a little while longer, sloping downhill and cutting on to another trail to go back under Santa Fe back toward the finish line. This part was relatively flat, which was nice. We were thanking all the race volunteers and cops we passed ... most of whom were high school kids who paid us no mind. Losers.

Soon enough though, we were nearing the home stretch. Almost forgetting I had my camera, I snapped a pic of Brandon running in that last quarter-mile.

Alferd Packer Cannibal Run

Right after this point, we made the turn to the 5K finish and started our final kick - the only time we really didn't run together. As I have a marginally better kick, I finished a second ahead of him in 32:46 ... for around a 10:32/mile. Not great, but not bad, either.

I know I have lots to work on in terms of my running if I want a good time at Autumn Color this year, but I know that I can push through and do it. Hey, I didn't walk this race and it was one of the few runs I've done with Brandon (and actually WITH him) that I've enjoyed myself.


Dr. J said...

I had read about that event! Sick, sick, sick :-)

Every Gym's Nightmare said...

haha the pictures are awesome

Charlotte said...

Nice job on the run! The premise is hilarious:)

PS> Yes we were in Rocky Mountain Nat'l park last week! I bet one of the MN plates you saw was ours:) Big blue Toyota minivan? That's us!

John W. Zimmer said...

Looks like fun!