Race: Monument Marathon

Runner: Jeff U

Date: 9/30/17

Location: Scottsbluff, NE

Results: 3:12:44, 3rd place overall

3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most
– Everyone was super friendly. It had a classic Midwestern feel.
– There was a purse for top three male and female finishers. I won $125 for placing third out of only roughly 92 total runners.
– I liked how open the course was so I could see the people ahead of me for most of the race.

Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
There was a section of loose gravel in the last mile that was fairly unpleasant at that point in the race. It didn’t last that long, but it still made me sad.

Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race
I was amazed by how many people were using this race as their Nebraska race in their quest for 50 states.

Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular
I felt a little competitive given the small field and the small purse for top three male finishers. I went out harder than I normally would in an attempt to see how long I could hang on. Had I deviated from my #JUM training plan and actually done some workouts, I likely would’ve been mentally stronger to where I could have caught the other two guys (winner was 2 minutes ahead). It was a nice reality check and reminder of what it takes to get to the next level. I was still psyched with my 7+ minute PR though.

Lessons Learned – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner or yourself on the next time around
This course takes some mental strength given how open everything is out there. You can see the people in front of you for quite awhile during the majority of the race, so that can work for or against you depending on the kind of day you’re having.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
The first 6 miles are downhill. There are a few rollers during the back half of the course, but they aren’t a big issue if you’re accustomed to hills. There are a handful of areas where you are running on dirt roads which was a nice change of pace from the asphalt. The whole course is exposed, so it could be more challenging in inclement weather.

Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
The race director did a fantastic job. This was a super low key marathon, but it was well run. The morning shuttles went rogue and didn’t show, so the RD quickly rallied a number of locals with SUVs and got everyone to the start with plenty of time to spare. They did a great job.

Logistics – Anything special regarding getting to/from the race, hotels around the course, registration…?
This race is roughly 3 hours east of Denver. There looked to be a handful of hotel options available (I slept in my car at a local truck stop). Logistically it wasn’t super challenging if you’re looking to knock out a Nebraska marathon. There is a shuttle from the parking area (finish line) to the start since it’s a point to point.

Weather and typical race conditions
We had beautiful weather. This race could be challenging on a windy day since it’s fully exposed.

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends and family?
This is a spectator friendly course for the majority of the first half. It’s kind of out there in the middle of nowhere a bit, so it would be easy to pull off the road and cheer for your runner

How’s the swag?
Cotton t-shirt; painting of the neighboring landscape by a local art teacher for winning your age group

The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it
I’m not sure I would go out of my way to run this race in particular, but I would definitely consider doing it again if I continue living in Denver. It had the classic small town marathon charm, so I would recommend this to anyone looking to do a Nebraska marathon.