What: Hideaway 100 (50K)
Where: Winter Park, CO
When: September 6, 2015
Race Options: Half Marathon, 50K, 50M, 100M
Vertical Gain: 4,837 ft.
Elevation/Altitude: 8,733 ft.-11,894 ft.
Field Size: 38
Placement: 9:40 || 37th place || On pace for 8:40, but more on this later...
Warning: If you're looking for a detailed race recap, you're in the wrong place.
Scroll to the bottom for the Cliffs Notes version.
If you're looking for my personal experience and what I loved about this race, you're in the right place.
Get your popcorn ready, this is a long one.
When the realtor placed the keys into our hands, my first inclination was to pull a Tom Cruise and start jumping up and down on the nearest chair and professing my deepest love for Winter Park, but fortunately I saved that for after we walked out of the office. Once we settled in, it wasn't long before I found myself cruising the internet to find a race close to our new digs. You see, the majority of the time we have spent in Winter Park over the years has been in the winter (ski season) when it's our "off season" for tours and when we tend to take time off from a year of nonstop (work) travel. I couldn't wait to find a summer race that would allow me to explore the trails in our new backyard.
While perusing the Google of trail races, UltraSignUp, Hideaway Hundred rose to the top of my search. It was an inaugural race falling on Labor Day weekend, and with this new tour where we have weekends off (like never before) it seemed like a safe bet that we'd be able to make it back for this race. School would be out and there's no way they'd schedule an event over the holiday weekend. Right?
So, I sat on it for awhile [awhile in my impulsive book reads: a few days] and then I pulled the trigger.
LEADING UP TO RACE DAY.
We live in the present. Literally. In experiential marketing, you can only live in the here and now because your schedule may change today, tomorrow, and it's normal to be in a different city/state every few days. Your schedule is always at the mercy of the client and while it's been a blessing for us to focus on the now, it can be frustrating for friends and family because we can never plan anything.
This current tour has been especially different in regards to our schedule as we never know where (literally what city or even what state) we're going to be in until a few days prior.
The spontaneous stories we tell, most would not believe, but here's another page from our book of #tourlife (and to clarify, I wouldn't trade it for the world).
I'll set the stage...
Two weeks prior to the race: I get sick. I hardly ever get sick. And this was a gnarly cold that nearly knocked me out. The only thing I could do outside of my obligations for work was to sleep and hope my body could fight off whatever this was.
With being sick, not knowing our next city, or even our next state, I came to the conclusion that Hideaway was probably not going to happen. We had hoped to spend the holiday weekend at home to see the wildflowers before fall swoops in and so I could run the race I had committed to, but it just didn't seem logical or feasible at this point. Not to mention flights were averaging around $500/each.
Two days before the race:
Thursday, September 3rd.
This headline starts to trend: $1 Flights? Frontier Airlines Launches 'Fly for a Buck' Sale.
Frontier Airlines launched a massive sale with select cities offering
$1 $15 one-way flights and Atlanta and Denver just so happened to be two of those chosen hubs. The catch? You had to book your travel by midnight of 9/3 and you had to fly between 9/5-9/15.
Christmas in September? Frontier practically wrapped this sale with a big red shiny bow and put it on our doorstep. Instead of Tom Cruise, I felt like I was an audience member on Oprah where she awarded her "favorite things" to each lucky seat-filler; pointing and shouting, You get a flight! You get a flight! And, YOU get flight!
Once I snapped back to reality, I quickly got ahold of our boss, confirmed that we had no upcoming events over Labor Day weekend and asked permission to head home.
We waited for a response.
The $60 roundtrip we were pitching sold out.
Sh--. We're not going.
Finally, we heard from our boss and he gave us a stamp of approval. We flung open our computers but it appeared Frontier's website was frozen, consumers were complaining that everything was sold out, and we were riding on a rollercoaster of emotions (we're going...no we're not going...I think we're going!).
Thankfully, after clearing the cookies in my web browser, we were back in action. Fortunately, we were still able to secure roundtrip flights for the two of us from the late evening of 9/5-9/10 for $166 TOTAL.
As in both Casey and I - together - total cost: $166.
From a frequent traveler...
Especially for booking last minute on an extended weekend.
Like I said, you wouldn't believe us if we told you.