It’s only a few minutes in before you realize… oh yeah… this is a GIANT. HILL.
That was the realization for me (and potentially hundreds of others) this past weekend at the Run to the Shrine 5K at the Cheyenne Mtn. Zoo. In fact, I’m pretty sure my friend Jenn put it best as we trudged through our first mile when she said, “They should call this the HIKE to the shrine.” Amen, sister.
Check out the view from the bottom. Yes, that’s the Shrine of the Sun, looking all small in the very upper corner, almost completely disguised by a cloud.
Obviously, I knew what I was getting myself into. But I didn’t really UNDERSTAND what I was getting myself into. Haha Even at this point! I was meeting up with my friends Torie, Jenn and Misty and chatting about whether or not to lose our jackets now or later. None of us were trying to WIN. We were just ready to tackle a workout early on a Saturday morning.
But I’m pretty sure, as soon as the horn sounded to start the race… it tackled US! The incline of the run up hits you from step one. I pushed through for about the first five minutes at a steady pace. But then I couldn’t shake the stitch in my side. Hence the HIKE to the shrine. Haha
I didn’t hike the whole time. I did get back to a good pace. But I’m not gonna sugar-coat it. The trip up was no cake-walk. At least I wasn’t alone! There were almost 1,000 people taking part in the race. And many of them were hiking it to the top as well!
The best part about the race? Without a doubt. The view. It was absolutely gorgeous. Best view in the city! Here’s the view of the turnaround, just beyond the Shrine as you begin your journey back down the hill.
Obviously, downhill was a lot easier and faster. (You can’t help but be faster when gravity is taking over!) So I finished at 47 minutes. My goal was 45. But that just means I’ve got a definite number to beat next year. I will absolutely tackle this race again! Definitely check it out – even if you make it a hike to the shrine.
(And thanks to Jenn for being coordinated enough to run AND take these pics at the same time!)