Denver’s Wicked Wine 5K :: Run in Review





This past weekend we took on a race that wasn’t on this year’s race calendar, but should definitely make our race calendar again – Denver’s Wicked Wine 5K at Chatfield State Park!

Back when we were all in Florida for the holidays, Scott’s sister mentioned that she was looking to start running 5Ks and wanted to find one we could all run and enjoy. She picked the Denver Wicked Wine 5K – a race through gorgeous fields, botanical gardens, and vineyards – with a follow on 1K Wine Tasting Walk. Both of these came with souvenir glasses that you could cheerfully fill with finishers’ wine.

That might not be your thing. It’s definitely ours. You might have seen a trend around here

So we took ourselves out to Denver, hung out with family, probably ate way too much at way too many amazing eateries {seriously, Denver, what is with all the delicious breakfast spots you have?}, and prepared to race.

Start of the Race

We showed up at Chatfield State Park at about 4:30 pm to pick up our packets and meet up with friends, listen to the live band, and figure out the lay of the land. That turned out to be more than enough time to get our gear and get ready to go. We did a little stretching, a little warming up, but mostly prepared to have fun.

Because one of the things we did that I would definitely recommend doing if you are not a Denver resident is not trying for a personal best on this race.

Why? Because the overall elevation change might only be about 150 feet, but that elevation change is between 5,340 feet and 5,490 feet! Do not underestimate the effects of altitude!

The Course

The course is gorgeous. It’s a little dusty at times and you’ll want to stay on the well trod part of the trail rather than the rocky center or bumpy sides, but it’s a very gentle trail without a lot of slopes. The scenery is beautiful. So beautiful that you can easily convince yourself you are walking just to take it all in.

Because while the locals, including my sister-in-law, were powering on through, us non-locals powered through the first mile or so and suddenly found ourselves without oxygen. Yep, definitely time to stop, walk, and take in the view as we gasp like dying frogs, clutching our cramping sides and wishing we’d trained more. On hills. Or in oxygen deprivation masks. Something.

The Finish

At the end of the race, as you stumble across the line, you receive a souvenir glass that the lovely volunteers will top up with your choice of cabernet or rosé. Scott and I are dedicated red wine drinkers, but we tried a few sips of the rosé also, and it was really, really tasty.

And it was enough to make us realize that altitude also does amazing things to your ability to consume alcohol. After a 5K at a mile up and a glass of wine, we were pretty punchy! And we were really grateful that Scott’s sister was driving us. If you do this yourself and, again, you are not from Denver, arrange transportation. You’ll need it.

The 1K Wine Walk

We tagged this on as a bonus after our 5K. Participants are broken into waves, and you walk a 1K course with your guide and visit four tasting stations featuring local Denver wines. The tasting pours here are pretty reasonable and won’t knock you on your butt, but when you add them to the buzz you get from the 5K and your finisher glass, you feel pretty good.

Adding to the ambiance is the gorgeous time of day. The 1K walk took place right as the sun was starting to set, and we finished to an absolutely beautiful display of color.

The Festival

After the 5K and the 1K Wine Walk, the running area converts into a post race wine festival, where you can go get tasting pours or full pours {for additional cost}, hit the many food trucks parked around, listen to the music, or throw out your blanket and enjoy the night sky with friends.

We had a great time at the Wicked Wine 5K and would love to come back and do it again – after we’ve done some more altitude training! Maybe we’ll see you guys out there!

COLORADO, DESTINATIONS, WELLNESS
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