Last month, I went to downtown Denver not once, but twice, for work! We have a team out in our Denver studio and we went to out there to work with them. It was a good, but busy, two weeks.
One of the best parts was that by going to Denver, I unlocked another state! I’d never been to Colorado before, so this was a pretty big deal, since I don’t go to “new to me” states all that often.
Let’s just say: I LOVED DENVER! I want to go back again and again. Lucky for me, I will get to go back a number more times for my current project over the course of the next year AND I was already planning to hit up Denver on my upcoming road trip (more on that in an upcoming post).
One of the things that I want to start incorporating into my travels (regularly) is running while I am away. I feel like one of the best ways to explore a city is by running. Heck, you saw how beautiful Chapel Hill was from my Tar Heel 10 Miler race report. Same thing here! So in my second week there, I finally got off my butt for a nice jaunt around where I was staying in downtown Denver.
Best part of running to explore a city? It’s free!
A mix of old and new
One of the things that struck me about Denver right away was the mix of old and new architecture. Old brick buildings are intermixed with newer modern construction.
Surprisingly enough, the streets of downtown Denver were pretty empty when I went on my run at about 7am. I can’t speak for the highways, but I thought this was pretty incredible! I guess they get a late start in Denver.
There is also a bit of whimsy about downtown Denver. I stumbled across this large bear statue outside of the Denver Convention Center. So cute!
Running along the Cherry Creek Trail
I eventually made my way to a small running and biking path along Cherry Creek on the Cherry Creek Trail. The etiquette on this trail states that runners run on one side of the water while bikers bike on the other side.
There weren’t too many people out on the trail while I was, but I passed by a few runners on my way.
The Cherry Creek Trail is set lower than the streets. This creates a lot of nice shade while running.
There had been an abnormal amount of rain the week before I went, so I started to see some flooding on the trail. That didn’t deter me!
That is, until I got to this impassable portion of the trail. As far as I could tell, the flooding didn’t extend beyond these few feet, but I wasn’t in the mood to test it out and get my running shoes wet. So back I turned!
The Denver Millennium Bridge is one of the architectural highlights of the city. Built to mark the millennium, it is the first “cable-stayed bridge using post-tensioned structural construction.” So, a footbridge held up by a post and some cables?
I didn’t get any snaps from far away, but you can see it from quite a way away. Here I am before walking up the steps.
The cables make for interesting pictures.
You also get a good view of the rest of Denver from the top.
16th Street Mall
On my way back to my hotel, I ran up 16th Street past the 16th Street Mall. Essentially, there is a mall that is a space for local shops, street art and other things!
One of the best parts of the mall, however, is the free shuttle. It runs almost every minute and will pick you up at any corner and drop you off at any corner along 16th Street. Did I mention it’s free?
Each block is dedicated to something different. On this block, there were chess table sculptures.
Another block was a dedicated garden.
Overall, a good run
One of the things that I was hesitant about when I got to Denver was running at altitude. I’m happy to report that I didn’t really have any issues. Granted, I only ran 3 miles. I’m sure I might feel differently otherwise but that wasn’t the case.
An added surprise was that I even felt way faster when I went on my first run after returning home. I guess that’s what the altitude will do to you!