Colorado Frontrunners go to Paris!
Opening Ceremony August 4
The opening ceremony took place at Stade Jean Bouin. The excitement was building in the air as we all gathered outside on the hot August day. As members of Team Colorado collected together it was a joyous reunion of friends and a time to meet new people by exchanging team pins and smiles! Steve and Andrew led the delegation into the stadium in the procession of nations; marching in is always one of the highlights of the games and this was no exception. People on the team were pumped!
Outing to Giverny Sunday August 5
Some of the team spent a leisurely Sunday on an outing to Monet's Garden and home in Giverny. The early group enjoyed a delightful lunch of buckwheat crêpes (called galettes) at the restaurant Crêperie la Mussardière, dining under umbrellas in the afternoon sun. Bob, Andrew and Philip enjoyed the Museum of Impressionism while Steve and his French host Jean Claude met John, BJ, Sonya, and Allison at the Vernon train station BJ and John took the tourism train to Giverny, and the rest drove by car generously provided by Steve Monroney’s host Jean Claude.
The time at the garden was one of the highlights of our experience in France.
It was great to set aside a day away from the bustle of the city and enjoy the
gardens, the house and the art of Monet.
Monday August 6 : 10k on the dirt At Bois du Vincennes
Monday brought many of Colorado’s runners to Château de Vincennes for
the 10km road race. The course was mostly on dirt and on shady lanes in
the park, which helped with the extreme heat. Our own Andrew Sturner
placed third place overall. Great job to all who ran this dusty 10k!
Jeannette ran 1:12:03
Lara ran 1:07:16
John ran 1:06:22
David helped pace Bradford and they ran 57:30
Greg ran 52:45
Bob ran 44:06
Brian ran 40:12
Andrew ran 35:07
Tuesday August 7: Track gets hot and our team gathering at Who’s!!
Tuesday brought even hotter temperatures than we had seen at the opening
ceremony and Andrew turned up the heat on the track to take the gold in the
5000 m in nearly 100°F, with a time of 17:06 he had the fastest track time
of the day.
In addition to the track events (see below), our happy hour together at Who’s Bar
was a blast and we had a lot of participants from all of Team Colorado as well as
Colorado Frontrunners. The most fun part of the evening was meeting the group
of Irish football players carrying on in the bar and watching Steve egging them on.
They even sang the Irish national anthem! But the true highlight came after happy
hour at dinner together afterwards at Cafe Charlot with our waiter Alex. We were
joined by Andrew’s partner Philip and our swimming friend David. It was fun
dining on escargot and then walking to get gelato and stroll the Ile St. Louis and
Ile de la Cité . We ended the evening in front of the stunningly light Notre Dame
Monuments and Museums
Paris has many fabulous churches, museums and palaces. Among those visited by team members were the Rodin Museum, Musee d’Orsay, the Louvre, the Palais Garnier opera house, Hôtel des Invalides, the Army Museum, Carnavalet, Musée de l'Orangerie, , Notre-Dame, Sacré-Cœur, The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and les Catacombs.
Some of the most fun we had during the week was climbing various moments! John and BJ climbed the Eiffel Tower on foot; and Steve and Alex made the trek up Arc de Triomphe; and Bradford ascended dome of Sacré-Cœur. These are among many challenging ascents made by the team.
Thursday brought cooler weather and just in time for the 5k
Thursday morning brought much cooler and wet weather, as well as
the 5km road race at Parc des Butte Chaumont. It’s a hilly 5K with two
loops around a former gypsum quarry and it has some really nice views
of the city. Robert especially liked this park and the misty morning. It’s .
Robert ran 30:53
Bradford ran 27:12
Greg ran 25:31
Bob ran 22:13
Andrew ran 17:31
A full week of races and relays on the track
There is something magical about being at a track meet with friends and competitors striving for personal best. Whether it’s the relays or watching people struggle through a heptathlon or the photo finishes, everybody comes together in the stands to cheer on men and women giving all they have physically. We had all of this and more at the track meet. Over the course of five days, you get to know people at a pretty deep level because you see their efforts and their emotions; you get to live it with them and talk it through with them. It’s like compressing the whole season of ups and downs into 5 days.
Colorado had participation in the meet every day. The meet began on Monday with the long jump, shot put, and 1500 m.,. Pam and Debbie were out the first day at track and field winning gold and silver in shot put. Pam also won the long jump. Steve tried the long jump for the first time having never done it before. It became apparent that he needed more practice but still had a lot of fun jumping three clean jumps with the longest being just over 10 feet and not getting hurt in the process! In the 1500m, Andrew came in 4th, and Steve came in 7th in their heats.
Tuesday brought Pam and Debbie back to the field for javelin on that hot 100° day! Earlier in the day. Debbie tumbled off her mountain bike in her competition Tuesday morning, but the medics stitched her up and she got back on the bike and finish the course winning gold; in the afternoon came back to the field to throw the javelin 16 m for a silver medal. Andrew ran the fastest 5000 m of the day for the gold.
Wednesday was day one of heptathlon for Sonya and Allison. Debbie Hammer threw the hammer 17 m to win gold.
Thursday brought the relief of much cooler temperatures. The heptathlon concluded with Allison earning 1726 points and Sonya earning 728 points. The first ever all-team Colorado relay was in the 4 x 100, and composed of Andrew, Steve, Allison, and Sonya, They took the bronze and had a blast doing so! Pam also competed in both a mixed and an all women’s 4 x 100 (gold) and Steve competed in another all men’s 4 x 100 with Team France-Colorado (silver). Another great time was had at dinner with the women from Colorado track and field with Steve and Alex.
Friday was the final day at the track meet with a lot at stake. The day started with the 5000 m race walk in which Pam and Debbie both competed. A very tired Steve competed in the 800 m final, earning the bronze. Pam took gold in the 200 m final. Debbie and Pam finished out their meet with a 4 x 400 with Team Carpe Diem. Andrew and Steve both competed in 4 x 400 relays - finishing the day strong with very fast 59 and 69 second spits. In the Colorado-France alliance from the relays remained very strong in the purse throw, where Marilyn Monroney had a nice visit with Queen Elizabeth while they watched and participated in this fabulous and hilarious competition of style and grace.
The Marathon day arrives
The last day of the games on Saturday brought the half marathon and full marathon. We had four participants in these races where they did a circuit from the the Bois de Boulogne to the Arc de Triomphe. Bob and Brian said they both really enjoyed seeing that monument as a target for their finish of a great race. Brian won his age group in the half marathon with a blazing fast lifetime personal best of one hour and 23 minutes. Greg ran just a hair over two hours for his half. Bradford ran his lifetime fastest marathon by over an hour and came in at 4:51. Bob also did the full marathon after a week of competition and sightseeing, finishing in 4:15
Closing Ceremonies Cabaret
Closing ceremonies on Saturday evening was rocking and lots of fun meeting people and trading pins. Debbie and Pam were there with a heavy load of metals from several days at track and field, mountain biking, and golf.
The athletes gathered to enjoy a cabaret style show organized by and starting the French LGBTQ athletics groups with lots of amazing dancing. The celebration ended with lots of confetti .
Our local French Front Runner hosts were really great ambassadors with so many visitors from all around the world. It was such a wonderful experience. They opened their homes, shared dinners and were very supportive of the team that we have built here in Colorado, especially in the athletics and running disciplines. Jean-Pierre, the long time dean of Paris’s LGBTQ running delegation, complemented, us on building a great team in Colorado Frontrunners.