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Bike to Work Day

Bike Denver June 22, 2011 was Denver’s Bike to Work Day. I coordinated a small group at my work, some of which had NEVER biked to work. The work day, for me, normally starts at 5:30am, but I arranged to come in later in order to take in the full benefits of biking to work.

Left my apartment at 6am and headed to the Cherry Creek Trail. My start is at the South end of the Cherry Creek Country Club. There were already several bikers on the trail heading in both directions. North I went, and about 5 miles in I came to my first “breakfast station”. It was Whole Foods, where I received a banana and free water bottle from Kaiser Permanente. Coffee was also available, but I decided to wait on that.

Bike 2 Work Day

Denver Bike to Work Day

At about mile 9 was the 9 News breakfast station. I asked if Susie Wargin had made it in yet. She had left Highlands Ranch about a half hour before I left my place – I beat her.  Primal Wear Cycling had a tent and was giving out free socks! Drank some OJ and went on my way.

Finally got to Cherokee where I would exit from the Cherry Creek bike path and head downtown. Took a right on 14th and ended up in the Civic Center Bike to Work Day Extravaganza! Finally got my coffee, a bagel and many give-a-ways! WOW what a party that was! Could of stayed there all morning, but off to work had to go.

Got to my building, at 1999 Broadway, took the outside elevator down to P1 and locked up my bike on the rack. Headed back up the elevator to the lobby and heard my name called. The building management was there handing out a little gift pack to those of us that rode to work. “Kristen I have a present for you”, said Wendi. It was a bottle of Gatorade, a small Nalgene bottle and a packet of cherry Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews. COOL!!!

Work seemed to FLY by and I felt fantastic all day! Couldn’t wait to ride home. Noodles & Company handed out coupons at the Civic Center for a free bowl of noodles, so I headed there for lunch. Only cost me the price of a milk. It does a body good ya know…

It sure was hard staying until 4pm when I am usually off at 2:30pm, but I made it. Finally get to ride home! WHAT A FANTASTIC DAY FOR A RIDE!!!! Racing along the trail I went, passing other riders left and right (all on the left of course). At one point I heard someone coming along side me, then I heard them slam on their breaks and say “Hey, where did you get your rear bike light?” I said, “REI, in Seattle, years ago.” I had passed this guy a while back and he raced to catch up to me to ask about my light – too funny!

About a mile from home, Primal Wear Cycling had a tent set up and they were handing out Popsicles! SWEEEEEEEEEEET!!! Felt great on that hot afternoon. They also warned us of a flooded underpass up ahead – which was not flooded in the morning. Darn mountain snow runoff.

It is a little over 11 miles one way to work, and mostly on the Cherry Creek Bike Path, so it was overall a very nice ride. Now that the weather is nicer, I will ride to work more often. Gotta love a ride on a beautiful Colorado day!

Ride Strong!

 

 

 

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Half Marathon for the Cure

MRI

Foot MRI

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Year after year, I Race for the Cure to do my part in helping to find a cure. Seattle and Denver are the two cities I have raced in over the years. Denver is by far the largest – over 50,000 people participated!

This year was different than the rest, for I was unable to run it, I had to walk. Lets go back in time… June 26, 2010 I completed the Rock n Roll Seattle Marathon. After the marathon, I have severe pain in my big toe, upon removing the nail polish, the bruise is revealed. I may lose my toe nail. A week later I am still in pain, so I have to have a hole drilled in the nail to relieve the pressure – NOT a fun task. The hole did help a lot. Several weeks later I start running again.

Next toe stop: Leadville 100 in August. I’m pacing my runner, who has already ran over 60 miles. We are in the pitch black with nothing but our headlamps to guide the way. Three miles into the 10 mile journey… BAM! I slam that same big toe into a tree root. “Oh, that is going to leave a mark” I say to myself. And that it did. As the days and weeks wore on, it started hurting more and more. The pain gets to be too much and I head back to the doctor.

Toe

Owie Toe Smiles at Me

Thinking that it is the nail that is causing all the pain, I am ready to hear that it will have to be removed. Upon examination, my doctor says that the nail looks fine, except for the fact that it may come off, and what I may have is a fracture in the toe. An MRI is scheduled (after a trip to Urgent care and an X-Ray) to find out the cause of the pain.

The doctor says I have to stop running until we find out what is going on. I tell her, but I’m training for the Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon on October 17th. Mmm she says, well you may have to sit it out. I had not registered yet, which really seemed like a good idea at that point. She saw my face drop and then said, lets wait and see what the results say.

The day AFTER the Rock n Roll Denver race sells out, I get my MRI results. It is NOT a fracture, but a bone bruise – which she says is just as painful. There was also soft tissue swelling at the end of the toe. So what does that mean, I ask my doctor?! She said, well you need to rest for several weeks, no running. “You can run the half marathon, but you must ice it immediately after the race”, she says to me. “I’m not going to lie to you, it is going to hurt” she says. She put me on 600mg of Ibuprofen 3 times a day. All I am allowed to do until the race is ride my bike and swim. I walked the Race for the Cure, which she told me I had to do slowly, but I wanted to do more.

Rock n Roll Denver

Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon

Now I need to find an entry for the half marathon. I Google for free entries and the only ones available are for charitable entries. Those entries get you registered for the race, but then you must raise $1250 for the charity by November 1st – uh NO WAY, too impossible. I start scouring Craigslist. Answered several ads, but heard nothing back. Posted an ad of my own stating my case and adding photos of me running. That was Thursday, over the weekend I hear nothing. All I see on Craigslist is postings for others wanting entries too. GREAT what am I going to do?!

Sister's Race for the Cure

Sister's Race for the Cure

Monday is here and I drag myself out of a cozy bed to go to work. I am very busy right now at work, which is great, so I didn’t even see that I received a new email… There it is! A response to my “Wanted” post on Craigslist! It read:

My sister lives in Aurora and was looking to do her 1st ever half at this race… but due to some training injuries and work demands, her training hasn’t been what she wanted and she is looking to get her bib to someone who would put it to better use. Her work blocks craigslist, so I am helping her find a suitable buyer…

SCREAMING for joy, I jumped out of my chair! I answered him right away (he and his wife were coming from Omaha to run the race too), and we worked out the details for meeting at the Expo. I was on cloud 9!

Marathon for the Cure

Marathon for the Cure

NOW, I want to make a difference with this race. This was a sign that I was meant to run this event and pay it forward. While looking at information on Race for the Cure, I stumbled upon Marathon for the Cure. Google found it for me once again, so I read more about it. I would need to raise $500 for Susan Komen for the Cure. This was an obtainable goal and I was determined to make it happen. Here is a little information about Marathon for the Cure:

Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure® is a grassroots fundraising program offering fitness enthusiasts the chance to join in the fight against breast cancer by running or walking a full or half marathon.

Marathon for the Cure expands the reach of Komen for the Cure beyond the Race for the Cure 5K Series and offers participants the opportunity to raise much needed funds in support of Komen’s vision of a world without breast cancer, while training for and running or walking in some of the most elite distance events in the world.

Race for the Cure

Race for the Cure

Right away I set up a participation site and a Facebook page fund-raising efforts. My excitement for this entire event is not describable with words. This years Race for the Cure touched me more than any I have done over the years. Seeing all the names of survivors and those that were lost to breast cancer really hit me hard. I want to make a difference, I want to help, I know others that have it, have survived it and have died from it. In my 20’s I had a scare when a lump was found, but I was one of the lucky ones, it was not cancer. I had never been so scared in my life over those agonizing weeks of tests and waiting for results. I cannot even imagine what it is like to get the news that you have breast cancer.

We are all in this together, we can ALL make a difference. Every donation can help find a cure for this terrible disease. Cancer does not care what race you are or how much money you make. I am going to fight cancer 13.1 miles at a time. I dedicate the Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon on October 17, 2010 to fight against Breast Cancer. And I am going to kick it one boobie at a time! Lets do it for the girls!

Run Happy!

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Leadville 100 Trail Run

Leadville 10,152 FT

Leadville Elevation

Wednesday, I got a call from Emily, a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness, to see if I would be interested in pacing a runner at the Leadville 100 Trail Run on Saturday. I jumped on the opportunity right away without hesitation! WOW! Leadville! I had paced marathons and half marathons in the past, but had never done a trail run before.  This trail run would be like no other, it would climb to 12,580 on Hope Pass.

Life Time Fitness

Title Sponsor was Life Time Fitness

Our weather had been less than co-operative over the days leading up to the race. The Leadville area, along with the rest of Colorado, experienced large amounts of rain and mud. I wondered how the route would be on race day. Saturday arrived, what a great day for a race! The weather was BEAUTIFUL!!! The car was packed up and I was ready to head East for a great adventure.

At about 3pm, I arrived in Leadville. Found the Start/Finish line, so I got out and checked it out. It was pretty much a ghost town since the race had started at 4am and all where on their way.

After a bit of exploring, I headed to my pacing start, Twin Lakes. When I arrived, the highway was lined with cars on BOTH sides of the road, and every possible spot off the highway was packed with cars! OMG how am I EVER going to find anyone in this?! Pulled into the parking lot and did find a grassy area to park. I got out, and walked around a bit to get the lay of the land. Found where the runners enter the parking lot, which from there they continue up a side road and into the Check Point. Life Time Fitness had a tent set up next to the Check Point, and the only people in it, at the moment, were those seeking shade.  I did run into Kathy, a Life Time Member from Parker, then later Katie, from my location.

Profile

Leadville 100 Trail Run Elevation Profile

This is an out and back course. The runners would go 50 miles then turn around and head back. The portion I would be pacing with my runner was the 60-70mile markers (miles 40 to 30 on the elevation profile). They would just be getting back from climbing over Hope Pass TWICE (the large spike on the profile)! YOWZA!!!!

While I waited for the 7pm to 8pm mark to roll around, I ate a couple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some string cheese, carrots and then drank Gatorade & Water. I tried to take a short nap in my car, but I was too amped up.  Finally around 6pm I decided to change into my running gear. Doing this in the front seat of a car is quite the challenge.

Now I am ready to go! Grabbed all of my stuff and headed to the Life Time Fitness tent to meet Emily, Phoenix & Katie. We cheered on the runners that were continuing on their way – which was STRAIGHT UP A STEEP HILL! I said “Ummmmm… I’m NOT going up that… hee hee, just kidding”. Some kids were playing on this hill and getting in the way of the runners, so Phoenix went over and had them move out of the way. Of course one of them fell and got hurt, a kid that is, not a runner.

At the tent, we had a wipe-off board crew members could write on to request a pacer for their runner.  Katie took one of the runners from the list when they arrived and was off. Shortly after Katie left, Emily took off with Kamil, another Life Time Fitness member who was running the race. Several times two women came over to the tent to check on pacer statuses.  I told them to keep checking, because pacers were coming in and may keep going.

I had been pre-arranged to pace Kathy, a Life Time Fitness member from Minnesota, so I was anxiously awaiting her arrival. Most of the early evening I had scoured the area for her crew, but it was next to impossible to find the right people if they were not at their vehicles with their runner’s number listed on it. So I decided to hang at the Life Time tent. Time goes by, and finally Kathy arrives, but with another pacer! I introduced myself and said, “Do you have another pacer? Do you not need me any longer?” Kathy said, “Yes, I’m fine”. GREAT! I thought to myself, NOW WHAT?! So, I went and found the women that kept checking on pacers, and asked if they still needed one.  They were a mom and daughter looking for a pacer for the husband/dad. They said “YES!” and I told them, “well I’m your pacer”. Cheers of joy errupted!

Petzl Headlamp

Trusty Petzl Headlamp

Terry, my new runner, was set to arrive at about 8:30pm, which was about 30 minutes away. The sun was starting to set, and by the time Terry arrived it was dark. Headlamps were now our new best friends. I helped Terry’s wife & daughter get him ready for our leg of the race.  He changed shoes and socks, they were soaking wet from the several creeks he had to run through. Long shirts were pulled out and he ate as much food as he could tolerate. After about a 10 minute rest he was ready to go.

The first part of this next leg was straight UP! We scrambled up the side of this mountain and made it to more of a single-track trail. Several race officials were coming back from hanging green glow sticks from sporadic trees to help mark the trail. These came in real handy a few times when it was hard to tell which way to go.  Terry had me go in front of him, so that I could guide him in the right direction and warn him of the many roots and boulders along the trail. We got to know each other a little bit and talked a lot about different races we had run.

As the miles wore on the terrain varied. We had to hike up the inclines, then we would run along the semi-flat portions and the downhill runs. Those darn hills were INSANE! I could hear my heart beating in my head – OH YA, my heart rate was HIGH! I didn’t need a heart rate monitor to tell me that!.  Every once in a while we would have to pull over as far as we could on the single-track to let other runners bye.  I took these opportunities to let my heart slow down a bit. These were short breaks, but they helped.  The first creek we came across, my right foot slipped off the rock and SPLASHED right in the FREEZING cold water – NICE! At one point Terry said, “Did you ever think you would be hiking and running in the middle of the night?!” That got a good laugh out of both of us. Laughing was good, for it made you forget that your legs were starting to feel like rubber… DANG! How do these people do 100 miles, when I’m dying 7 miles into only 10 miles?! Ok, they have trained for it, I have not. The altitude was brutal, if it was not for that I think I would of been fine.

There were about 2 miles left to the check point, where Terry and I would part ways.  We had pulled to the side of the trail to let some runners by. I looked up and he was gone! Well, he must of slipped in between the passing pack, so I continued on.  More runners went by and I still can’t see Terry. GREAT I’VE LOST MY RUNNER!!!! I just kept running along and made it to the checkpoint.  I checked at the table to see if he checked in, I said “I lost my runner”. Luckily he had JUST checked in, so they said he was probably in the food tent. Looked around and didn’t see him, then he came up behind me. I apologized for losing him. He said, no problem, I had gotten him through the toughest part and he was very grateful to me. We went and got some food, well he did anyways, I had one potato chip.

Phoenix was suppose to meet me at this check-point. Unfortunately, we found out that cars were not allowed there and I had 4.5 more miles to go! OH CRAP! Terry said, well I know this was as far as you were going to take me, so did I just want to pace myself and he would go on. I said sure, and wished him luck.  So I decided to rest a little, then continue on. Well, that all changed in a matter of minutes… I sat down to rest and started to feel really weird. Then all of the sudden, I thought UH OH! Got up from the chair and ran around to a tree and lost everything I had in me (sorry gross). After that fun time, I felt really dizzy, so I went over to an aid person and told them what happened. Altitude sickness was the likely culprit – we were at almost 11,000 feet.  They took me to the medical tent, put me on a cot by the heater and covered me up in a huge heavy blanket. I could not stop shivering. They brought me chicken noodle soup and some water. I was in the tent with 3 other runners. Two were injured (one an ankle the other a foot), and the third was delirious and suffering from altitude sickness.

After about 30 minutes they told me and the two injured runners that someone would be here shortly to drive us back to Leadville. It ended up being one of the runner’s crew that drove us down. The only problem, was that my car was at Twin Lakes, which was about 20 miles from Leadville.  I kept trying to get a hold of Emily, but no answer, and I didn’t have Phoenix’s number. It was a long slow bumpy ride down the trail to the main road.  I had them drop me off at the finish line, figured I could find someone that was going to Twin Lakes. They were off to Denver to DIA, so they could fly back to Arizona.

It is now around 1am. I watched a few runners finish, one of which was the FIRST woman of the race to finish!!! WOOT!!! Shivering again I went into the food tent to warm up by the heater and get some soup. I asked if anyone was going to Twin Lakes, no luck. Several more finishers came in.  A couple of them had raced their hearts out to finish before 2am so they could hit last call at the local bar! I talked to the main medical guy and told him I was trying to get to Twin Lakes, that I couldn’t get a hold of any of my crew. He pondered it and said he would see what he could do. About an hour later, he came back and said I think I have a ride for you in about 20 minutes. I told him I loved him – LOL!

Search and Rescue was my ride.  She asked me if I was allergic to dogs, and I said nope, I have two and love them. So along came her Border Collie – oh what a sweet girl she was! I thanked her up and down for the ride. We talked about how she got into Search and Rescue – her husband was also in the business and was running the mobile command center for the race. Got to my car and she made sure it started before she left.

Ah… home sweet home for the night, my car! I stripped down, dried off and put on warm dry clothes. I had gotten the seats in my car all read to sleep on – the front folds down to the back seat, which also folds back to make a bed.  I crawled into my down bag and continued to shiver… 3am, and I was cold and couldn’t sleep. At some point I did fall asleep, for my phone woke me up at 5am when Emily texted me to say she was still pacing her runner – OMG I bet she is going the whole 40 miles to the finish with Kamil! I rested for about another 30 minutes, and turned the car on to blare the heater to try and warm back up. Ok, lets just get up and head back to Leadville for some coffee and watch the finishers.

Barefoot Ted

Barefoot Ted Finishes in 27:16:32.5

6am and I’m back at Leadville.  The local coffee shop just opened, so I got a coffee and a ham/cheese croissant – YUMMY! Walked over to the finish area, and the runners slowly came in. Made some new friends that were waiting for their runners to come in. At about 7am, it was time to break out the sunglasses and cheer on more finishers. This was great! These people had just finished running 100 miles! Then I heard some great news! Barefoot Ted, from Seattle, was nearing the finish line – SWEET!!! Yes, this man runs races barefoot. For trail runs he uses special sandals, like those you read about in Chris McDougall’s book Born to Run.

Born to Run

Born to Run by Chris McDougall

When Ted got near the finish line, I recognized his pacer… it was Chris McDougall! OMG! I was soooooo excited!!! Two great men, that I admired, were right here and finishing together. They looked GREAT! Hard to believe they had just completed 100 miles. Only 10 of it kicked my ass.

I had texted Emily when I got to Leadville to see if she had finished yet. After Ted finished I got her answer, NO. WOW she is going to come into the finish with Kamil – that is AWESOME!!! So I decided to walk to the top of last hill the runners come up before heading down to the finish.

Ted and Chris

Barefoot Ted and Chris McDougall

It was probably about a mile to the top, so it was a nice walk to loosen back up after standing around for so long. The sun was now shining down on us and I was getting warm, which really felt good. Got to the top of the hill and watched runners walking up on the other side. The sighs of relieve were big when they reached the top and saw the finish was down the hill.

Emily and Kamil

Emily and Kamil Finish in 28:54:18.3!

I didn’t see Emily yet, so started to head back to the finish. About 100 yards from the finish I spotted Phoenix.  We met up and he said Emily had called and she was close. So back up towards the hill we went. Now I had a cow bell, and we both shook them as each runner went by. As we got to the top of the hill, we spotted Emily and Kamil. They were spent! I so did not blame them.  Emily said that around 5am, they pulled over to the side of the trail and took a 15 minute nap. They decided that once they were down the hill and closer to the red carpet, that they would run in the rest of the way. Phoenix and I ran them both in, ringing our cow bells the whole way.That was AWESOME! Kamil’s Dad had found us, he was Kamil’s crew. We got them checked in and to the food tent.  The runners are weighed at the start and finish of the race. Some were immediately taken to the medical tent. It was a variety of delirious runners to those that look like they could keep running.

The Life Time crew was going to head to breakfast, but I opted to head back home to beat the I-70 Sunday traffic. This was such an incredible experience. Would I ever run an entire ultramarathon? HELL NO! Would I ever pace one again? Mmmmm maybe, but I would have to train better for it, like running in higher altitude. For now, I think I’ll just stick with Half Marathons, like the Boulder Half in September and the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in October.

Terry, my runner, finished the Leadville 100 Trail Run in 29:17:06.5 – so proud of him! WAY TO GO TERRY!

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Bud Light, I think I LOVE YOU!

Benchwarmers

BenchWarmers in Erie, CO

It all started as a simple Friday night. I was going to meet a co-worker at BenchWarmers, which is walking distance from my house, for a beer. Arriving around 5:30pm, I looked around for my friend and did not see him, so I took a seat at the bar. About 5 minutes later he arrived and bought me a beer. He was meeting an old buddy there as well, so he went to find him. His friend was sitting at a table with about 6 other people, so we were both invited to sit with them. Introductions were made, and then one of the waitstaff came over with entry forms for a chance to win a spot at the Bud Light Port Paradise III Cruise Party. Four spots were going to be drawn at 7pm, and you had to be present to win. It was then explained to us, that at the party, you would have a chance to win a spot on the Bud Light Paradise III Cruise to the Bahamas! Sure! Sign me up!

The evening went on and it was finally time for the drawing.  This was the whole reason my co-workers friends were there, they wanted to win the cruise!  One of the bartenders got up on the bar and drew an entry. She read off the number, instead of the person’s name, and the suspense began. It was not mine.  She was hard to hear, so as she started to read the second entry, I moved closer.  I heard every number except the last one… I said “Did you say 6?” She said “Yes.” OMG IT WAS ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And boy did the entire bar know it! I defiantly won the most exuberant winner award! Two more entries were drawn, then all four of us were told what the next steps were. Three guys and myself listened to the Bud Light rep and the BenchWarmers HQ rep give instruction. They were as follows:

  • The following Thursday, go to the Aurora BenchWarmers
  • 4pm-6pm BenchWarmers would feed us and give us drinks
  • 6pm board the Party Bus & continue drinking
  • 6:30pm arrive at Bud Light Port Paradise III Party in Denver
  • After the party the bus would take us back to Aurora
Bud Light

Bud Light My New Favorite Beer

This sounded great! They verified that the info on our entry form was correct, for we would receive an email in the next couple days confirming our party entrance. We were allowed to bring a guest, and the email would get their name on the list at the party. The Bud Light rep bought us all a round of , what else, Bud Light! Everyone was now my “best friend”, for they all wanted me to take them to the party. I hung out for a while after the drawing and celebrated before heading home.

My sister, Heidi, was my first choice, and got the first offer to attend the party with me. She and I were going to the Lady Gaga concert the night before the party, so she declined my invitation and said to take her best friend Mary instead. So Mary became the lucky “plus one” for me. I had a list of “waiting list” people in case Mary couldn’t go at the last minute, it was quite comical what people offered me to go to the party.

Mary was to be my designated driver. Thursday arrived and we headed South to the Aurora BenchWarmers.  We were almost there when I got a call from my roommate Chris. He says “Dude, where are you?” I said “Almost at the Aurora BenchWarmers” Chris says “Well, don’t get your hopes up”. I said “OK”, thinking he meant about winning a cruise. Chris says “No dude, the Erie police are at BenchWarmers and they just arrested Kevin (the CEO) and shut down the bar”. “WTF?!” I exclaimed! So Chris and I talked a while and thought it was just a temporary shut-down and that the bar would be back open for the weekend.  After getting off the phone with Chris I tried to call the Aurora BenchWarmers… no answer. When Mary and I arrived a the bar, it was closed with signs on the door.  We found the woman (who’s name I cannot remember for the life of me) that was at the Erie BenchWarmers the night I won and had given us instruction to come to Aurora.

BenchWarmers Seized

BenchWarmers Seized by State of Colorado

I got out of the car and asked her what was going on. She apologized and said they had tried to get a hold of all the winners to let them know to just go directly to the party in Denver, which I never received. It was confirmed that the 3 locations of BenchWarmers in Colorado were closed for business forever (Boulder Daily Camera story). The employees were loading their cars up with food saying, “We need to feed our families, we have not been paid in over a month.” I didn’t blame them and told them how sorry I was that they lost their jobs. It is just awful how one persons ignorance can ruin so many innocent people’s lives.

Over the weekend, the Erie BenchWarmers employees held a car wash to raise money for the unpaid employees. They would pay the kitchen staff and hostesses first (since they did not receive tips), then the remainder of the employees.  The Monday after Kevin’s arrest, the state Seized BenchWarmers (Boulder Daily Camera story). The sad part is that Kevin had done this before! He had two restaurants in Erie that were shut down for the same reasons and served jail time from 1998 to 2003. The reason it took so long to catch him this time is due to the fact he had put everything in his daughter’s name. She too was arrested with Kevin.

This was a great local bar and was PACKED every night. It was just what Erie needed. Now everyone wants to pool money together and buy the building to re-open another sports bar. I know at least one person with an offer in on the place, but they have to wait out all of the court red-tape before they are accepted.

Ok, back to “The Party”. Mary and I drove to Denver and arrived a few minutes before they opened the doors. The attendance at this Bud Light Port Paradise III Cruise party, were all the Denver area winners and their “plus one”. Only the original party ticket winners were eligible to win the cruise, which was about 60-70 people. As we filed into the building, were carded, wrist bands were placed on our wrist, and each party ticket winner filled out another entry to be placed in the cruise drawing. Now we were free to PARTY! So of course it was all the Budweiser products you could drink, Bud Light being the number 1 choice.

Bud Light Girls with Kristen

Bud Light Girls with Kristen

We mingled among the other guests, ate the snacks, drank some beer, mingled, drank some beer… Met a lot of really fun people at this party. At one point I was kicking beach balls with all the guys, out into the crowd and up into the Bud Light umbrellas hanging from the ceiling.  I knocked over someone’s beer, and said “Oh, I’m sorry, let me buy you another one…” went to the bar and got her a fresh one… free of charge of course. Had an absolute blast. Did the limbo & won a tee-shirt. One of the other Erie BenchWarmers winners ended up hanging out with us for most of the night. Fun was really had by all.

Finally they were ready to draw the winners of the cruise. They had 15 to give away, so our odds were pretty good.  All 15 were pulled from the box, and then, like American Idol, “We will announce these winners after these messages…” UGH the anticipation!!!! After about 10 minutes they were ready to announce the names.  Lined up on the stage were 15 Bud Light Girls & Guys, with blue/white leis and a lanyard with a laminated card attached “I’m On The Boat”. As a name was announced, it was also put up on a screen. Everyone cheered as each winner went up to the stage. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6 ,7 ,8 and 9 had been given away… Little did I know number 10 was my new lucky number… and the next winner is… KRISTEN SCHULDT! OMG I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ran up to the front and slid in on my knees with my arms in the air screaming YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I again, was the most exuberant winner of the night!!! After they put the lei and lanyard on me and snapped a photo, I went around and hugged EVERYONE!!!  I didn’t even hear the rest of the winners announced! I’M ON THE BOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bud Light Port Paradise III

I'M ON THE BOAT!!!

The celebration just kept going and going! They brought all the winners to the back of the room and took a group photo, which I still have not seen. We all congratulated each other and couldn’t stop smiling!  I called my sister and told her I won, but she didn’t believe me so I passed her onto Mary.  I told her she was my first choice to join me on the cruise Dec 2-5th. OMG I still just could not believe I won! I’ve never been on a cruise or out of North America for that matter.

We all stayed at the event for quite a while, they started cleaning up around us.  Since is was obvious they wanted to close up shop, we moved the party to LoDo’s in Downtown Denver. It was two for one – WOOT!!! As we sat, with other winners, basking in the after glow, I got a call from my sister. “Do you need me to come pick you and Mary up?” says Heidi.  I said “Um, yes I think that would be a good idea”. So much for Mary being my designated driver… My wonderful little sister drove all the way to Denver to pick up our drunk butts, but I wouldn’t of changed a thing.  We had the time of our lives for the evening and the cruise will be even better!

Heidi is unable to go on the cruise with me, for she is in school to become and teacher and will have finals during the cruise.  Mary, will again, be my plus one and we are going to have a BLAST!  I entered the code on the back of my lanyard online, a few days later I received and email that took me to the rest of the registration. Mary came over and we filled it out together and paid the $190/each in taxes for the trip, which includes the following:

  • Round-trip airfare from Denver to either Miami or Port Canaveral (two boats all filled with Bud Light winners = 7,400 people)
  • Transportation to/from airport to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
  • Accommodations on the boat
  • All meals on the boat & drinks at parties
  • Transportation to private island for private Stone Temple Pilots concert
  • Fun! Fun! Fun!
Wrigley

Wrigley After Bud Light Party

I have already applied for my passport and am ready to go.  We should get our travel arrangements by November 15th and we will be set for our trip to the Bahamas December 2-5, 2010!!!!

BUD LIGHT, I THINK I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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