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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,<br><br>
I am a business traveler (3.5 -4 days a week) / trail runner combo Unit ... which means when i am on the road -- the first thing i check before i go is where to run after my meeting is over.<br><br>
Anyhoo,<br>
I will be in Colorado Springs for the 1st time in my life and am ovewhelmed at the possibilities...<br><br>
So looking for guidance... if i have only 2 hours to get in a run where is the one place I must go???<br>
Thanks<br><br>
PS - Random thought... I have been wondering home many other Road Warriors are out there training for Ultras as they go... might be some interesting stories and tips for training while on the road! maybe a thought for another post.<br>
KFine
 

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I'll send you first to: <a href="http://www.gardenofgods.com/parkinfo/index_114.cfm" target="_blank">Garden of the God's</a><br>
Great place to run. I've only been there in August and November and it was runnable. Not sure how it will be when you'll go there.<br><br>
Next I'll send you to one of my favorite trails on Pikes Peak - <a href="http://www.runpikespeak.com/course.htm" target="_blank">Barr Trail</a><br>
A fantastic place to run/hike, but it may be unhikable/runnable when you want to go.<br><br>
Here are a few pics of mine to wet your appetite.<img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br>
Pikes Peak in the background and Garden of the Gods in the bottom of the pic.<br><img alt="" src="http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q278/cmerun100m/PikesPeak5.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
The famous Barr Trail<br><img alt="" src="http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q278/cmerun100m/BarrTrail2.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Another shot of Pikes<br><img alt="" src="http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q278/cmerun100m/PikesPeak1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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If you want a hard hill work out check out a place called The Incline. If you are looking at the mountains it is basically the very visable scar that runs straight up the mountain. I used to live 2 hours from the Springs before I moved to Virginia. Another place to go and you might even get someone to run with you is the Olympic Training Center, you can get a lot of information there.<br><br>
Marc
 

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You might also see if your schedule fits with the Incline Club <a href="http://www.inclineclub.com/home.htm" target="_blank">http://www.inclineclub.com/home.htm</a> They run in the Manitou Springs area, which is only about 10 or 15 minutes from Colorado Springs.<br><br>
You might get some ideas from some of their previous runs.<br><br>
Happy Trails,<br><br>
Steve K
 

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Good recommendations above; I don't have anything to add there. I assume that you will be in C. Springs soon- if so, expect a combination of snow, ice, mud & dirt on the trails- the higher you go in elevation the more snow & ice.<br><br>
Here are some Cams to give you an idea:<br><br><a href="http://www.dickgilbert.com/colosprngscams.htm" target="_blank">http://www.dickgilbert.com/colosprngscams.htm</a><br><br>
I haven't been down to C. Springs this winter, but I can tell you that up here in Ft. Collins the lower elevation trails with less shade (ie not in valleys or thick forest) are relatively dry. When running in Boulder a few weeks ago the conditions were about 40% snow/ice, 30% mud, 30% dry- mostly forested and shady trails at the base of the foothills. I am certain that C. Springs has gotten more snow than Ft. Collins.<br><br>
I'm thinking that Garden of the Gods will offer the most dry trail.<br><br>
Also- be sure to bring your hat & gloves & warm running cloths- even when the temperature has been above 32 on the front range, it has often been windy with wind chill factors below 32.<br><br>
That said, enjoy your run- C Springs has some beautiful scenery.<br><br>
Cheers!<br>
Mark
 

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I live in Colorado Springs.<br><br>
crunningman has already recommended Garden of the Gods and Barr Trail.<br><br>
Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation is fantastic and will clear the roads in GOG before the city clears the main roads. You can easily create runs between 2 to 10 miles in the park along the roads. The roads have better views of the rock formations than the dirt trails. The trails were clear as of last Friday and it has not snowed much since then. I wish my favorite trail in the park was marked so I could recommend it.<br><br>
Rampart Range Road is a Forest Service Road that starts in the park. It works it way up to Woodland Park and offers great view of the town and Pikes Peak. I haven't run it recently so I don't know what shape its in.<br><br>
I was on Barr Trail two weeks ago (and will be again on Sunday if you want an update) and if it hasn't changed, I would recommend yak-traks/screw shoes for some serious icy sections.<br><br>
Other good places:<br>
Waldo Canyon - The trail head is at the Smokey the Bear sign on US Hwy 24, West of Manitou Springs. If you pass Pikes Peak Highway, you've gone too far. This rolling trail is a 6.5 - 7 mile lolly pop route. I highly recommend this trail if you have the time. Last Sunday, it was mostly packed snow with ok traction.<br><br>
Cheyenne Canyon Park : Columbine Trail. I recommend starting at the Middle Columbine Trail sign. The trail ends at Helen Hunt Falls. Its about a 6 mile rolling out and back. I haven't run this during the winter but I suspect you'll need screw shoes/yak-traks.<br><br>
Section 16 - Another trail I have not run this winter. The trail head is on Gold Camp Road. Follow the Ring the Peak signs to High Drive and turn left to make a 5 mile loop. High Drive ends next to the trail head on Gold Camp. One decent climb then rolling down hill. You will probably need screw shoes/yak-traks once you get into the trees.<br><br>
Chris G
 

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That Barr trail really piques my interest. I have a 2,500 over 5 miles but the 7+k over 12 gives me a tingle. If one can readily train on this puppy you'll be ready for just about any race. <img alt="icon_salut.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_salut.gif"><br><br>
Unless the average bear is accustomed to hills the up is difficult enough but the sustained down would be a quad crusher.<br><br>
Do any of the races use this hunk of trail?
 

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The Barr Trail is one tough puppy even for those living in the area I would assume unless you're Matt Carpenter. I ran the 2004 Pikes Peak Marathon (majority of race is on the Barr Trail) and nothing could prepare me for the downhill portion of this race (unless I trained on the trail itself). I live at 875' (Indiana). Coming down I felt like a torpedo. I would have broken 2hrs (2:02) if I hadn't fallen 5 times. Still managed a 5:30. They say you should probably add 2hrs to your flatland marathon and my guess is that and some. I would like to go back and break 5hrs.<br><br>
By the way, my quads were trashed from the downhill days later. As much as you try not to fall or even try to put on the breaks, you can't because of the "grade" during portions of the race. Another factor is getting around other runners as they come up the same trail. Going up, once you hit treeline, the trail is so narrow and rocky, but easy to follow. Of course altitude is the other factor when trying to get around other runners. It affects everyone differently of course.
 

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In addition to the Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon <a href="http://www.pikespeakmarathon.org/" target="_blank">http://www.pikespeakmarathon.org/</a> in August. Then in July there is the Barr Trail Mountain Race <a href="http://www.runpikespeak.com/" target="_blank">http://www.runpikespeak.com/</a> it goes to Barr Camp (10,200 ft and about half way up Pikes Peak) and turns around.<br><br>
If you want a view of the mountain go to <a href="http://www.skyrunner.com/peak.htm" target="_blank">http://www.skyrunner.com/peak.htm</a> then go down to the TRAINING section and click Google Earth underneath COURSE DESCRIPTION, once you're there go up to TOOLS and click PLAY TOUR<br><br>
Enjoy,<br><br>
Steve K
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks so much everyone.<br><br>
exactly what I was looking for... I will be out that way probably once a quarter... so looks like I have enough ideas to get me through the year!<br><br>
Thanks again,<br>
KFine
 

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If you go to <a href="http://farrunner.com/" target="_blank">http://farrunner.com</a> there are maps and descriptions of some of the trails in C. Springs... the guy who owns it is going to try and add every trail in Colorado Springs by the end of the summer. He's an old Ultra runner and will talk your ear off about training and the trails in the area.. a true fountain of information.
 

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Thanks for the link. I recommend the Garden of the Gods route he describes. Parking on 30th will save quite a bit of time.<br><br>
Trail Update<br>
Barr Trail - Up to No Name Creek, the trail is a mix of dry dirt and patches of packed icy snow. Screw Shoes/Yak Traks are a must. After No Name Creek, it gets snowy. Most parts were packed snow, but there was some loose snow as well. I turned around about a mile from Barr Camp.<br><br>
Section 16 - I was running Gold Camp Road and decided to mix in some trail as well on Saturday.<br><br>
a) A brief correction to the directions above: You need to follow the *BROWN* Ring the Peak signs. You can also extend the run if you turn right on High Drive and follow it up to Gold Camp Rd where you will turn left once you reach Cheyenne Canyon Park. You'll want to be running downhill on a dirt road. It will turn paved about 2.5 miles from the Section 16 trail head. That will add almost 8 miles to your run for a total distance of 13-14 miles.<br><br>
b) The trail was a mix of some packed snow, some loose snow, and dry dirt. I was grateful for the Yak Traks over my road shoes.<br><br>
Chris G
 
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