Sunday, May 16, 2010
Pete and I ran the BIG loop around Horsetooth Reservoir this morning. He ran to my house and we ran up 38E around the south end of the reservoir on the road and out through the Soderberg trail head. Along the way we met a runner, Dan, from Loveland who was planning to run some repeats up Towers Road in preparation for his first ultra- the Bighorn 50 mile. We talked and ran with Dan for a while as we ran up Towers, then Pete and I broke off at Herrington to head up to Horsetooth rock. We made it to the top of the rock on tired legs and enjoyed the view on this amazing spring day in Colorado. From the top, we could see a very snow covered Long's Peak just a short distance to the west. We descended from the rock and took Westridge across to Mill Creek and down in to Lory State Park. All the trails were in pretty good shape after a pretty wet week. There were some muddy spots and all the creeks were flowing deep, but everything was runnable. We took the Howard Trail off of Mill Creek and went up to Arthur's Rock for another great view of the reservoir and Fort Collins. We continued over and down the Timber Trail to the Lory visitors center where Ean was waiting on her bike. We refilled hydration bladders and continued out of Lory on the road around the north end of the reservoir. I said goodbye to Ean as we headed in to Reservoir Ridge. At the other end of Reservoir Ridge, Pete decided we hadn't gotten enough vertical in the run so we went down the trail on the east side of the dam and back up the other side. This climb came 27 miles and 6 hours in to the run and pretty much finished me off. I slogged along the trail above the reservoir watching Pete disappear in to the distance. Pete waited at the point before we would head down in to the Maxwell natural area toward home. From this spot, we could look west and see most of our day's route. There is a great feeling of accomplishment at having run all the way around something like a 9 mile long reservoir that is similar to the feeling of climbing a mountain or paddling a river. I ran carefully down the trail towards home and Ean met me at the Maxwell trail head and took me to lunch. My GPS showed 31 miles, 7200 feet of ascent and 7 hours of running- A good day.