Saturday, March 12, 2011

March Madness Runs- Updates and Course Descriptions

Part of the last 5 miles of the 23 and 34 mile courses on the east side of HT Reservoir

We are less than a week away from the first annual Fort Collins Trail Runner March Madness runs. Here are some updates and course information:

Below is Pete's course description for the long course along with a course map.

From the start, head south on Platte Drive, curve left on Baxter and then right on Windom.

Turn right on 38E and run west up the hill and around the south end of the reservoir.

After 5 miles, take a right off the road down on to the Blue Sky Trail just before the trail goes though the tunnel under 38E. If you miss this turn, you can get on the trail at the Blue Sky trail head about 1/4 mile up.


Run Blue Sky to the Soderberg trail head (about 1.5 miles) then out the Swan Johnson trail (.5 miles) and left up the Towers service road.

Left on Stout (about 1 mile from Soderberg)

Stay left on Stout to Spring Creek

Left on Horsetooth Falls back to the Horsetooth trailhead (Last water and bathroom stop until the end of Lory Park)

From the trailhead, go left up Southridge and take your next left to stay on Southridge after about .75 miles.

Take a left on Audra Culver (watch for the sign - it's single track that turns off of the main service road)

Continue left up to tag Horsetooth Rock

Come back down Horsetooth Rock and go left past the spot that you came out on Audra Culver

Take a left on Westridge.

Just below the Towers, take a left onto a connector trail that will take you round the West side of the Towers to the service road.

Follow the road around the Towers.

Take a left at Mill Creek

At the Loggers junction take a sharp left to stay on Mill Creek (this turn is easy to miss if you haven't seen it before)

Continue on Mill Creek into Lory Park.

Take the first left to head towards Arthur's Rock.

Take a left on Howard

At the top of Howard, continue past the Westridge turn and stay on Howard all the way to Arthur's Rock.

At the end of Howard at the Timber junction, take a right and a left to tag the top of Arthur's Rock.

Head back down from Arthur's rock and turn right onto Timber.

After about a mile take a right off of the jeep road to stay on Timber. Follow Timber all the way down the hill. Stay left past Well Gulch and Kimmons to follow Timber all the way to the trailhead. From the Timber trailhead, head out onto the road to the Visitor Center. This is the last water stop until you get to the finish.

Leave Lory Park and take a right onto the road (25G)

Follow the road all the way to Centennial (23)

Take a right onto Centennial and then take a left into Reservoir Ridge at the bottom of the dam hill.

Follow the Reservoir Ridge trail up the hill and turn right and continue up the hill. Just before the trail meets the road, take a left and follow the trail over to the east side of the ridge.

Take your next right and follow the trail to the bottom of the La Porte dam, cross the end of La Porte and head up the trail on the other side.

At the top, cross the road and pick up the trail on the West side of the road.

Follow the Foothills trail through the next trailhead parking lot and continue along the ridge on the West side of the road.

At the next trailhead on Centennial (just below the A hill), cross back over to the east side of the road and follow the trail down the hill towards the stadium.

Take a right at the bottom of the hill to follow the trail south behind the stadium. At the Maxwell trailhead, cross Dixon Road and run into Pineridge.

Follow the trail to the left to go around the east side of around Dixon Reservoir.

Take your next left up onto the ridge on the east side of Pineridge.

Run south for about ½ mile along the ridge then turn left down the hill towards the dog park. At the bottom of the hill, next to the dog park, jump back on the road (west end of Horsetooth Rd.)and head east.

Take the second right onto Platte Drive and run south for ½ mile back to Alex's house and the finish

Mileage for this route should be 34+ (ish) with around 6500ft of climbing.

Shortcut options:

From the Soderberg trailhead, go up Towers, Herrington, and Wathan to Horsetooth Rock. From Arthur's rock or Well Gulch, drop straight down to the valley and follow the easy valley trails north out of Lory.

At the top of Reservoir Ridge cross Centennial at the top of dam hill, follow the trail all the way on the west side of the road and cross the La Porte dam on the road.

Or just skip the Reservoir Ridge/Foothills trail and follow the easy road all the way back to Overland, turn south on Overland to the park, short cut south through the park to Horsetooth and back to Alex's.



This course is a doozy. Pete is planning to start at 7:00 am and expects to finish around 2:00 or 3:00. Pete was careful to point out that there are multiple options to shorten the course (not that he ever would).

10 Mile Course

If you are interested in a shorter run, there is an approximately 10 mile route:

Start by heading up 38E as the other routes do, but at the top of the hill after about 2 miles, take a right and run on the road across the dam. Continue on the road for another 3-4 miles, across a second dam until you get to a small parking and picnic area on the west side of the road overlooking the reservoir. Cross the road to the east and follow the Foothills trail down through the Maxwell Natural Area.

Take a right at the bottom of the hill to follow the trail south behind the stadium.

At the Maxwell trailhead, cross Dixon Road and run into Pineridge.

Follow the trail to the left to go around the east side of around Dixon Reservoir.

Take your next left up onto the ridge on the east side of Pineridge.

Run south for about ½ mile along the ridge then turn left down the hill towards the dog park. At the bottom of the hill, next to the dog park, jump back on the road (west end of Horsetooth Rd.)and head east.

Take the second right onto Platte Drive and run south for ½ mile back to Alex's house and the finish.

Course Map below (yellow trail)




Support Your Team

Slush had the great idea to extend the March Madness theme further by encouraging participants to represent their favorite college team during the run. So wear your favorite college t-shirt or team colors, sing your college theme, dress as your favorite mascot, have fun. Scott is debating whether to support BYU or CSU, but I know he is dying to run the whole course in a Cam the Ram costume. I, of course, will be running for the UCSC Banana Slugs who as far as I know don't have a basketball team, but their Ultimate Frisbee team is nearly unbeatable.


I am looking forward to seeing everyone out next Saturday for the run. Bring some food or drinks to share for after the run. If the weather is good, we'll BBQ on the back deck. Let me know if you have any questions.

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