Saturday, March 10, 2012

FCTR/BTR/SI Fun Run in FoCo

Here they come
A few days ago Rob "Honey Badger" sent out an invite for Boulderites to come join some FoCo folks on a big run in Horsetooth Mtn. Park and Lory State Park on the course of the upcoming Quad Rock 25.   I knew that many of the trails on this route would be either snowy, icy or muddy and they were talking about starting early, so I really wasn't too sure.  But as the day got closer and the weather forecast looked more and more amazing and I knew I'd be spending much of Sunday in the car, I decided I was in.  The group plan was to drive in to Lory and start at the Soldier Canyon lot where the QR Race would start and finish.  I parked at Soderberg rather than drive all the way around to Lory and pay $6 and ran south to meet them.  It was a warm, sunny and all around perfect morning.  As I came in to the wide open valley just past the HT/Lory Border, I saw a large group of runners heading down the trail still over a mile off.  I was pretty certain it was our group, and then I heard them talking, laughing, hollering and I knew it was them.  I ran on and we met up a few minutes later.  It was a great group of people to spend the day with on the trails- Rob, Mary, Marie, Kristel, Shannon, Eddie, Katie, Ning, Basit, and Amanda.  Soon after I joined the group, we made the turn up Sawmill for the first climb of the day.  The trail was icy in spots, but a lot better than I expected.
The group kept the climbing pace casual knowing that there were many miles and many feet of climbing yet to go.  We ran and hiked Sawmill to Stout to Towers and then cruised down Spring Creek to the Falls, where we stopped to admire the early spring run off.
From the falls we ran on to the Main HT lot where we were surprised with a full aid station courtesy of Mindy, Lindsay and Sarah.  I drank some coke with ice and ate chips and gummy bears.  Eric and Ben, who had taken a different route met up with us here.  Mary and Marie had headed back a little ealier.  We took our time enjoying the spread and filling our water and then headed up the trail towards Horsetooth Rock.  Justen joined us here after a smooth kid hand off with Kristel.

The views of Longs Peak and RMNP as we ran up South Ridge were fantastic. When we got to the Wathen turn off, we decided to take another detour off the QR course to climb the south tooth of the Rock which is slightly more technical than the more heavily visited north tooth, nad I feel like the views were better too.

 After some time to enjoys the views, we climbed back down and continued along West Ridge, which had some significant snowy portions, and back on to Towers.  Before descending Mill Creek, the gang spelled out the names of our running groups that were out together today.

As expected, Mill Creek was the toughest trail of the day with long sections of ankle to shin deep snow most of the way down.  We connected from Mill Creek to Howard and made the last big climb of the day up to the base of Arthur's Rock.  I split from the group here and headed down the Arthur's Rock Trail to the valley while they went on to Timber and dropped down to the Lory entrance where they had started.  There was a lot of ice at the bottom of the AR trail and I walked it very carefully.  At the trailhead, I sat a bench for a few minutes to eat something, drink the last of my water and attempt to regroup enough to run the final three miles back to the car.  While I was sitting, Alec, who we had seen and talked to briefly at the top of he AR trail, ran in and we talked for a few minutes and realized we were going to the same place and decided to run it in together.  The run on the East Valley went by pretty quickly as Alec and I talked about past and upcoming runs and adventures.  When I got back to the car, my watch said I had run nearly 26 miles with over 5000 feet of climbing and I had been out on the trail for 7 and a half hours.  A perfect way to start spring break.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry I missed out on the fun, and it looks like it was a great day.