Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pineridge Downhill Mile

What: A one mile time trial/race following the Thursday night Pineridge Social Run.

When: Thursday, March 31, 2011. The social run starts at 6:00pm from the dog park at Spring Canyon Park.

Course: From the high point on the ridge, down the main trail towards the dog park, along the gravel trail on the west side of the park and in to Cottonwood Glen Park, finishing along the pond. Click here for course GPS data.

Details: Drop of 126 feet on smooth dirt and gravel trail with a short section of sidewalk.

Notes: Wear a watch to get your time. We'll go off in groups of 4-5 runners with similar predicted mile times. After everyone has finished, we'll finish the loop around the park to cool down and then head back to my place for dinner.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FCTR and the Wolf Pack Run All Day and Night in Moab

It was a fun weekend of fun, family, friends and running in Moab, Utah. The 5 runner Fort Collins Trail Runner extreme team and the 3 runner Wolf Pack even more extreme team represented Fort Collins well at the 24 Hours of Utah Race. Each team ran 24 5.37 mile laps for a total of 128.88 miles between 7:00 am Saturday and 7:00 am Sunday to take 3rd and 4th places in the extreme team category. The Wolf Pack finished 3rd because they finished their 24th lap a few minutes ahead of the FCTR.

I have done this race solo twice before and had a good time being out on the trails all day and in to the night, but completing the race as part of a team was infinitely more fun. The team dynamics that we had going were perfect. Everyone there was supportive, giving, thoughtful, entertaining, and positive. Many of us had run many miles together, but some of us had only met in the sunrise moments before the race started. Much of the weekend was spent eating, talking, laughing, cheering and goofing off, but when it came time to run each of us got down to business and ran hard and serious.

It was a beautiful and cold night when we pulled in to base camp late on Friday night and Saturday morning started out clear, crisp and beautiful. The day went on to be cold and windy, sunny and warm, grey and cool, and wet and snowy. The exciting and sometimes uncomfortable weather took nothing from the beauty of the course which we alternated running clockwise and counter clockwise. The course included some dirt road, plenty of ups and downs on red and puddled slick rock, sandy washes, and a damp creek bed. I ran the loop seven times, but never tired of it since each trip around was under different weather and lighting conditions and with different company. The other competitors included solo 100 milers, solo 24 hour runners, solo and duo 12 hour runners, 6 hour night time fun runners (they ran from 6:00 pm to midnight), open teams of 6-10 and two other extreme teams. The winning extreme team, Eagle 5, was led by Anita Ortiz who holds a Western States 100 title. Eagle 5 completed 28 laps.

We were all a bit worn out by Sunday morning when it was time to strike camp, but there was talk about next year and plans to bring more Fort Collins Teams back to Moab to run all day and night and sing, dance, eat, and camp in the desert together as friends, family and teammates.

Rob shows off his super powered FCTR Team Uniform.

Celeste coming in fast and flawless from her first of 8 laps.

Rob takes first lap out at a full sprint.

Mindy, Cat, Joselyne and Celeste out supporting each other throughout the day.

Maddie and Mindy running back towards base camp.

Brian heading out fast and strong.

Celeste is heading out on another lap. She never slowed down and never ceased to amaze us all.

Joselyne, bringing it in after another strong lap under the Moab sun.

Rob, heading out once again and looking fast with his multicolored running togs against the red Moab earth.

The FCTR/Wolf Pack Den, generously supplied by the Perrys. This was the place where plans were made, stories were told, cookies were eaten, blisters were proudly displayed and naps were taken.

Mindy, making a smooth hand-off to Brian as day turns to night and the race is only half done.

Brian, Mindy and Rob enjoying the post race sunrise and some hot drinks.

The Fort Collins Trail Runners and the Wolf Pack- Proud Runners from Fort Collins
Very Extreme!

Check out these posts from other members of the FCTR team:

Friday, March 25, 2011


After 3 months of logging big miles and hard runs, I am finally starting to feel like it is paying off. Tonight I ran a PR of almost a minute on the 3.4 mile, 1600+ vertical ft climb that is Towers Road. I was so excited at the top that I ran around and showed my watch to everyone I could. I ran pretty hard and I had high hopes of breaking my previous best time of 37:49 that I ran last July, and pushed with everything up the last incline, but it didn't kill me. I feel like a 35:xx is quite possible by early summer. This was the boost that I needed to keep pushing out the big training weeks.

Tomorrow I am off to Moab for the 24 Hour Race with my FCTR team. We now have some competition from another FC extreme team made up of the fast and ferocious Cat, Celeste and Lindsey. It will be a fabulous weekend of fun and running in the desert.  You can watch the results at

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Madness - Race Day

It was a great day to be a trail runner in Fort Collins yesterday. 31 runners came out and ran the 9 mile, 23 mile, 34 mile or some other route along or around the Reservoir. Many spouses and children came to support their runners and celebrate at the post run BBQ. I am so glad to be part of such a wonderful group of people who find great joy in spending time outside, pushing themselves and supporting others, laughing and having fun. Here are some of the photo highlights of the day.
The 7:15 start group who all took on marathon+ distances around the reservoir and up in to Horsetooth and Lory

The 7:15 am group heads up the road towards the reservoir

Mr. October has a solo 7:55 am start on his 34 mile 6339' run

The 8:00 am start group was the largest and liveliest group of the day. They all headed out on some version of the 23 mile route.

Maddie helps pace the 8:00 group through the first 1/4 mile of their run

The 8:00 groups heads up the hill

The 9:00 am group was the best dressed and speediest group of the day. I was glad they let me tag along

Sarah and Kyle fly up the hill at the south end of the of the reservoir

Mindy looking very strong heading up towards Reservoir Ridge 14.4 miles in to the run

Bill, Jen and Karah crest the hill in Reservoir Ridge

Chris, Joselyne, Lindsey and Mindy coming in to the finish

Celebrating a good run -- double Chris' longest run ever. and 30+ minute improvement for Lindsey and Joselyne over their Moab times on a longer and hillier course

Jen, Cat, Celeste and Cherilyn finishing as a team.

Karah with an awesome finish to her longest run ever

Greg also finishing well

Sam comes in from a 35+ mile run to stay on track with his 200+ day streak and getting it done before dinner time.

Jennifer and Mary finishing their marathon+ run around the reservoir

Pete looking pretty fresh after 36.5 miles and 6460' of vertical. Of course this wasn't enough vertical for Pete so he went down to Boulder on Sunday for another 8000+ feet.

Brian, Marie and Ross ran more than 30 miles after some negotiating for the most "scenic" route

Official Race Results- numbers are a mix of finish times (clock and time of day), run distances and vertical ascents

Friday, March 18, 2011

March Madness 23 Mile Course Description

March Madness 23 mile Trail Run
· From start, head south on Platte Drive for 0.1 mile
· Left on Baxter 0.2 miles
· Right on 38E – up hill towards reservoir
· At 1.7 miles stay left at intersection with Centennial Dr.
· Pass Horsetooth Market at mile 3.6
· Pass turn out/reservoir overlook on east side of road at mile 4.4
· At mile 5.0, turn right off road and follow trail down on to Blue Sky Trail
· Turn right and head north on Blue Sky Trail
· At mile 5.5 pass Blue Sky Trail Head- restrooms available here
· Follow trail through marina and campgrounds and across road to Soderberg Trail Head mile 6.8- Restrooms available and water from red pump in parking lot
· Take Swan Johnson Trail from Trail Head.
· Mile 7.3, cross Towers Road and continue on Shoreline Trail
· Mile 8.3 merge on to Nomad Trail, continue north
· Mile 8.5 enter Lory State Park
· Mile 9.7 pass Mill Creek Trail, stay right
· Mile 9.8 Aurthur’s Rock Trail Head- restrooms
· Take the trail east around trail head parking lot. Take East Valley Trail
· Mile 12.2 pass Mtn. Bike Park. Cross road take trail towards West Valley and Group Picnic Area.
· Mile 12.3 take right on road towards Lory Visitor center.
· Mile 12.5 Pass Lory Visitor Center. Water available from pump in front of sign with fee information. This is the last place to get water.
· Follow road out of Lory and take a right on Lodgpole (paved road)
· Mile 14.4 – right on CR 23 Centennial.
· Mile 14.7 take left into Reservoir Ridge Trail Head and continue up Reservoir Ridge Trail (steep and rocky)
· Mile 15 turn right at trail junction
· Mile 15.4 stay left on trail above road.
· Mile 15.5 take Foothills Trail to the right – follow trail down (steep and rocky) below dam and then across road at the bottom at mile 16.5, cross bridge and follow trail back up to Centennial.
· Mile 17.1 cross to west side of road on Foothills Trial
· Mile 17.25 run through picnic area past bathroom (locked) above swim beach and follow trail to the right along the reservoir.
· Mile 18.25 stay right and follow trail up rock steps. Stay right at trail split at mile 18.4
· Mile 18.5 off trail through parking lot (bathrooms available) cross road at crosswalk and follow trail down. Stay left at A trail junction at mile 18.8 and continue down Foothills Trial in to Maxwell Natural Area.
· Mile 19.4 take trail to the right toward CSU stadium
· Mile 20.3 Maxwell Trail Head continue across road and follow trail down in to Pineridge Natural Area.
· Mile 20.4 take a left and follow trail across north end of Dixon Reservoir
· Mile 21.3 take left up short steep trail take right at the top and run along ridge for half a mile
· Mile 21.8 follow trail down to the left towards park
· Mile 22.2 continue straight at natural area sign
· Mile 22.3 follow trail left along wood fence and out on to Horsetooth Road (paved). Follow Horsetooth to Platte Drive at mile 22.5 and turn left.
· Follow Platte Drive to finish line at mile 23.0

Monday, March 14, 2011


Today was one of the more perfect days I have seen in Northern Colorado in some time. Yesterday afternoon's rain and this morning's fog left a wonderous damp earthy smell in the air. The sun and blue skies broke through just as I was rounding the south end of Horsetooth Reservoir. As I dropped off the road on to the Blue Sky Trail, 5 miles in to my run, the birds were singing and spring was definitely in the air.

I ran the full 23 mile March Madness course and took careful notes of turns and mileages which I will post later in the week. My GPS measured the course at precisely 23 miles and just over 2100 feet of vertical. The trail is in great shape and if next Saturday is anything like today, it will be a great run.

Ean, Mindy and Chris ran the 10 mile route which turns out to be closer to 9 miles. The first 1.7 miles and the last 4.5 miles are the same as the 23 and 34 mile routes. The middle 2.8 miles run along Centennial (CR 23) over the first two dams and up a couple good climbs.

I went out for another quick run with Shadow at 7 pm tonight in shorts and t-shirt and no headlamp, just because I could. I love daylight savings. I finished the week with 90 miles that included a 10 x 400 meter workout on Wednesday, a 39:30 ascent of Towers on Thursday night and a 20:10 5K yesterday at Sharin' O' the Green. I plan to run 100 miles next week with a good portion of that at 8000+ feet in Nathrop and Buena Vista, where I will also spend as much time as possible easing tired muscles in the hot pool at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs.

All looks good for the plans for next weekend. Look for more details later this week. Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 13, 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.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March Mileage Madness

Since December is too long to wait until another trail runner event, on March 19 we will be hosting a spring long run/race/social outing/adventure. The start and finish will be at my house on Platte Dr. where we have dinner after the Thursday night Pineridge runs. There will be two course options. Both routes take you up 38E and around the reservoir in a clockwise direction. The shorter option runs along the valley trails in HT and Lory and then back via Reservoir Ridge, Maxwell and Pineridge and totals about 23 miles (7 on roads and 16 on trail) with a few moderate climbs. The other option, Pete's route, goes to the top of both rocks and totals close to 35 miles with quite a bit of vertical. There will be multiple start times on Saturday morning so that we can all finish close together in the early afternoon for food, BBQ, drinks, stories and maybe some awards.

We will plan on having start times at 7:00 am, 8:00 am and 9:00 am with the goal being to finish between 12:00 and 2:00 for BBQ, beer and potluck. The short course is all very runnable with some good hills on the road in the first few miles and a good climb on the Foothills trail west of the dam. I plan to run it in around 3:30, so I am going to go with the 9:00 am start. I think I'll try to go out and run it this weekend and then I can post exact mileage, elevation gain and a course profile.

The long course has all the climbs of the short course plus the big climbs to the top of Horsetooth Rock and Aurthur's Rock. This will add another 3000+ feet to the day. Pete and I ran this route at a casual pace last spring and I think it took us around 7 hours.

There are multiple places to fill water and even some bathrooms along the way. I don't know if we'll be able to set up any aid stations, so you'll need to plan on carrying all your food and gear.

Plan on bringing food or drinks to share for after the run. If the weather is good, we'll BBQ outside. You can put stuff in the fridge before the run. We'll set up the start and finish line in the driveway.

Send me an email or post a comment if you have any questions. Lets hope the good weather holds out for us and it should be a great day.

Click on the image below for a map of the 23 mile course. You can zoom in to get trail detail.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

FCTR Extreme Team at 24 Hours of Utah the Run

It is now official, I am going back to Moab March 25-27 for the 24 Hour race with an awesome FCTR Extreme (Extreme because there are less than 6 of us) Co-ed team. Joselyne, Rob, Brian, Mindy and I will run the race as relay trying to run as many laps of the 5.5 mile dirt and slick rock loop as we can in 24 Hours. I ran this race solo in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, I ran 11 laps in 13 and a half hours for just under 60 miles making it my longest run ever. It was a great training run for my first 50 miler, the San Juan Solstice 50, that I ran 3 months later. I went back in 2009 and ran one more lap for 64.5 miles and then stopped to go to sleep. Surprisingly I placed 3rd in the male solo division. The event is a mixture of a long training run and family camp out since most racers and their families camp at the start/finish line. It should be a lot of fun to run this race as a relay, because it will allow for a fair bit of running and considerable time to hang out with friends at the base camp and watch the race happen. It will also be a good opportunity to work on running in the middle of the night when I'm already tired which is one of the bigger challenges of running 100 mile race. Camping, running, family, friends . . . these are many of my favorite things so I'm sure it will be a great weekend in Moab. Below are some pictures from the 2009 race.

Base Camp

Coming back up the road in the morning to check in after the first 5.5 mile loop

Part of the upper section of the course- Micah and Maddie enjoyed a day on the rocks

The desert sunset is always remarkable