Saturday I decided to run somewhere different. As I complained about the other day, I have been feeling a bit bored by the same old runs. With the Wild West Relay and pace duties at Leadville looming in the near future, I decided to go up in altitude to get some higher altitude training.
I chose to go to Rampart Resevoir, site of the Pony Express Run in the fall. This is my report on the trail.
Getting up to trail head at an early hour was the hardest part of the run...the weather had cooled somewhat and the bed sure felt good. If it were not for mother nature giving me a wakeup call, I might have opted to snuggle a little deeper in the bed. Once up and getting the coffee (magic elixer) going, I decided I could probably do this. The temperature was good for a long run and the forcast was for moderate conditons....sorry Trail Nerds and Mud Babes....no rain in sight.
It is an hour drive to the resevoir so I headed out with coffee and muffin in hand.
Thing were quiet at the trailhead, only 4 cars so plenty of parking (better than trying for parking at the Barr Trail trailhead!). I decided to wear the full pack with water in case I needed a lot to drink, and I wanted to test how it did on a long run before I used it at leadville.
The trail starts with a 1 1/2 mile downhill to the resevoir then at a small bridge, you can opt to go right or left. Going left is the harder direction. It will be almost 10 miles to the dam and this part contains most of the up/down hill terrain. I prefer getting the work over with early.
It is deceiving at the start as you can see the dam across the water and it really does not look all that far...and it isn't if you can swim....but the trail follows a bunch of fingers that add miles to the course. Don't believe your eyes even when the dam looks only a 1/2 mile away...you have several miles to go.
As I ran along, I thought back on all the fun I had at the psycho-wyco and the freestate marathon and realized that all you Trail Nerds and Mud Babes would be totally devastated by the lack of the one thing that they groove on...MUD!!! But all is not lost, as I did find a small mud patch at about 6 miles that they could cavort in so that it can be consider a real run...
Reaching the dam at about 9.5 miles, you have about a 1/2 miles of pavement to cross then pick up the tail on the other side...the good thing is that you are 2/3 of the way done and the hard work is out of the way. The worse part of the return is the 1 1/2 mile uphill from the bridge to the trail head.
Anyone out there coming to Colorado Springs should check out my website at http://farrunner.com for trail and map information on this trail. I know it does not sound exciting to the Trail Nerd because of the lack of mud but maybe mid winter we can offer a foot or more of snow to make up for it.
Dedicated to Trail Running, Hiking, and Biking in the Colorado Springs and surrounding area. I will also comment at times on running and more specifically ultra-running when I have something I am interested in.
I am a long time runner with a passion for trails. I have been running marathons and ultra marathons for 30+ years. Age has crept up so I have scaled back my races but I still try to hit the trails almost every day. I have started mapping local trails on my website http://farrunner.com so people can see what is available in the Colorado Springs Area.