Thursday, April 26, 2012

Big Mountain Trail Run Race Report

On Saturday I ran in the Big Mountain Trail Run that was put on by Big Mountain Adventure Racing.  The race  was at North Cheyenne Canon Park, and consisted of a 1/2 marathon, 10K, and 5K.  I was really looking forward to this race, as it was advertised as 90% single track, and a downhill finish.

Above is the map of the run.  The first mile was a pretty steady climb up, but nothing too crazy.  I was happy that I could push through most of the smaller switchbacks and climbs without slowing down too much.  However, just past the first mile was an intense series of switchbacks.  I mean the kind where look above you and see at least 3 separate lines of runners zig-zagging up... and by then they were all speed hiking up because of the steepness and the loose dirt.  This tough climb continued on to pretty much the 2.5 mile mark where an aid station was set up on Gold Camp Road (X point at the top of the map).

From the aid station, the course turned to running on Gold Camp Road.  Above is a picture of one of the old train tunnels on the road (not positive this is the same one.. I didn't bring a camera).  Felt great to run through the tunnel after refilling on water and making the tough climb.  It was nice and cool :-)

From there the course was another .5 or more along the road (and still a steady climb) until reaching the next connector back to the single-track back down the hill.  I was so happy to hit this point as I knew it was all downhill (well mostly) from there and I could take advantage of making up time from the climb, as well as recover a bit.

The trail itself was beautiful... I wish I wasn't in a hurry so I could have enjoyed some of the views more, but I tried.  I'm going to have to go up there again sometime when its not a race to check it out. I ended up finishing at 1:12, which I was happy with... considering my first (and only other 10K) was mostly road running and I did that bout 30s slower than this one.  Achilles was still nagging me.. especially on the uphills, but a couple of Advil kept it quiet most of the time.

Here are a few more shots borrowed from the Big Mountain website.  Again... some amazing views and really fun trail running.   Also, this was the first year this race was held, and I was impressed with the way it was organized.  Chip timing for everyone, free burritos from a local restaurant, plus plenty of other snacks and beverages available. Oh and a coupon for free beer at Phanton Canyon Brewery!!  The trail was well marked and staffed also.

Also, there were a few vendors on site which was cool.  I got to check out the New Balance Minimus Zero trail shoe... Wow.. talk about a light weight shoe! It literally felt like it should be disposable or something... would love to try some out, but they almost seemed like too little for a rough trail.

Courtesy of

Another great thing about the race is that a friend decided to sign up at the last minute.  That was really nice, since I generally don't know anyone at these races (I haven't been to many yet), so end up standing around looking at what shoes everyone is wearing.  Anyway.. here is a funny pic from the start of the race... seems like every race photo of me is goofy...  or maybe its not the photo.. its just me :-)

So what's next?  yep.. it's time for the Bolder Boulder 10K again!  I am really looking forward to this one. I've walked it the past 4 years, but this will be the first time I actually run!  It is such a great event with live bands all along the route, people partying in the front yards like crazy...   followed by a great Memorial day event at the CU stadium (complete with Armed Forces paratroopers and fly overs)  and where we can watch the conclusion of the professional racers after we complete our run.  Ok..  you all know how slow I am, but I am going to put it out there.  My goal for my 3rd 10K is to finish under 1 hour...   I know that still sounds slow, but for an old overweight guy like me, it would be great!

Have a great weekend...  get out and do something fun!

Happy trails...



  1. So happy that I was able to be a fun diversion on race day Jeff! Although I don't look any fun in the photo above. I was already in that "ugg...we're running" phase :) Hope we can do another race together, but not sure about the 1/2 on this one. It kicked my butt!!! Need to work my uphills.

  2. Every time I read about a trail race, I swear my heart rate picks up. It's almost as if I can feel a hill climb coming up! HAHAHA! The weather looked so beautiful, a perfect race day!

    You always leave me with location envy! :)

  3. that look on you face is priceless. you look so happy!!!!

    back when i could run, i was wearing nike lunaracers which also seem "too light" but hold up better than expected.

    super jelly!!!

  4. Walking on air!!! What a gorgeous looking race!
    I'll be running Boulder too!!

  5. What a great race, that trail looks like so much fun and the scenery breathtaking. Sucks to live in Colorado, huh? :) Glad you had a great race, the trails sure have a different feel to them than the roads.

    BB will be really fun. I haven't run that race in a couple years, and won't this year either (my son's doing a big trail race in Gunnison so I'm going to tag along :)). You'll have a blast running it this year and seeing what the legs got in ya! :).


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