The alarm went off at 5:30am and I rolled out of bed. I had my running clothes all laid out so I could get dressed quickly. I drank some water and headed over to the Garden of the Gods. As I was driving into the Garden, the moon was still up and it was dark. I thought to myself, nothing like a trail run on rocky terrain at night.
I pulled into the main parking lot and was surprised to see a lot of people already there. They were all geared up with cold weather running gear and head lamps while they were jumping up and down trying to keep warm. I signed the waiver at the table that Dave Sorenson was manning. (That guy is pretty amamzing, were lucky to have a guy like him here.) Some brief announcements were made. First, they're not sure how long this training run has been going on. They suspect around 20 years. Second, all the different groups were introduced. There's the fast road runners that run at about a 7 minute pace. The middle of the pack road runners and the social road runners who run at about a 10 minute pace. Then there was the Sunrise Striders, the fast trail running group and then there was a middle of the pack running group.
I was going to run with the middle of the pack trail runners but decided to go for it and run with the fast running group instead. I"m glad that I did because it was a great run although I'm not sure I've ever run that fast through the Garden before. We really worked the hills and I was dragging at the end. Luckily, towards the end, Mike, the leader of the Sunrise Striders was there to encourage me and a few others up the last few hills.
It really turned out to be a great run through an awesome place that is close to my heart.
If you were out there, I hope you had a great run. If you weren't out there then think about showing up on Thursday. There really is something for everyone and everyone was very friendly.
See you Thursday morning in Garden of the Gods!