The Summer Roundup is probably the lesser known of the three races that comprise the Triple Crown of Running. As indicated on my profile for the 2013 PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Runners Team page, I consider the Summer Roundup a bonus race sandwiched in between the Garden of the Gods 10-Miler and Pikes Peak. Although I have run the Summer Roundup course a few times over the past few weeks, the focus after the Garden always tends to shift towards the Peak for some reason. Maybe it is that love-hate relationship with High Drive or the reality that the Peak is now less than 2 months away and I’ve barely made it up to Barr Camp.
Although the Summer Roundup doesn’t probably get the attention it deserves, it is a challenging course itself. Most people tend to focus on High Drive, perhaps because of the long steady climb. I, myself, have been known to do a few hill repeats on High Drive. But to me, the more challenging part of the course is in Bear Creek Park. The heart rate spikes right out of the shoots as you head up the Bear Creek Regional Trail. There are some short downhill sections that do let you catch your breath back as you wind through the park, but it seems as if there’s more uphill than downhill. You eventually get a little reprieve as you descend down onto Bear Creek Road and then the long steady climb begins. Hopefully you can find a rhythm here to make it to the top of High Drive. After the turn around, you feel like you’re flying as you descend down High Drive headed back to the park. There’s a little climb back into the park, but the toughest section to me and the one that I struggle with the most is the short hill by the houses adjacent to Orion Drive. Once you make it over though, you feel like you’re home free!
This past weekend, I took a break from the usual Barr Trail training and ventured up to Rampart Reservoir for the first time since the Waldo Canyon fire. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. Waldo Canyon was one of my favorite runs along with Rampart Reservoir so I was looking forward to getting back up there.
The run around the reservoir provided such a stark contrast with lush green trees, flowers and vegetation around most of the reservoir to sections that were completely scorched. Although there were signs of the ground vegetation coming back.
My running buddy Danielle, who was running the trail for the first time, provided the perfect synopsis afterwards:
“It was the perfect run. Rolling hills, water, cool morning. The burn area from last year sobering. The water rushing under the bridge invigorating. The reservoir peaceful. Perfect morning. Can’t wait to repeat!”
Me either Danielle. And we'll turn you into a trail runner yet! lol! I can't wait to run it again and look forward to Waldo Canyon opening back up also. I hope the Pikes Peak Road Runners' Pony Express run is back this year as well as that’s one of my favorite races to do at the end of summer. Run happy!