The week started off with a solid finish at the second leg of the Triple Crown of Running – the Summer Roundup. What a great turn out and beautiful morning for the race. Over 600 runners tackled the tough course through Bear Creek Park and up High Drive. The out and back format provides an opportunity to see the leaders flying down High Drive as you’re still sucking wind up to the turn around and the encouragement from the other runners in either direction is awesome.
The day after the Summer Roundup, I took off with the kids for a tour of some of our great National Parks and Monuments in the southwest which also included a couple great hikes and trail runs. Our first stop was in the Black Canyons of the Gunnison. I hadn’t heard too much about this park, but what a gem and a beautiful canyon! We stayed overnight in Durango and the next morning I ran the Animas Trail above Durango. The trail was pretty technical and seemed to climb forever, but provided a great view over the city.
On Tuesday, we hit Mesa Verde National Park with hikes to the Long House cliff dwellings, Badger House Community, and Spruce Tree House.
Wednesday, what else, the Grand Canyon! I hadn’t been to the Grand Canyon in over 30 years and what an amazing place. We spent the afternoon and evening mostly doing a driving tour of the park with stops at most of the overlooks and some short hikes thrown in here and there along the Rim Trail. Thursday morning I got up early and to the trail at sun up for a run down the Bright Angel Trail. I managed to get down to Indian Gardens and back up before the kids got up and before the mules started down the trail.
The park tour week ended with stops at Natural Bridges National Monument and the Arches National Park before getting back to Colorado Springs just in time for the Barr Trail Mountain Race.
I can’t say the Barr Trail Mountain Race was my best race, but I am satisfied with my result and it at least gives me a gauge of where I’m at in terms of training for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. Of course only half a gauge really since BTMR only goes up to Barr Camp and back, and I haven’t been above Barr Camp yet this year. Yikes! I think 3-2-1's are in my near future.
Although the week started and ended with some great races, I must say that the highlight of the week for me was the time spent with my kids visiting some spectacular places!