It always amazes me how fast these races sneak up on you once the season begins. The first leg of the Triple Crown of Running is in the books and just when you thought you could take a breather, BAM!, here comes the Summer Round Up Trail Run. Each of the Triple Crown races present their own unique challenges whether it be the distance, the course, or just your own personal challenges.
According to the Summer Round Up website, the race has earned the nickname of “the mystery course run,” because of the many course changes over the race’s 15-year history. The latest iteration is run in the east side of Bear Creek Regional Park. The race is shorter than the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile at just under 7.5 miles, but has plenty of hills that you get to repeat in case you didn’t like them the first time around. I must say though, I do miss the old course but did get my fill of High Drive during the High Drive Challenge.
With the shorter distance of the Summer Round Up and less demanding hills, the biggest challenge for me is not to overlook the Summer Round Up. Most people put a lot of effort in training for the first race in the Garden and then tent to shift the focus towards either the Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon. I’m no different. After the Garden, I started thinking about the up, up, up, and the altitude of the Peak. So, this past weekend, altitude training and long climbs/descents commenced.
As Danielle noted in her post, we headed to Leadville this past weekend. The beauty never gets old!
(Turquoise Lake with Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert in the background)
Of course, the advantage of being in Leadville is the town sits at 10,200 ft, so even a run around town provides some altitude benefit. The first day in Leadville is always interesting. I usually feel out of shape when go out for that first run at altitude or even walk up the stairs for that matter. We did get a couple good training runs in and re-lived some of the past glory days. Well for me anyway, not so much for Danielle since I wasn’t the best pacee during the Leadville 100. She got stuck crewing for me the entire race and was my pacer for the last leg. I was irritable after the first 25 miles, so you can imagine what I was like after 86.5 miles and 21+ hours. Sorry Danielle! She was a trooper though and definitely kept me going over that last stretch. Both the Leadville 100 Trail Run and TransRockies Run were both great experiences.
In addition to the morning runs, we also got a couple good hikes in with my daughter Caitlin and her friend Ashley. We hiked along Turquoise Lake one day which is absolutely beautiful, and up Hagerman Pass to the old Douglas City mining camp another day.
Caitlin and Ashley really liked the creek crossings. I even managed to get a mountain bike ride in while the girls did a portion of the Colorado Trail at Tennessee Pass. I rode the first part of the LT100 Trail MTB course from town up St. Kevin’s to Carter Summit and back. Most of the snow on St. Kevin’s actually melted, so I could actually get through this week. The climb still kicked my butt, however. Danielle doesn’t think she’s ready for the Ascent (she’s going to rock it), well, I’m not even close to being ready for the either the Peak or the LT100 Trail MTB! I did manage to stay upright during the ride, so I guess that’s a plus. I think I might need new brakes on the bike though. I’m a chicken on the downhills.