It was a beautiful Saturday for a race through the scenic Bergen Park in Evergreen, Colorado. After coming off the Mount Werner 50K on 8/3 and the Stinger Trail Marathon on 8/18 I needed something a little less strenuous this past weekend, plus I think it was great race to do going into Absaroka this Saturday. It was a good readjustment to the “spikey” cardio needed for shorter distance races.
The race twists and turns up the switchbacks of Elk Meadow and Too Long Trail, eventually leading you to the 9,000ft summit of Bergen Peak and back. This is one of my fav spots to run, so I was having a field day. Some of the inclines are tough, but I felt great as I had gotten in a full week of recovery prior to this race. I had managed to pass some people going up, and once turning back to head down from the summit, I felt like I was flying. This trail is fast and fun – passing through lush aspen and evergreen forest, and some occasional rock beds.
I took a mild spill near the base of the mountain, bloodying up my knee and hand, but I immediately got up and continued down, virtually un-phased as I was so caught up in how much fun I was having and how good I felt. I’ve learned some runs are suffer-fests where my body simply doesn’t wanna perform well no matter what I do, and others the stars and planets align just right for a “feel-good run-good” performance. This was definitely the later.
I was excited to reach the base of the mountain, as I knew the finish was probably only about a mile away. For me, this is where I tap into the “reserve” tank and top that off with adrenaline to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. I kicked up the pace even more and crossed the finish line at 2:04:49, 1st in 20-29 age division, 8th overall. I earned a free race, sweet!
All-n-all, a great simple race and a fun trail. The race is self sustained so plan to bring your own water source if you run it. Snacks after the race were tasty, and everyone involved was friendly and supportive. Free yoga session was offered after to avoid leg cramping.
Thanks to Evergreen Parks and Rec for the race. I’ll be back!
Evergreen Parks and Rec on FB: https://www.facebook.com/EvergreenParkandRecreation