Cheyenne Mountain Park was buzzing with activity on Sunday as Xterra hosted it’s 8th annual trail race series. I had come down to Colorado Springs on Saturday night so I could avoid a lengthy drive on race morning. The park is situated directly across from Fort Carson near the very south tip of town.
I opted to run the 1/2 marathon as I was still kinda beat up from the 50K I ran in Wisconsin the previous week, as well as trying to shake a minor case of the sniffels that I had all week – most certainly the result of traveling and a long week at work. The only explanation I can offer up as to why I subject myself to such torture is a simple: I love doing this. I love to travel and test myself in new environments. I love meeting people who are just as crazy as I am, and I love the thrill of confronting the unknown.
The race went off at 8am just as planned, and I knew fairly early this was just gonna be a non-competitive, maintenance-type of run for me.
The race winds back and forth through the trails near the base of mountain, and features some pretty technical terrain – definitely a course for intermediate level trail runners. I had a tough time finding a pace since my mind wanted to go faster than my body would allow. This frustrated me initially, but I eventually found solace in just tuning in to the trail and just having fun, after-all I thought to myself, what’s the point of any of this if I’m not having fun?
Several stream crossings made things interesting, as I finally got see how my puregrits performed wet – and just as I suspected, they did amazing. Thanks Brooks!
Before I knew it, I came up on mile 13 and decided to finish the last .1 miles in my characteristic sprinting fashion. I ended up with a time of 2:19, 4th in my age group and somewhere around 40th out of over 150 people. Not my best moment or performance out on the trails but as good as it could’ve been under the circumstances. This was my first race in Colorado Springs and back at altitude, which if nothing else served as a good readjustment to Colorado trail running.
Thanks to Xterra, Cheyenne Mountain State Park, and the tenants at the Travelstar Inn for helping me round-out my spanish skills.