A perfect day for running greeted adventure seekers on April 23, 2016 for the 6th annual Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race. In addition to the usual 25 and 50k runs, a 10k was added to provide an opportunity for shorter distance runners to enjoy beautiful Cheyenne Mountain State Park and participate in this magnificent trail race. Putting on this race required many volunteers who pitched in to assure the race was successful and “The Great Harvest Bread Company provided coffee and some sweet things to eat on race morning for all the volunteers.”.
Other organizations deserve special thanks for helping to create a memorable experience for volunteers, runners and fans, including a local charity. Race Director Tim Bergsten commented, “This race has always had a cool vibe about it, but when we added Achilles Pikes Peak as our nonprofit partner, the event started to mean so much more. Trail runners are caring and giving people I think, and what is more important than helping folks with disabilities to experience the trails as we do?”. Mad Moose Events provided timing equipment and results tracking for the race, DJ Ron Perry provided PA equipment and awesome music at the start and finish line staging area and the Roman Villa was at the finish line serving excellent local cuisine.
Recent heavy Colorado spring snows had put racing in the park in question and actually postponed a Rattler Trail Race that was to be held the week before. Rattler registrations were honored by the Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race and added to the already enthusiastic participation. Said Director Bergsten, “This was an easy decision. My experience is that the Colorado Springs running community, like many others, is inclusive and supportive. We were happy to host the Rattler Trail Race runners.”.
Fortunately Colorado Springs was treated to plenty of nice warm days during the prior week and the trail was in near perfect condition for a race. Most of the trail was fast and dry and minor wet spots on the trail in a couple shady areas were little impediment to the determined runners. Predictions of high winds failed to materialize and a light cloud cover provided perfect conditions for an ultra marathon.
In the 50k distance, Justin Ricks and Tracy Thelen took early and insurmountable leads on the figure eight trail through dense forest, beautiful meadows and magnificent vistas overlooking the park and the city. Justin took first place overall in the long run with a time of 4:01:54.8 while Tracy topped the woman’s division with a time of 5:05:07.9. Andy Wacker took first overall in the 25k distance with a time of 1:37:50.4 while Stevie Kremer claimed victory for the women with a time of 1:57:13.3. 10k first place honors went to Horsecow Lonac with a time of 42:38.0 and K.K. Paul won first for the women, crossing the finish line in 45:12.6.
Runners, volunteers and race fans were all delighted by the event and the stellar spring day in the beautiful mountain park. Many are already looking forward to another go at this challenging trail next year.