Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ponderous Posterior 50K

The final installment of the Front Range Fat Asses (preceded by the Boulder Basic on October 30th and the Fort Collins Chubby Cheeks on December 18th) will be the PP 50K (Ponderous Posterior or Pikes Peak, whichever you prefer)  in Colorado/Manitou Springs on January 15th.  Here is a map:

Click for a larger version: start at JT's house on 31st St (right hand side of map)
and proceed in a counter-clockwise fashion.

Here is a Terrain Map version for a little more insight into the topography of the route:

Looks to be about right at 30 miles.

And here is a MapMyRun-produced profile:

Should only be about 6k' of climbing, with a high point of nearly 9200'.
 And here is a link to the MapMyRun file that will allow you to look at satellite imagery and inspect the exact trails that we'll all be experiencing.

PP Route Description:
Starting from JT's house on 31st we will run a few minutes of pavement and snake through the Garden of the Gods via the Dakota Ridge and Bretag Trails.  We'll exit the Garden by hopping a fence for a couple premium miles of singletrack on the Navigators property before climbing quite steeply to the west for a half-mile or so to gain Rampart Range Road.

Run up RRR for ~3mi to the radio towers before turning left/down onto some singletrack and dropping into incredibly scenic Williams Canyon.  After a mile and a half or so of winding down-canyon the course will turn to the right up a drainage for ~1mi that will connect into the Waldo Canyon Loop at the top of the climb.  Turn right onto the Waldo trail and run it counter-clockwise all the way down to Highway 24 and the Waldo Trailhead.

Cross the Highway with care (there may be an informal aid station in this parking lot), crawl through the big metal gate on the other side, and run UP Longs Ranch Road for ~3mi and 2000+' to the high point of the course at ~9200'.  This is the monster climb of the run.  At the top, turn left/down through the Experimental Forest and connect into the famous Barr Trail at No Name Creek.  Run ~3mi down Barr Trail to Ruxton Ave and Manitou Springs and then turn right onto the Intemann Trail at the Iron Spring.  Follow the signs for the Intemann/Ring The Peak Trail traversing above town.  Eventually pop out onto Crystal Park Road for 1mi+ of paved uphill running and turn left back onto the Intemann Trail (nice big wooden sign marking the trailhead).

Run this for ~2mi until turning left onto a marked trail to connect into Red Rocks Open Space.  Run through Red Rocks (there will be a lot of hopefully reasonably marked junctions through here, but the general idea is to just keep heading down, towards the highway and the Open Space's very developed railhead/parking lot), recross Highway 24 and Colorado Ave on Ridge Rd, take a right onto Pikes Peak Ave and run this back east for just over a mile back to the Start/Finish at JT's house.


More details to come as the date gets closer, but this is a gathering open to all with the route having several shorter bail-out options---there's no need to complete the full ~30mi loop in order to take part in the fun.  The run will also adhere to strict Fat Ass Rules: No Fee, No Aid, No Awards, No Whining.

An 8AM start from JT's house is preferable, but again, earlier starts/shorter loops are certainly acceptable so as to facilitate an early-afternoon post-run lie-telling session back at JT's abode.  The idea is to get out for a friendly, possibly semi-competitive group run that showcases many of the endless classic trail options in the Pikes Peak region that many out-of-towners are probably not familiar with while still incorporating the super-classic lower three miles of the Barr Trail (W's, etc.) that everyone is familiar with.

A few images from the planned PP course:

The run starts with a view something shockingly similar to this.
A motley crew running up Rampart Range Road, with a big mountain behind.
A panoramic of the little-known Williams Canyon we'll drop into.
Photo: Harsha Nagaraj
Climbing up the connector btwn Williams and Waldo.
Photo: Steve Bremner.

The views of Pikes from Waldo can't be beat. Photo: Larry Dewitt.
Some goofballs on the Longs Ranch Road climb (our gracious host on the left).
Photo: Larry Dewitt
...which can get awfully steep at times. Photo: Larry Dewitt.
Everyone knows what descending Barr Trail looks like.
A view of Pikes from the Intemann Trail above Manitou Springs.
Red Rocks Canyon Open Space--the final terrain of the course.


R. Logan Brooks said...

I wish I had the pleasure of running this route with ya Tony. Enjoy and good luck.

brownie said...

We can cut out Ridge Road/Pikes Peak Ave and run the trails in Red Rock Canyon all the way over to 31st Street, cuts out a little of the roads.

Manitou has worked out a deal to buy the land behind the cemetery, so eventually the Intemann trail will get completed and you can skip the mile of road.

Anton said...

JT-Good call...I've never connected those trails that head over to 31st. Just a bop over the ridge I imagine. Is the cemetery land part of the Iron Mountain deal (i.e. the mountain with the house right on top)?

Unknown said...

Tony what would you expect the weather to be like that time of year? Also will the route be marked? I might not quite be able to keep up with you.


brownie said...

Yeah, all part of that Iron Mountain deal. I believe the Intemann will run behind the cemetery and connect to the overlook. Not sure if we'd be able to do it in January, but I'll look into it.

Rick and I and possibly some others will be marking the course on Friday. And we will have an aid station at the Waldo parking lot, so bring a bag of stuff to toss into my truck.

Nick said... JT *running* that hill!

Anton said...

Brad--It would have to be a full-on blizzard for the run to not occur. The weather just never really gets that bad in the Springs (or, when it does, it only lasts a day or maybe two). Also, essentially all of this route stays packed out in the winter, especially with the Incline Club running up Longs Ranch Road on Sundays (this is the only section of the course that is relatively off-the-beaten-path). But, if there's a fresh foot of powder, it's just all that much more fun :-)

Seriously, in the middle of January, there is almost as good a chance that it'll be 50-70F as there is that it'll be blowing snow, especially with La Nina this year.

In my nine years of experience, the next month or so is generally the most miserable temperature-wise on the Front Range with things becoming noticeably more mild after the first of the year. One year in college I ran/hiked up Pikes in shorts in January. I think COS has to have the most mild true four-season climate of just about anywhere in the country.

Jesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thanks for the info Tony. Sounds like a lot of fun. I think I might have to try to make it.

Anton said...

Marian-The MapMyRun file contains a link to a .kml file of the route that automatically opens in Google Earth. Just click on the "View Route in 3D" link.

Texafornia said...

The outline of the run looks oddly like the shape of Australia.

Anton - After reading last week's comments, I think you might save a lot of time answering the same questions over and over again by creating a short F.A.Q. page. You could list your usual diet, shoes, and whatever questions that people ask repeatedly. Whenever somebody asks, some of your fans will probably post that link back to that person far faster than even you could. It's a great time saver so you can be out running instead of re-typing the same answers repeatedly.

Brick said...


I agree it does look a bit like Australia.
But it is a lot hotter already in Sydney than it will be for many months at PP.

I wish it was a s cool as you guy' are having it, I don't do so well in hot humid conditions.
And I have Coast To Kosciuszko 240km 10 Dec 2010.
Wish Anton would come over to do some of our 100 milers.

I can put you up Anton in Sydney.

Texafornia said...

Brick -

I live in Central Texas. Not very hilly and ridiculously hot and humid in the summer. I've visited Colorado often and wished I lived there, but I'll make do with Texas winters, which are relatively mild.

I'm doing the Rocky Raccoon in Huntsville, TX in Feb. Can't wait!

Runner, Writer, Reader said...

what's are the trails like in boulder in january? i was thinking about visiting in late january for a few days of trail running and i'm not used to snow running. and is there a weekly long run group there in boulder?

sarah said...


An awesome route....I will post this to our women's running group here in the Springs....there are a few wackos like me that would attempt this run.....if you want more folks, get the word to the Incline Club group....


brownie said...

Sweet, an all-woman's running club coming to my house!

Paul DeWitt said...

giddyup - I've run like 8 days since Halloween and am chomping at the bit. JT as long as there is pizza, beer, and a crapper waiting at your house I think I can do it.

Drew said...

Tony - Can you put me on the email list for the Pikes Peak run on the 15th. Thanks, Drew

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