Thursday, June 11, 2009

Horsetooth Mountain Trail Races: Nick, you're an arse


I'm not sure how wise it is to be racing five days before Bighorn, but that's what I intend to do. I've been back and forth on this one in my mind all week, and know full well that I have nothing to gain in running this race and lots to lose, but so be it: live by the sword, die by the sword. The race is taking place on the trails I train on daily, so the temptation to lay one down is just too strong to resist.

Originally I had planned on doing the 13-mile, two-loop version of the race in a bid to put to rest two horrible times I have run over the course in recent years, plus I really, really want to race Corey Hanson: three-time champ, course record holder and friend, but as a concession to the wiser side of my brain I'm just going to race the 7.5-mile version.

The course is 60% rocky, rooty singletrack and 40% forest service road, climbing close to 2,000 feet. A blow-by-blow description of the course can be found here.

On the Horsetooth trail

Halfway up the first climb there is a nasty set of steps to negotiate

There is always a good stable of local runners who show up for this race, and there was chatter on the Fort Collins Trail Runner listserv yesterday from a number of guys who sound like they'll be gunning for course records. This got my competitive juices flowing, but the icing on the cake was news that a "German trail running champ" is signed up and looking to show the locals how to run trail. I don't know if he's doing the short course or long course, but being a Brit I really don't need much more motivation!

I have a pretty good understanding of my competitive nature these days and know full well that if I line up at the start, I'll be giving it whatever it takes to cross the line first. I'm just hoping the short distance and familiar terrain will make this a relatively stress-free affair with regards to recovery. I feel like something of an arse for potentially jeopardizing my chances at Bighorn, a race that I've been working towards for months, but, well, I guess I'm gonna spin the wheel.


  1. What day is that, Sat or Sun? If Sun, I may be able to come up. Couldn't find much on the

  2. Race is early Sunday (7:30, I think). It's $20 pre-reg and $25 on the day. No website. Check out link on the post for a course description.

  3. Thanks. I'll see how Saturday goes and then make the call.

  4. Good luck, Nick. Seems most o my friends are running Big Horn.
    Look for Eric Binder, too. He is a bit of a goose. He often doesn't do so well, but when he does, he can win. Very nice guy. Worth meeting and knowing.