Garden of the Gods 10 Mile and 10k Photos

June 16th, 2016

Garden of the Gods 10 Mile and 10k

On Sunday I went out to Garden of the Gods to the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile and 10k running race. I shot a bunch of photos. You can see a few below and there are links to 4 sets of photos.

Set 1
Set 2
Set 3
Set 4

Dirty Du Run Photos 2014

November 7th, 2014

Dirty Du Run 2014

The 2014 Dirty Du was in Ute Valley Park last Saturday. It started with a 5k run, followed by 9 miles of mountain bike and ending with another run on the 5k course. There were options to do it was an individual or on a team as a relay. Race results are here.

I went over and shot photos of the race. Here are some photos from the run portions. The full Dirty Du run photo set is here. The Dirty Du mountain bike photo set is here. You can purchase digital downloads or prints.

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Western States 100 Movie Showing Benefits Manitou Incline

December 6th, 2011

Another endurance movie showing is coming to Colorado Springs and it benefits the Incline Friends. The new documentary “Unbreakable: The Western States 100,” is showing at Stargazers Theatre on December 7th at 7 PM. Doors open at 6 p.m. and top ultra runners Anton Krupicka, Geoff Roes and Anita Ortiz will be there.

The film by Journeyfilm’s JB Benna follows the footsteps of four extraordinary athletes, including Krupicka and Roes of Boulder, as they prepare for the 2010 race and the daunting challenge of running 100 miles across the Sierra Nevada, some of the most rugged country in the western United States. On race day you’ll join the runners shoulder-to-shoulder as they push their limits above timberline, and then risk life and limb on hell-bent descents.

This is a must see for anyone who dreams of striding across the sky to greet the sunrise.

The evening will be topped with a question and answer discussion with Krupicka, Roes and Ortiz, some of the top ultra runners in the world. Roes won the Western States 100 in 2010, while Ortiz claimed the women’s title in 2009. Krupicka, who attended Colorado College, is a two-time winner of the Leadville 100.

Tickets cost $10 and will be available at Mountain Chalet, 226 N. Tejon St.; Colorado Running Company, 833 N. Tejon St., and 9275 N. Union Blvd, Ste. 120; and Carmichael Training Systems, 600 S. 21st St., No. 100. Tickets will also be available for $10 the day of the show, but it’s wise to purchase them early. Tickets are also available online for $11 at

The event is a fundraiser for Incline Friends, the organization created to help implement the Manitou Incline Site Development and Management Plan and open the Incline to the public. Although it still isn’t legal to hike the Manitou Incline, the Incline Friends are working to educate users, build relationships with other groups and residents who use and live near the Incline, and organize volunteer work days.

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Section 16 Vote Tomorrow

September 27th, 2010

Manitou Section 16 from White Acres

Manitou Section 16 is a popular hiking and mountain biking area adjoining Red Rock Canyon and White Acres at the edge of Colorado Springs. It provides access to the Pike National Forest and the Paul Intemann Trail. It has been leased since 1972 from the Colorado State Land Board for public recreation. The current lease is up the end of the year.

Both El Paso county and Colorado Springs have tried buying it from the State Land Board. A new law solved one of the issues with buying it. The remaining issue has been the price. Appraisals have come in between $2.8 million and $8.9 million.

Now the State Land Board has proposed to sell Section 16 for $3.8 million. A 99 year agreement to not develop mineral rights will cost an addition $321,000. Including a $1 million dollar grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, the city has received grant funds and pledges of $1,253,500. The rest would come from the TOPS Program.

More information on the proposal can be found here . The State Land Board is to consider the sale to Colorado Springs at an October 8th public meeting in Pueblo.

The Colorado Springs council has a resolution authorizing the Parks Department to enter into a purchase agreement for the Section 16 on the agenda for tomorrow afternoon. The Council meeting will be in the Colorado Springs City Hall at 107 N. Nevada Avenue beginning at 1:00 P.M. Section 16 is the last item on the agenda.

If you can’t make it to the council metting, contact the Council members before the meeting and let them know that Section 16 is important for outdoor recreation and the views from the city. I can never remember which district I’m in but the council district map is here. I don’t think it hurts though to contact all of them.

Colorado Springs City Council Emails

Lionel Rivera, Mayor

Larry Small, Vice Mayor

Scott Hente, Councilmember District 1

Darryl Glenn, Councilmember District 2

Sean Paige, Councilmember District 3

Bernie Herpin Jr., Councilmember District 4

Tom Gallagher, Councilmember At-Large

Randy Purvis, Councilmember At-Large

Jan Martin, Councilmember At-Large

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Getting Sleep the Night Before an Event

April 5th, 2010

It is common to not be able to sleep well the night before a race or even a non-competitive event that pushes our limits. When I was younger and racing nearly every weekend, I did get to the point where I’d sleep quite well. Now that I’m only doing a few long events a year, I have more trouble. It doesn’t help that I don’t seem to sleep as well as I used to.

Several nights of poor sleep will likely affect performance but studies have shown though that if it’s just the night before a race, not sleeping well doesn’t affect the ability to perform well. What it can affect is the mental ability to push to the body to the limit. My personal experience has matched what the studies have found. If you want more details on the studies and the science of sleep, this article is a good read.

Events like 24 hour solo mountain bike races or 500+ mile RAAM qualifiers are tough enough mentally without throwing in lack of sleep the night before. Even something of the length of the Leadville 100 mountain bike race can get harder mentally as the day wears on. I’ve tried 3 things to help me sleep well the night before an event.

REM Caps

REM Caps from Hammer Nutrition contain Melatonin, herbs and other nutrients to naturally aid in sleep. I’ve had mixed results with REM caps.

As long as I get to sleep within an hour of taking REM caps and don’t get woken up in the first hour or two after going to bed, they seem to work very well. If for some reason I’m up later than planned or I get woken up soon after going to sleep, I actually seem to sleep worse than if I didn’t take them. Using REM caps in the week leading up to an event works well for me so I’m more rested.


Ambien is a prescription sleep aid and comes in 2 versions. There’s the regular and a CR version that is timed release and contains more medication. The regular version only lasts 4-5 hours for me and then I wake up so I take the CR version. My wife on the other hand has trouble waking up after 8 hours even with just the regular version.

I sleep well with Ambien CR although I still may wake up a time or two throughout the night. The downside is that sometimes I feel a bit foggy mentally for a few hours after waking. It’s not bad but I just don’t feel 100% focused. It may be because I take the CR version.


Lunesta is another prescription sleep aid. I sleep really well with it and wake up clear mentally.

It’s downside for me is I get a really nasty, bitter taste in my mouth the entire day after taking it. From searching the web, it seems this is a common side effect. It doesn’t bother me with solid foods much but can be bad with certain drinks. Since I use nearly all liquid nutrition during races, it can be tough to drink enough. I even find it hard to drink plain water because of the taste.

Since the last 2 are prescription medications, you’ll have to get your doctor to write a prescription. If you decide to try something to sleep better before an event whether it’s prescription or not, make sure to try it out several times before the event. You don’t want to have side effects and end up ruining your event.

Do you have some method that works for you to sleep well the night before an event? Please leave it in the comments below.

- UltraRob

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Trail Use When Muddy

March 30th, 2010
Muddy Spot on Trail

Spring on the Colorado Front Range often means snow or rain. In fact in the last week and a half we’ve had 3 snow storms. With the snow and rain comes muddy trails. On Sunday I waited until afternoon to go mountain biking but still hit a few muddy sections.

Hiking, running or mountain biking on muddy trails can tear them up. The best thing is to avoid muddy trails and wait until they dry out. We’re fortunate to have some locals trails that are gravel and don’t get very muddy. If you aren’t sure in your area, contact a local bike or outdoor shop to find out which trails get muddy.

If you’re on a trail and encounter a short, muddy section, the best thing to do is go right through the middle of it. As you can see in the photo above, going around the edge widens the trail and creates an even bigger mud section. Most of our lower snow has melted but on trails that are snowy, it’s best to go early in the morning before it warms up and they become muddy.

Colorado Springs trails that get muddy

  • Palmer Park
  • Red Rocks Park
  • Section 16 – the east side by the hogbacks
  • Cheyenne Mountain State Park
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Parts of Ute Valley Park
  • Parts of Stratton Open Space

Most of the trails in the Cheyenne Canon area are gravel and don’t get too muddy. These trail include Captain Jacks, Buckhorn and Columbine. Palmer Trail from High Drive is also good but dropping down Section 16 isn’t advised when it’s muddy. Other than a couple short sections, Barr Trail also is good when wet.

- UltraRob

5 Reasons I Wish I Were a Runner

January 14th, 2010

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll have read about me road riding, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. I haven’t written much about running. Nearly 15 years ago I did run the Pikes Peak Ascent after some friends convinced me running uphill was just like riding a bike.

10 miles into the Pikes Peak Ascent I was around 80th place out of 1,800 runners. That’s when my legs painfully informed me that even running uphill wasn’t exactly like riding a bike. By the time I got to mile 12, I would walk a 100 yards and then stop and stretch.

The last mile I watched dozens of runners go by me. I still managed to finish 171st in a time of 3:24:18. I have friends that would be happy with that but it was a very painful experience.

I tried to get into running several times over the years. I’ve never gotten to the point of really enjoying it like I do biking. There are a few reasons why I wish I could enjoy running.

Easier When Traveling

If you’ve ever flown with a bike, you know how expensive that was even before the latest luggage fees the airlines have imposed. Not only do you have to get your bike to your destination or rent one, you have cycling clothes, helmet, shoes and tools. Even when driving, you need a bike rack or a big space inside the vehicle for a bike. Runners on the other hand just need their shoes, shorts and a t-shirt that they could also use for just hanging out.


Even runners that have the latest in shoe technology, wicking shirts and jackets, can get geared up for a few hundred dollars. That amount won’t even cover a good bike, let alone even more clothing, tools and a repair stand.

No Maintenance

Other than putting some anti-odor powder in their shoes and maybe replacing the laces, runners really don’t have any upkeep. Cyclist on the other hand have chains to lube, flats to change, shifters to adjust, wheels to keep true, etc. Bike wrenching takes time away from riding.

Warmer in Winter

During the winter runners also have the advantage of staying warmer. Since they don’t move as fast, windchill isn’t as much of an issue. When I’ve been mountain biking in the winter, I’ve been known to get off and run with the bike for a little bit to warm back up. That method works particularly well with the feet since it gets them moving more and increases the blood flow.

Builds Stronger Bones

Loss of bone density can be a problem particularly for road cyclists. At least one study has shown that it may not be as big of an issue for mountain bikers although there still are concerns. Although the the problem isn’t yet well understood, the recommendation is to do weight bearing cross-training such as running.

Running clearly has several advantages over cycling. So why don’t I make the switch or at least run more? It’s because riding a bike is so much more fun and you can go so much farther in the same amount of time.

- UltraRob

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Zipline Trail Building

May 31st, 2009

Zipline Trail Building
There was really good turn out today to build the Zipline trail. Over 30 people worked different parts of the day with Medicine Wheel. Zipline will connect the Section 16 parking lot to the Bear Creek Main Trail. The map above shows the section of Zipline that is now built.

Here are a few more photos.

Zipline and Bear Creek Main Junction

Zipline Trail Building, Bear Creek Canyon

Zipline Trail Building, Bear Creek Canyon

Zipline Trail Building, Bear Creek Canyon

Zipline Trail Building, Bear Creek Canyon

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Another Colorado Springs Trail

May 29th, 2009

Zipline Trail, Colorado Springs
I’m fortunate to live where there are plenty of trails for mountain biking, hiking, running and even cross-country skiing on the occasions we actually get enough snow. Now Medicine Wheel is building another trail.

The new trail is currently being called Zipline. It will be an important connector between Section 16/Red Rock Canyon/ and the Bear Creek Main Trail.

I frequently connect between those trails. Now it means riding about a mile on a narrow, paved section of Gold Camp Road. It will be much nicer to ride singletrack to make the connection.

This Sunday, May 31st, is a trail building day for Zipline. No previous trail building experience is needed and all tools are provided. I’ve worn blisters building trail so you may want to take a pair of gloves.

There are 3 different shifts starting at 10 AM, Noon or 4 PM. Please send an email to Jim at so he knows you’re coming. See the Medicine Wheel page for more details.

Related Link: If You Build It, They Will Come

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Hardrock 100 Run

April 19th, 2009

Jon Teisher at Hardrock 100
I’m not a runner. I’ve tried but just haven’t been able to get in to it. I admire those that do 100 mile runs and sometimes wish I could do one. With cycling you can coast and recover a bit but not when running.

The Hardrock 100 Endurance Run was July 11th-13th last year. Our local paper did a good article and video on it. I’ve meant to post about them but didn’t get it done until now.

The Hardrock 100 is a brutal running race in the Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. It climbs 11 mountain passes and one 14,000-foot peak for a vertical gain of 32,962 feet. It’s in the area where we camped and I did some long training for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race last year. The last day when we four-wheeled the Alpine Loop, we were on part of the Hardrock 100 course.

Two locals ran it last year. Jon Teisher and Neal Taylor are 2 very different runners. I’ve met both of them and they’re both nice guys.

The Hardrock 100 Run is July 10th and 12th this year. A lottery is used to select 140 runners. Jon made it back in this year and Neal is 45th on the list.

Jon, more commonly known as JT or brownie, attends the Manitou Incline happy hour that I do. JT likes to eat double cheeseburgers and he likes beer. He even will drink beer during long races.

Just over a week ago, JT ran rim to rim and back of the Grand Canyon. He ran 42 miles with over 11,000 vertical feet in 13 hours. His write up is well worth the read.

Neal is the caretaker at Barr Camp and I’ve chatted with him a few times when I’ve hiked to Barr Camp. Neal is a strict vegetarian and rarely drinks. JT thinks Neal would drink more if it wasn’t so hard to get alcohol to Barr Camp.

Mental toughness is a huge part of doing an ultra whether it’s on the bike, running, adventure race or something else. One thing Neal has learned is it will get bad, you will suffer, but you’re not going to die, so keep going. Leadville 100 organizer, Ken Clouber, says finishing hurts for a few hours but quitting hurts for 365 days until you can do the race again. Lance Armstrong said it even stronger by saying pain is temporary but quitting lasts forever.

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