Black Toes

Trail running, running, and hiking in Colorado's Front Range.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

White Ranch Open Space

Today was the day for my 2 hour long run. Instead of running on the road like I've been doing lately, I decided to hit the trail. White Ranch Open Space is a beautiful sprawling county open space park with 20 miles of runnable trails. It varies from high plains carriage trails that are wide and rocky to narrow single track with brutal climbs over large sharp rocks. All the while, you have gorgeous views of the plains and mountains. The one thing about White Rance is the climbing. There's lots of it.

My run today started out with the aptly named Belcher Hill Trail:



From there you can see North Table Mountain (which I happen to live on the side of):



Belcher Hill Trail is aptly named because it's a steady 2 mile climb (and it's not even the worst of the climbing). It's an unrelenting ascent and unsheltered from the sun, but it's not nearly the worst part of the climbing (there's plenty more).



Imagine 2 miles of nothing but this:



There were a couple sections that I had to walk, because it was just too rocky and steep. I'll keep running it for the next couple weeks and hopefully I'll be able to make it. There's a trail race here in September that I'm hoping to do. The nice thing about the second half of the run is the descent. You get to bomb down the trail, and get wierd looks from the hikers.

I finally finished the run. I was met by my wife and son:



The mark of a good run:



It was sunset when I finished, and I was able to get a picture of some Mie scattering from the sunlight over the mountains.



To the north, you can see towards Boulder, and see the slip strike fault between Golden and Boulder.



Summary:
distance: 10.25 mi
pace: 11.30 min/mi
vert. distance: ~2500 ft (up)

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