Distance: 10.12 miles
Weather: Clear and Warm
Work and volunteer board commitments kept running off the day's agenda until the evening. I dashed out of the house at 6 p.m. and hightailed it down to Denver's Green Mountain to take part in the Denver Trail Runners group run. I pulled into the parking lot off Rooney Road right as the group of 30 or so was heading out. I quickly jumped out of the car and joined the group as it made the short climb up to the bridge over C-470.
As everyone warmed up, runners quickly sorted themselves out by pace. I joined a group of seven or so runners in the lead group and we took off down the undulating trail along the south and east sides of the mountain. We ran at a quick, but conversational pace. We soon hit the big climb on the east side and our lead group shrunk to five, then two. We regrouped at a trail junction and set off again to complete the climb to the antennae on the eastern highpoint of the mountain. About a quarter mile in on this section of trail, I had to leap over a rattlesnake taking a break half-on, half-off the trail. I love wildlife.
I soon was running alone, since I was out for a tempo effort run and several of the guys in the group were holding back in preparation for races this weekend. We regrouped again at another junction and then it was off to the (downhill) races. I've been putting some focus on working on my descending skills of late, so I used this opportunity to run hard downhill. The trail was pretty smooth and pure singletrack bliss. At the bottom of the hill, I was quickly joined by another guy (racing the Sageburner 25K this weekend) and cruised back to the parking lot.
After a brief pause, I left the growing group of returning runners and headed out across Rooney Road to the Zoro Trail to get in a couple more miles of ascent/descent. I climbed Zoro to the top of the hogback and returned the way I came. Another great run. This has been a solid week of running, despite the still-lingering illness (just hacking up junk now).
Elevation gain: 1,478 feet; Average pace: 8:19