I went into Greenland knowing that I wasn't going to set any records, but had thought that there was a chance to set a PR if I could just hold my training pace together given the flat nature of this course. The Roost had set me up with a comp entry so I thought it was a good way to get another long run in at a place I typically wouldn't run. My buddy Keith showed up to hang around the start and we caught up with Shad, Lucho, and Rob before the start.
|First Turnaround (Photo: Rob Timko)|
|Starting the 4th lap (Photo: Rob Timko)|
|The view towards the first aid and Pikes (Photo: Rob Timko)|
|Backside of the loop (Photo: Ben Reeves)|
|Finishing (Photo: Rob Timko)|
|The NW view from Belford|
We slept in before grabbing some breakfast and headed up the gulch towards the summit. Quickly we passed a few girls hiking in their snowboard boots with boards strapped on. I admire the motivation, but their work was in vain unless they had plans to ride packed ice for a few hundred feet at a time or scree fields. The route to Belford is actually pretty steep, gaining over 4500' in a touch over 3 miles. Near 13,700' we crested the ridge and were hit with a strong freezing wind and began to move more quickly in our running shorts to gain the summit.
|Keith, freezing on the summit|
After warming up out of the wind, we began to run down the saddle. However, as we approached the turn to begin the real work towards Oxford, a big group of nasty looking clouds began to form just off the peak and we decided to play it safe and bail as we were not prepared to deal with any moisture and we were already freezing. I quickly stopped to slam a PBR on Belford for the 100 beers challenge (which I am way behind on) and then we headed back down to the truck. After snacks, lunch, naps, and coffee we headed back to Colorado Springs. That night I decided to bail on Pikes with more weather moving in, and instead head back home and bag some Boulder peaks.
Monday morning I woke up late and gathered my things before heading up and began my run in the wet snow. My route was Green via Gregory/Ranger/West Ridge, then on the saddle to Bear, SoBo, Bear, tagged Green again, down Bear Canyon, and Mesa back to the car. Initially I had just planned on hiking the whole thing as my legs were barking from the vert the day before, but I felt better as I went and ended up running most of everything after Green the first time. With all respect to Green, Bear and South Boulder are much more fun summits, Bear in particular. So I'll vote Bear as best Boulder Peak, and Bear Canyon as the best trail in the Boulder Open Space. There was a good amount of wet snow and I was in the thick of the clouds during the whole run which was awesome. Gotta love the Spring storms in CO.