The final portions of the Dixon Trail are being completed in Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs and all things are looking good for the first race on October 20th to the top of Cheyenne Mountain and back down. The trail race will provide runners with a new challenging race that will be about 13.6 miles in length with about 2,750 feet of elevation gain and loss and a top elevation of just over 8,800 feet. It is an out and back course with the terrain and elevation gain increasing as the course makes its way up the south flank to a turnaround near the top of the south peak of Cheyenne Mountain.
Our race was previously announced to be about a half a marathon in length. We have added additional distance on the Dixon section of the race so that we can include more of the top of the mountain and more easily get supplies to the aid station at the turnaround.
The race will start at the Limekiln parking lot west of the entrance to the state park and entrance fee gate. The race course heads west on the Talon Trail, turns onto North Talon and at about 3.3 miles onto the Dixon Trail. The Dixon Trail continues for about 3.5 miles on a single track and gains about 2,000 feet of elevation on the way to the turnaround. The upper portions of the Dixon Trail are the most difficult and the trail has steep and rocky sections. The total uphill distance is about 6.8 miles. The downhill portion of the race returns on the same course to the Limekiln Trailhead start and finish line.
The turnaround near the top of Cheyenne Mountain is remote and access to it is limited by a very rough 4 wheel drive road that is not open to the public.
We have set a CUT OFF TIME of 1 PM for the turnaround point. The timing station and aid station will be shut down at 1 pm. Race participants must cross the chip timing station by 1 pm to complete the race. Course marshals will direct any race participants still going to the top turnaround after that time to turnaround and start down the mountain. This time limit has been set for the safety of all the participants and our volunteers. The safety of our participants and volunteers is our highest priority.
There will be water stops at the Talon/ Sundance and Talon/North Talon Trail junctures, one just up the lower section of the Dixon Trail, and one at the top turnaround. Since this is an out and back course participants will have the same water stops going up and coming down. For about 3 miles of the Dixon Trail from the lower Dixon water stop to the top of the mountain runners will need to carry their own hydration and be prepared for weather changes. We will have course marshals, timing equipment and a great aid station at the turnaround but participants won’t have any way off the top of the mountain other than coming back down the race course to the Limekiln parking lot.
The 3 Mile race will start at 10:15 AM and will follow the Talon trail to the Sundance trail junction at about 1.5 miles. The 3M race will turn right onto the Sundance trail and return to the finish at the Limekiln trailhead. This is a loop course with one water stop at the Talon/Sundance junction.