Colorado's third most expansive wildfire in recorded history - the Spring Fire - is the inspiration for a unique 8/9 mile race and 6/6.2 mile non-competitive WALK dubbed Bears vs. Bulls. The Spanish Peaks Striders, with assistance from the organization Run Trinidad, will directly fund Spring Fire relief with all entry fees and donations going to the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation for this worthy cause. We invite runners and walkers from the immediate area and well beyond to literally COME TOGETHER, as you will see.
The assembly location for all participants is the intersection of Huerfano County Roads 340 and 358 (8 miles west of Walsenburg, CO and 9 miles east of La Veta) at 7:00 sharp Sunday morning, August 12th. Continue reading for directions to the event.
SUMMARY INFORMATION: The BEARS race team will run 8 miles westbound on the gravel/dirt County Road 340 from Walsenburg, CO, with a net elevation gain of approximately 600 feet and the BULLS race team will run 9 miles eastbound from La Veta, CO, along County Road 358, enjoying a net elevation loss of approximately 200 feet. Careful evaluation has determined that the courses are approximately equal in the degree of challenge despite the distance differential. Which team will you run on? A lottery will decide! (Note: In the event of unusually strong winds - e.g., 20 mph or greater - the course with the tailwind will be utilized by all participants).
WALKERS: With a 7:30 a.m. start, BEARS WALKERS will begin from the county road junction assembly location and walk 3 miles eastbound and then westbound back to the common finish line for a total of 6 miles. BULLS WALKERS will begin from the county road junction and walk 3.1 miles westward, returning to the starting point for a total of 6.2 miles (10K). Walkers are encouraged to walk together long enough to select a Team Captain.
RUNNERS: Although the official race start time is 8 a.m., the assembly time is 7 a.m. for race instructions and preparation for shuttle to the respective starting locations detailed below. Online registration is strongly encouraged although last minute registrations will be accepted between 7 and 7:15 a.m. at the FINNISH LINE location which is the junction point for Huerfano County Roads 340 and 358.
EVENT ASSEMBLY LOCATION for all: From Interstate 25, go west on U.S. Highway 160 to the intersection with CR 340 on the west edge of Walsenburg. The prominent landmark there is the business named the Bear Spot on the right. Make a left turn onto CR 340 and stay on the main road for precisely 8 miles where CR 340 converges with CR 358. Those traveling from La Veta, would drive eastbound on Moore St. from the intersection of Main and Moore which becomes CR 358. This drive is approximately 9 miles.
Important notes for runners: THE BEARS TEAM STARTING LINE (following the shuttle ride along the road bordering Bear Creek) is precisely at the intersection of CR 340 and U.S. Highway 160 - south side so there is no need to cross U.S. 160. The course has a noteworthy hill near the beginning and significant hills in the final mile with a mostly gradual incline in between. THE BULLS TEAM STARTING LINE is just south of the intersection of Ryus St. and Main St. in La Veta at the storefront of San Isabel Electric . So there is no need to cross Main St., runners will start on the east side of Main and run just over 1 block north to Moore St. and turn right (east) and continue to run east as Moore becomes CR 358 heading out of La Veta. Despite the net downhill, this 9 mile route has some rolling hills particularly in the first few miles.
Escort vehicles will be available as mobile refreshment stops and as an added measure of safety for runners. Sunday morning traffic will be extremely light but the roads will not be closed.
AWARDS to include: A team champion will be crowned based on cross country team scoring procedures in relation to order of finish. Also, the race event is a part of the ongoing RaBa Cinco (Raton Basin) race series, with runners scoring points individually and for their county team based on residence. (Details at cocorelays.net.) Furthermore, AWARDS will be made to females and males for places one through four and to one male and one female Grand Masters (age 50 and over) leader not placing in the top four overall. RaBa Cinco participants in this race can be assured that if either team is found to be at a significant disadvantage - considering the different courses - based on the results, the runs on the two courses will be treated as separate races for RaBa Cinco scoring purposes. Also, a limited number of free entries are available for youth ages 13-19 residing in Huerfano, Las Animas & Colfax counties. Call 303-746-3092 to take advantage of these "running scholarships." The RaBa Cinco series is an initiative of the nonprofit LiveWell Huerfano, devoted to active living and healthy eating.