And while any run through the Garden is an awesome run, the race course was designed to take you into the heart of what the Garden has to offer, including the most famous rock in the areathe Balanced Rock. After your race you can relax and enjoy the awards ceremony in Manitou Springs Memorial park located next to Fountain Creek which is perfect for soaking your tired feet!
The course is a loop-back through the incredible Garden of the Gods Park which lies between Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. The course elevation ranges from 6,210' up to 6,530' and back down and up and down and over and around all over again. The race is run primarily on asphalt roads, with the exception of a 3/4 mile section run on the breathtaking concrete walk-way system (far wider than a simple sidewalk) that winds its way through the heart of the Gardens most amazing rock formations. Indeed, the formations are so amazing they bring visitors from around the world!
Clear, dry weather is the norm with temperatures at the start usually is in the low 60s. Once in the Garden, the temperature can quickly rise into the 70s and low 80s due to the large rock formations and lack of shade. There are eight aid stations on the course so you can get water and/or Gatorade at almost every mile. After you finish, the Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy will provide you with a free post-race massage:-) And did you catch that bit about the creek for soaking your feet?
The race is run under a special use permit from the Parks and Recreation Department which means the park is closed to vehicles and cyclists so you can enjoy the magnificent surroundings without concerns for your safety! However, we must be out of the park by 9:30am to allow visitors and their vehicles to again have access to the park. Please train accordingly and plan to complete the race under the 2h30m cut-off. After 9:30am any runners remaining on the course will be on their own.