Race Day Registration Only: Starting about 7:30
am or so.
None (Yes, there is a free lunch -- your dad was
The first time you run this event, you'll establish a
base time for yourself. This base time is used to generate a
handicap time. The handicap time is calculated using an algorithm
developed by Bob Royse, and it's geared to favor a beginning runner and
the slower runners. Click
here for an explanation of the handicap algorithm.
Once you have an established handicap, you are racing
against your handicap time. The person who improves the most from
their handicap time is the winner. Each month the results are sent
off to Bob Royse and he fires up his Nielson algorithm and regenerates
all of the handicap times based on the latest result data.
As mentioned before, the handicap does favor a
beginning runner or a slower runner who is putting in a lot of quality
training time, as it's these types of runners who tend to have
significant time improvements running the same course. But the race is also
good for established runners and the swift of feet because it gives
those runners a good indication of their fitness level. It's the
same 2 mile course each month. Thus given similar weather
conditions, you have a very good basis to check out your running fitness
from month to month.
Please, no dogs or baby strollers
allowed on the course. Please do not trespass onto private
property. Per PPRR race rules, headphones, i-pods, or MP3
players may not be used during the race. Those not in compliance
will be disqualified.
At each monthly race, the person who improves the
most over their handicap earns a Nielson shirt. Their name also
goes on the Nielson plaque for that month. At the PPRR
membership dinner and meeting in November, the person with the most
Nielson wins during the past 12 months is recognized as the year's
winner and gets to keep the Nielson plaque. (A new plaque is
then started for the next 12 months.) If multiple people have
won the Nielson an equal amount of times, then the yearly award is
determined by the person who improved over their handicap by the
The shirts are generously donated by Michael
Schenk of EON Studios,
located at 836 N Institute in Colorado Springs (633-7986).
Visit EON Studios for all of your screen printing needs. Michael gets
his exercise on a bicycle, while his wife Susan does the running in
Flat course on hard packed dirt
trails. The first mile is an out-and-back, first heading south
and then north after 1/2 mile. The second mile is a loop,
heading north on the first half of the loop and south on the 2nd half.
Bob Mutu wrote the following article for the PPRR
newsletter in the early 2000s. It gives a very good narrative of
the history behind this event. The event is in its third decade
and has never missed a month.
by Bob Mutu
One of the
things that I really like about the PPRR is the Nielson Challenge. Due
to injuries and the lack of soft trails in Okinawa I didn't run my last two
years there. Coming home to Palmer Park and MonumentValley Park has rejuvenated my
desires! One of the biggies is the Nielson Challenge. I haven't read
much about that run so let me tell you all about it.
at least as far back as I go, around 1980 it was run on a two mile
course in SouthMonumentValleyPark. At that time the race was
directed by Phil and Julie Foster. Bob Royse did the results
handicapping then and he still does them today. At that time it was
simply called the Two-Mile Handicap.The course ran a loop north from the parking lot at the Cache
La Poudre Bridge on the paved road then looped back along the west
side of the creek where it crossed over Cache La Poudre and ran across
the parking lot to the sidewalk then south to the creek. From there it
ran up the trail along the west side of the creek (back then there was
no footbridge) to finish at the Cache La PoudreBridge.
it to North MonumentValleyParkin the mid
suspect due to the congestion, running on the road and crossing over Cache La Poudre Street.Bill Bennett measured off a new exact two mile course.
In the late
eighties Larry Nielson joined our club. He was thirty-eight and wanted
to get into condition. He started running the two mile handicap in
early winter and ran it every month, winning it one time as I recall.
Larry attached himself to me and asked me lots of running questions
and wanted to run with me. I remember one five miler that Runners
Roost had over in Palmer Park at their past branch store located
there. Larry came up to me and asked me what pace we wanted to run (I
was pacing a friend). I told him about seven-thirty per mile and he
asked if it was OK if he ran with us. I said sure! You know, back then
I used to go out a little too fast, actually a lot too fast, and I
think the first mile was about six-thirty mostly uphill. Larry hung in
there, but gave me some really nasty looks (good thing he was too
winded to talk!). We came in at about 37 minutes, much faster than
Larry thought he could run. He was thrilled....did everything but
handsprings! Larry was always so enthusiastic and nice to be around.
His spirit was competitive but only to the point of self-improvement.
He loved the camaraderie of the after race feeds and hanging around to
dissect the race and generally chew the fat.
In the late summer of that year Larry took a trip up
to Guffey to run the Guffey Gasp....a seven miler at very high
altitude on tough hills. After the race he told friends that he felt
tired and funny but he drove home. When he got home his wife took him
directly to the hospital, where he was diagnosed as having a heart
attack. When I heard about it I went right over to the hospital. We
talked for quite a while. He told me his father and grandfather had
both died at a younger age than he was now of heart attacks. He took
up running because he wanted to try to live as long as he could. He
was very happy with the club and the people he had met and felt that
his life would continue as happy as it had been.
Larry was released from the hospital the next day
and he went home. His wife told me the next day that he was sitting in
his favorite chair when his heart failed and he left us. Shortly after
that the Board of Directors voted to change the name of the handicap
to the Nielson Challenge. This race represents the heart and spirit of
our club...as did Larry.
those of you who want to know more about the race: It is two miles run
on the dirt paths in NorthMonumentValley
It is designed for all levels of runners with the beginners having a
better chance to win than the more experienced runners. Every time you
run, your time goes into a computer and a handicap time is computed
for your next race. There are fudge factors for missed races and the
first few races but after several runs your handicap is pretty much
your average running time for most of your runs. The winner each month
is the person who beats their handicap time by the most time.....or
who comes the closest to that time if no one beats it.....that happens
a lot in winter. The race is run at
on the first Saturday morning of each month. It starts near the
playground down the hill from the Fontanero entrance to the park. It
is FREE both to club members and non-members.
9:35.599, set by Justin Chaston, May 2011.
Female: 11:12.516, set by Shannon Payne, July
The results data we
have goes back to 1999. From that time to the present, there have
been five sub-10 minute finishers. The top 10 finishers from 1999
to the present are:
1. 9:35.599, Justin
Chaston, May 2011
2. 9:48.562, Adam Rich, Nov 2009
3. 9:48.840, Robbie Young, Nov 2009
4. 9:49.937, Justin Chaston, Apr 2011
5. 9:55.503, Ryan Hafer, Nov 2009
6. 10:01.620, Justin Chaston, Apr 2006
7. 10:01.739, Justin Ricks, Nov 2009
8. 10:04.923, Adam Rich, July 2013
9. 10:09.475, Justin Chaston, Nov 2008
10. 10:09.530, Augustus Maiyo, Dec 2010
1. 11:12.516, Shannon
Payne, July 2013
2. 11:20.469, Shannon Payne, Aug 2013
3. 11:24.506, Kaitlin Hanenburg, Aug 2009
(Note: #3 could be Jordan Olson, who ran 11:21.959 in July of 2009.
We are not sure if this Jordan is male or female.)
4 11:31.569 Heather Bates, Feb 2013
5. 11:32.271, Shannon Payne, Nov 2013
6. 11:36.978, Micah Tate, Nov 2010
7. 11:46.578, Shannon Payne, May 2013
8. 11:49.130, Allie McLaughlin, Dec 2008
9. 11:50.000, Krishna Wainright, Mar 2000
10. 11:51.000, Krishna Wainright, Sep 2000