Garden of the Gods Training Runs


  • Organized By: Pikes Peak Road Runners
  • Why: To get ready for the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run on June 12, 2016 or just to participate in some group training.
  • When: 6:00 - 7:00 AM on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, Apr 5 - June 9
  • Where: Garden of the Gods Park Main Parking Lot - adjacent to Kissing Camels rock formation.
    Take the 30th Street entrance to the Garden of the Gods.  At the first intersection, you'll have to turn right, and go up a hill. The north parking lot is about 3/4 of the way up this hill.
  • Protocol: We split into several groups based on ability.  Each group runs together (or at least starts together) at a pace that is generally within the ability of the group members.  The group lead can decide the route and any other training features, e.g., intervals, hill repeats, tempo, etc.  Workouts last about an hour (give or take a few minutes). Routes vary from workout to workout, and are usually within the confines of the Garden of the Gods Park, although sometimes a group will explore neighborhoods and trails that are adjacent to the park.

  • Incentives: The beauty of running in the Garden is enough to get those endorphins exploding. Runners attending 8 or more workouts are given a free shirt from past races, courtesy of the Triple Crown of Running. Group training with others of similar abilities provides great motivation. Excellent way to start the day off on the right foot (or left foot). Prize drawings at the last workout on June

  • Contact: Josh Herman or Mike Shafai

  • Dress Rehearsal Dates: On Saturdays, May 14 and May 28 at 7am, we'll have a dress rehearsal training run of the entire 10 mile course.  We'll run the full 10-mile course starting/finishing at Memorial Park in Manitou Springs.  Runners will need to carry their own water.

Groups and Group Leaders

josh

50/50 Middle of the Pack

Leader: Josh Herman
Group Tenure: 7 Years
Group Tenure: No one gets left behind and STAY OFF THE PAINT!
Leads Other Group: Attack Pack Running Group
Favorite Race: Fall Series

Group Description

This group typically runs 8-10 minute miles, and usually runs a good portion of the race course. The group stays together by looping back at the top of the hills for slower runners allowing the faster runners to get the hills in twice. Typical runs include the entire loop from main parking lot to Balancing Rock, and all the way back and around the park. To Manitou and back, Up and down ridge road, up Rampart Range road. The group started as a pure road group, but has evolved , and in 2015 will see the group transition to move of a 50/50 group. Trails and roads will get equal playing time on this team, some days all roads, some days all trails, or a mix of mismosh. We always give the option that if someone doesn't want to run the trails they can meet us at where the trail connects to the road.

mike

Faster Trail Runners Group (a.k.a "Sunrise Striders")

Leader: Mike Shafai
Group Tenure: 12 Years
Leads Other Group: Sunrise Striders
Favorite Race: Winter Series

Group Description

Faster Trail Runners Group (a.k.a. “Sunrise Striders”) - The faster trail group does specific workouts that typically include "tempo" type runs on Tuesdays and "interval" workouts (hills or speed work) on Thursdays. Warm-ups are generally 10-20 minutes at about an 8:30-9 minute/mile pace then the training portion of the run will vary depending upon ability and the selected terrain. The primary purpose of the group is to push each other to get faster and break personal records. We recommend getting added to our distribution list so you can receive a workout notification in advance of each workout. This way, you can adequately prepare (both mentally and physically) for the coming pain. This group has been led by Mike Shafai since 2004. Mike has served Pikes Peak Road Runners as secretary, vice president, and president (2012-2013), and co-directs the PPRR Winter Series. He’s completed nearly 40 marathons, 3 Ironman Triathlons, and the Leadville Trail 100. If you’d like to receive workout notifications, please contact Mike at: michael.c.shafai@ms.com

steve

Social Group or Back of the Pack

Leader: Steve Jennings
Group Tenure: 18 Years
Leads Other Group: Unknown
Favorite Race: Bolder Boulder (sorry it's not a PPRR race)

Group Description

The Social Group is a group that accommodates a variety of running paces. The average pace is around 11 minutes although there are faster and slower runners. This group usually runs on the roads and targets a five-mile run each time we get together. In order to keep everyone together and to cheer on all of the group each time we reach the top of a hill, and there are many in the Garden of the Gods, the group loops back to pick up all the runners before heading out for the next hilltop. This gives some runners the opportunity to experience some of each hill twice which helps those runners build conditioning. We try to mix up the route so that there is variety. If you run with this group for several runs you will experience much of the Ten Mile course. This is a great group for those who are just starting out and aren't sure that running in the Garden of the Gods is the thing for them.

FAQ's

How do I sign up for these training runs?

You don't have to sign up ahead of time, just show up. The first time you show up, you'll be asked to fill out a waiver form. From then on, please check-in when you show up, as we do keep attendance.

Will there be somebody there who runs my pace?

Most likely, yes. There is a wide range of ability levels that participate, from 6-minute milers to 15-minute milers.

How long do the runs last?

Usually about an hour, give or take a little bit.  If you need to leave before your group has completed their run, just turn around early.  Or if you have time and want to put in some extra miles, just keep pounding the pavement/trail.

Do the runs start on time?

At 6:00 AM, we have some very brief announcements, then we split into groups and take off.

Will I need a headlamp?

For about the first 4 weeks, if you are running on trails, it's a good idea to have a headlamp for the first mile or two of your run.  If you are running on the roads, you can get by fine without a headlamp.  After 4 weeks, there is enough daylight at 6:00 AM such that nobody will need a headlamp.

Can I walk?

Yes. there are usually a couple of walkers who join us.

Can I bring my dog?

In past years there have been 4-6 dogs who join us and it hasn't been a problem.  If we start getting bunches of dogs and things get out of hand, we'll have to rethink that policy.  According to park rules, dogs need to be on a leash, except for an open grassy area adjacent to 30th Street.  Please clean up after your dog.

Are there bathrooms?

Yes, there are open bathrooms adjacent to the parking lot.  The other bathrooms in the park near the Scotsman picnic area are closed for the winter and usually don't open until sometime in May.

How much do the training runs cost?

They are free to the participants.  The Pikes Peak Road Runners make arrangements with the Parks Department to let them know what we are doing, and the PPRR does submit their liability insurance to Park & Rec.

I'm just visiting from out-of-town.  Can I join you?

Absolutely.  Let the organizer know where you are from so we can announce it to everybody and welcome you.

Are the runs canceled when the weather is bad?

There will always be a few diehards who show up, thus if you hear it storming outside when your alarm goes off, get out of bed and show up so you can be the one that teases those who didn't show up.

Is the area safe?

Generally, yes.  But it's always a good idea to run with others, especially the women.  We did have an incident in 2008 where 2 cars were broken into during the run on one morning.  A purse was stolen from each vehicle.  To prevent this from happening in again, the organizer has been running his route near the parking lot and keeping an eye on things.  We haven't had any issues since we started doing that.

Is there vehicle traffic in the park?

Yes, but at 6-7 AM it is light.  However, for safety reasons, please run in the bicycle lane rather than the vehicle lane.

Attendance