Please join us in running the annual Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series! To encourage social distancing during these unprecedented times, the Winter Series Race Directors have decided to offer our stellar running community a virtual edition of the Winter Series. Join us over four winter weekends on four of our favorite running routes and show your support of the Pikes Peak Road Runners.
Participants must register for the entire series (all four races) on RunSignUp by midnight January 8, 2021, or for the individual race/races on RunSignUp by midnight on the Friday before the race weekend. Participants must complete the courses on the designated days within the respective park’s posted hours. Detailed start locations, course maps, and finish locations will be provided to each participant.
Race locations, approximate distance, and dates are as follows:
**Participants are responsible for the State Park day pass at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. The fee is $9 per vehicle. (Subject to change at the Park’s discretion.)
Please look for email and social media posts with updates to the race series. All races are subject to change or cancellation. Fees are non-refundable.
Upon completion of your run, submit your results to an online Google form. The link to the form will be available on the PPRR website and will be emailed out to all participants. All results will be posted on the PPRR website and will be based on an honor system. You will not need to provide any proof of your time; however, you can submit Strava, Garmin, and FitBit, etc. activities if you choose to do so.
Directions: Runners will start at the lower parking lot and almost immediately take a right on the Zook Loop trail, where they will run to the Blackmer Loop and run it counter-clockwise. Once the Blackmer Loop intersects with the Cougar Shadow trail runners will continue the counter-clockwise loop via Cougar Shadow, back onto Blackmer, back to the Zook Loop where they will run to the Sundance Loop and take an almost immediate left on the Turkey Trot loop to the Talon Trail which they will run back to the start/finish line.
The course will be marked by Friday before the race, and markings will be cleared by Sunday evening of race weekend.
Directions: Runners will start at the new Red Leg facility near Garden of the Gods and 30th street. They will run on the road until they intersect the Palmer Mesa Trail where they will head south on the trail to where it intersects with the Foothills Trail which they will continue south until it intersects with the Gateway Trail, where the runners will turn right and head into the park until the Gateway Trail intersects with the Juniper Way Loop. Runners will run the road, following the Juniper Way Loop counter-clockwise all the way back to the Gateway Trail, which they will use to connect back to the Foothills Trail heading north, to the Palmer Mesa Trail and ending at the start/finish in front of Red Leg Brewing.
The course will be marked with chalk Friday before the race.
Directions: Runners will start on the path near the soccer fields and do a counter-clockwise loop around Cottonwood Park. At the end of the loop they will then head east on the newly expanded Cottonwood Creek Trail, under both Woodmen and Powers until the turnaround point, where they will then turn and run back to the start/finish.
The course will be marked with chalk and flagging on Friday before the race.
Directions: Runners will start near the parking area and take the gravel path north until they reach the singletrack, where they will run the loop clock-wise back to the start/finish.
The course will be marked with chalk and flagging on Friday before the race.
This event started in 1979 under the name Black Forest Series. At that time, all four races were held in the Black Forest area, just extending the lengths of the loops to add on extra distance for each race. Old timers have stories of running though some pretty tough snowstorms with whiteout conditions during some of the races in the early years.
As the races grew, local residents of the Black Forest started to object to having their roads overrun with runners for four Saturdays each winter. This is when the race venues were changed to use four different race venues, and use the Black Forest venue for the last race only. At some point, the name of the series changed from the Black Forest Series to the Winter Series.
Since the format changed to four different venues, the first race had always been held at Fox Run Regional Park. Because the Fox Run race had to be canceled due to trail conditions in both 2007 & 2009, the organizers decided to move it to the newly renovated Cheyenne Mountain State Park in 2010.
The second race was held at Fort Carson for several years, using trails around the golf course. When access to military installations was tightened following 9/11, the venue for the second race was changed to El Pomar Youth Sports Park. In 2013, there were massive floods that wiped out big sections of the trail north of the Sports Park, so Mike and John worked with the Norris Penrose Events Center to relocate the race there in 2014. They were able to map out fun courses for both the 4 and 8 mile distances. The runners liked it so much, they decided to keep it there.
The third race was started on the Santa Fe Trail at Baptist Road, with the long course heading south onto USAFA property, and the short course heading north. The third race has also been staged from the Shepards/McGraw building along Hwy-83 and used the USAFA trails for a couple of years. Again, when access to the military installations tightened, the third race was staged out of Santa Fe Trail at Baptist Road and all courses headed north, thus not using any USAFA trails. Once the trails used for WS2 out of El Pomar Sports Park were repaired, Mike and John, having been provided with substantial feedback from runners and volunteers alike, decided to move Race #3 down south. Apparently, nobody really likes the wind, cold, snow, wind, more wind, and too much wind, that always seem to hit Baptist Road on the second Saturday in February each year. As of 2015, the race is now down at El Pomar Sports Park. Problem solved.
Black Forest has always been the venue for the fourth race, even after the devastating fires that affected the area right around the staging area of Wolford Elementary School. In 2014, proceeds from the race were donated to the school to aid in their recovery.
The Winter Series did take one year off during the transition from staging all races at Black Forest to the current 4-venue staging setup.
Pat Lockhart was the race director for years and years and years and finally turned over the reins to Mike Shafai and John Gardner in 2009. Pat had never been shy about trying new things. Instead of the typical cotton t-shirt for runners, she has given out blankets, back packs, duffle bags, head bands, sweat shirts, jackets, and other things. She also instituted the team competition, and encouraged the high school runners to come out and join us. The Hero Challenge and Senior recognition were also Pat's idea. Mike and John have continued on in Pat's tradition, and Pat still volunteers for the series.
Thank you so much for all your years of service, Pat!
more information from RRCA on the policy Following guidelines from the Road Runners of Clubs of America (RRCA), Pikes Peak Road Runners discourages and in most cases, does not allow use of headphones in its races. The rationale for this is simple: the majority of our races are held on trails, which are crowded with many other runners (and sometimes other trail users). Maintaining one’s sensory capacity during such situations is paramount for the safety of all participants.