The series consists of four progressively longer (LONG AND SHORT) races. Please note: You must choose your distance when registering. The Long Race starts at 10:00AM. Short Race starts at 10:20AM. The courses are gravel/paved roads, packed double-track, and some single-track trails, which may or may not be snow-packed, icy, muddy, rocky, slushy, uphill and/or downhill. Altitude will vary from 6,000’ to 7,500’. Temperatures will range from 50° to -25°. Races will be cancelled if extremely bad weather exists on race day or due to city, state or federal COVID restrictions. There are no refunds for race cancellations or no-shows.
Please, no dogs or baby joggers on the courses. Per PPRR race rules, headphones are not allowed to be used during races.
Parking at some venues will be at a premium. Your race or series entry will include a one-day parking pass for Cheyenne Mountain State Park on Jan. 22. Carpool if you can. If you have a State Parks Pass, please present it upon entry for Race #2. The courses close at 1:00pm. Contact the Race Director if you want to start before the stated time. Your time will be unofficial and will not be part of award recognition. Participant must complete one full series entirely to be considered for any awards.
SWAG: Four-race participants have the option to receive Swag by selecting the Swag option at registration. Three-race volunteers will receive Swag. This year’s Winter Series swag is Winter Series coffee mug – normal size! Swag will display the Winter Series logo so that you can prove to your running buddies how cool you really are.
Awards Dinner: Join us on March 5th at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame for dinner, movie, and awards! Note than an extra fee applies.
Views and Brews!
Distance: 3M (Short Series) or 6M (Long Series)
Directions: 2323 Garden of the Gods Rd. From Interstate 25 - Exit Garden of the Gods Rd. Go west for 2.2 miles. Red Leg Brewing Company is on the south side of GOG Rd. Traffic control will direct participants to the parking areas. Staging area is at the front of the brewery.
Distance: 4M (Short Series) or 8M (Long Series)
Directions: From I-25 / S. Nevada (Downtown Colorado Springs), take Nevada / Hwy 115 South toward Canon City. Continue south past Academy/Hwy 83. The park entrance will be on the right (west) side of Hwy 115, directly across from the main gate to Fort Carson (traffic signal). Arrive early and please carpool. There will be no race parking at the Visitor Center. Please continue past the entrance station and turn left into the main parking lot at the finish area. Registration is inside the Visitor Center which is a 1/4M walk from parking area. Race start is in the Visitor Center parking lot.
Creeks and Valleys
Distance: 5M (Short Series) or 10M (Long Series)
Directions: 3920 Dublin Blvd. (YMCA) From Interstate 25 - Exit Woodman Rd. Go east on Woodmen and turn right onto N. Union Blvd. Turn left onto Dublin Blvd. and then left at Rocky Bluff Point into the YMCA parking lots. Follow volunteer instructions.
Go for Gold!
Distance: 10K (Short Series) or 20K (Long Series)
Directions: 200 S. Sierra Madre St. Interstate 25 - Exit Bijou St. Go east toward downtown, then turn right onto N. Sierra Madre St.. and continue straight to the main entrance to the museum. Follow volunteer instructions.
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.