On Saturday I was super excited to run at Breck Crest again! The last two years I have run the half marathon and loved it. Knowing that this is a difficult course all above 9000 feet there was no way I would be ready to run the half marathon 4 weeks after starting to run again. The 10K was still a bit of a stretch but I love this race so much I wanted to give it a go. I won’t go too much in this post on how I did and focus more on just the race and how it was run.
The race starts and ends on the River Walk in Breckenridge. This is an ideal place as it is scenic and also has many clean, flushing(!!!) toilets and free parking. Because the race is small the start is low key and relaxed. The marathon, half and 10k all have separate starts with bike lead outs to wind racers out of town, to the ski hills and finally onto single track. The trails are smooth and wind through forested mountain hillside.
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the course because I decided to not carry my phone. As I was running I really wished I had grabbed our GoPro. Both the half and full marathons run around the back and over the top of the Ten Mile Range. The 10K runs about half way up then cuts around front and then rejoins the half marathon course.
THe first half of the course is mainly up hill on single track in the forest. After about two and a half miles you end up running out onto the ski runs and follow some jeep roads. This part has amazing views of the surrounding peaks and the town of Breckenridge.There is one aid station for the 10K well stocked with water, Gatorade and Honey Stinger products. Just when you reach the aid station you are back on single track to wind your way down the mountain. Most of the trails were smooth but there was a couple sections that were on very technical terrain covered in loose rocks. I believe in the past years we ran on the jeep roads instead of the trail but this year the Spartan Race was on the road.
I was a little worried when I heard that a Spartan race was running on the same day on some of the same trails. The Spartan Race has over 10,000 participants! I am all for people getting out and doing whatever activity makes them happy and keeps them moving but I worried how it might impact my little race. I was happily surprise that there was very little impact. There was plenty of parking when we arrived and we got a spot close the the race start. Our race had to be rerouted a little to not be on the same trails as the Spartan competitors. The only tricky bit was where we had to cross the road the Spartan races were running up. There were SO MANY people it looked like a big city marathon! Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long before darting across and continuing on my way back into town.
The race ends back at the river walk in town, it’s a little short of 10K at about 5.8ish miles in true trail race fashion. The finish area is a great low-key party atmosphere at the finish. There is a large grassy area and access to a small creek so it is a nice area for families to wait for their racers. There is also a Starbucks about a hundred yards away for a convenient caffeine fix. The tech t-shirt is nice and I like the design but it is the same design every year so I have one in three colors. The half and full marathon finishers received medals that looked really nice.
Overall I think this is a great race and I was really impressed at how the dealt with the challenge of the conflicting time of the Spartan race.