#60HikesDenverChallenge – Meyer Ranch Open Space

(For 2017, I had a goal of getting through all 60 trails in the book “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Denver”  While I didn’t make it through all 60 that year, I have carried this goal into 2018.  All the specific trail details can be found in the book or online, but I’ll highlight some things about each trail in addition to including my experience and opinion on the trail here. The numbers below are associated with how they are labeled in the book if you have it.)

Trail #23 – Meyer Ranch Open Space – Lodgepole Loop
Completed: 5/30/18 | Number Completed: 21/60
Mode: Trail Run
Location:  Conifer
Distance: 2 miles (I probably did ~3 with two laps around the loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of trail: Hard packed dirt, balloon configuration
Exposure: Lots of shade!
Facilities: Pit toilets and picnic tables. No water

My Experience:
With a free Wednesday (finally!) I decided to get another hike from my book done. With an easy 20 minute drive from my house, I reached the Meyer Ranch Open Space. This small park is right off the highway and offers a few miles of trail (about 5 miles in total). I have been working on building my fitness back up and after the Bolder Boulder,  I was feeling pretty sore so I wanted to hike/run. The trail from the book is 2 miles in a balloon configuration. After I finished the first loop, I was feeling pretty good so I decided to do another loop and then head back to the car, doing 3 miles total.

The trail starts just be the highway and you hike by open meadows before entering a lush forest. The trail winds around and up as you pass through open clearings every so often. The trail is hard packed dirt with very minimal rocks or roots. I did encounter some people on horseback that I had to wait while for them to find a spot to pull over so I could go around without spooking the horses or going off trail. The whole time I could hear the highway noise and the trail kept winding under giant power lines; not very serene if you ask me. A friend of mine said if you add the Old Ski Run Trail, you lose some of the noise, but I didn’t take that trail this time.

Pros:
-Great for a trail run; there are some fun, small, rolling hills and it’s hard packed dirt with minimal large rocks or roots.
-Lots of shade!
-Close to town.

Cons
-Too easy for an actual hike.
-Short; not many miles.
-Not very serene; the highway noise is constant and there are power lines that run right through the middle.
-Pretty busy, even in the middle of the day on a weekday.
-Multi-use with bikers and horseback riders.

Tips:
-Bring water; there is no potable water here.
-If visiting from out of town, you’re not far from Tiny Town, a fun little tourist spot in Morrison.

Overall:
I’m sure this place is great for really, close living, local people, offering a great place to run some trails, however, I wouldn’t recommend coming all this way for a hike here. The trails are short and not serene, plus the views aren’t that great. Would I have included this trail in the book? No, probably not. I feel like there are way better trails to be included. Now, would I come back and get an easier trail run in? Probably! It’s a great place to do some laps.


Park info

Get the book! 

Ragnar Trail Snowmass Bound – Again!

If you’re reading this on Friday, the day I scheduled it to post, I’ll be up in Snowmass, Colorado! Depending on the time of day, I may still be in the tent, catching some sleep, getting ready for my first loop, or recovering from the 6+ mile red loop!

Follow me on Instagram for real-time updates and posts! 

This is my 5th time running the Snowmass Trail Ragnar. I’ve run it every year they’ve brought the trail race to Colorado. It’s a blast and a new adventure every time with a new team and new memories.

Read about some of my past Ragnar adventures:

My favorite blog post ever and it’s about Ragnar (2016)

Trail Ragnar 2014 Part 1

Trail Ragnar 2014 Part 2

Road Ragnar 2014 Part 1

Road Ragnar 2014 Part 2

Post Bolder Boulder Thoughts & A Look Back On The Years

Now that it’s been a little over a week since the Bolder Boulder, I’ve finally had time to compile my thoughts…

I just love running the Bolder Boulder. As I’ve written before, this event is fantastic! The swag is great, the organization is impressive, and there’s a party around every corner. It’s well worth the low registration fee! As a way to celebrate those that have fought for our country and remember those that have lost their lives, the Bolder Boulder is always on Memorial Day and the race is followed by a show and celebration including paragliders landing in the stadium.

This year was my 8th year running and every year has brought new and unique experiences.

2010
This was my first year running the Bolder Boulder. I had just graduated college and was just breaking into the running events scene. I had done my first half marathon a month prior, so my friend Joanna invited me to join her and her family at the Bolder Boulder. They introduced me to the whole event, including the bus system, the wave system, and everything; things that I still follow to this day! I remember something about her Grandpa having had done this race almost every year prior – or something equally as awesome. I had so much fun! They had cotton t-shirts still (because that’s what races did back then and I wore it ON race day – tisk, tisk!) and Joanna and I ran and walked together the whole event, I think.
Finish Time: 1:10:35


2011
After the previous year, I knew I wanted to run the race again. Looking at Athlinks, and my race document, this is the only race I ran in 2011. I brought up the idea to the boy I was dating at the time who was not a runner – ever, but he decided it sounded fun and wanted to do it with me. I still remember our random training runs, running around the hills of Arvada, the city we both grew up in, with our Camelbak for water on the run, cotton training shirts and shorts, and then stopping by the gas station to get a power bar afterward because we knew we needed the protein. Looking back, it makes we realized how much I have changed as a person and as a runner, in addition to the advancements in running gear, clothing, and technology. I still wore the race shirt on race day – how terrible – but at least it was tech fabric! 😉 Since then, I have also become a personal trainer and RRCA run coach and have learned so much more about training and nutrition.
Finish Time: 1:01:19


2012
Ah! The year I started this blog! I was super gung-ho about training and doing as many races as possible having just started my “racing the states” goal. I was getting faster overall, figuring out training and reading a lot of running books, magazines and articles. I had finally been taught that wearing that race’s shirt on race day was bad luck. I traveled a lot this year and ran a lot of races out of state (including Alaska). Of course, I was going to do the Bolder Boulder again; I had to blog about it! I don’t remember much about that year’s race except that I wanted to get under one hour. I do remember my friend Teresa ran it too (we did a few races together that year) but I can’t remember if we traveled together and met at the end or what!
Finish time: 53:03 (I believe this was a new 10k PR at the time)


2013
This is the year I skipped and when I first started this post, I couldn’t remember why! I was racking my brain trying to figure out why in the world would I not do the Bolder Boulder!?! I was looking through pictures, thinking through where I was in life at the time….But thanks to Athlinks, I figured it out! The week before Bolder Boulder 2013, I was out of town for my best friend’s wedding AND, more related to running, I had just run my first marathon, the Vermont City Marathon, which is Memorial Day weekend!
Finish time: DNS

Holding up one finger for my 1st marathon!


2014
This year, I knew I wanted to come back to the Bolder Boulder. I was a new 3W Ambassador and they had a few free entries they had gotten. After a raffle, I won one! I was still in training mode and working as a personal trainer here and there. I wanted to run fast but I don’t remember what my specific goals may have been.
Finish time: 55:11


2015
I had become a 3W employee and earned a free race entry again. I don’t remember my specific goals, again, but that I wanted to try and do pretty well. I had also run the Colfax Marathon relay the week before and had just finish coaching track so I was pretty tired. However, it ended up being the fastest time I ever got on this course/race. 3W had a booth in the expo, and I’m not quite sure how I got out of working it that year. 2015 was the strongest year for me in terms of running. I was running A LOT and had a ton of running friends. I was working as a personal trainer, a coach and for 3W Races, so I was really fit. Even though I had a couple of jobs, they were very low-key, and I still had a lot of time to train. This was a good running year and when I last felt really strong.
Finish time: 51:53 (Course Best for me, but not a PR. I had PR’d the 10k at the Heart and Sole 10k a few months prior.)


2016
This was a really fun year. My Mom told me she really wanted to do a 10k and do the Bolder Boulder – so we did! We walked/ran and I had a lot of fun taking in the sights and enjoying some of the fun things along the side. I do remember really wanting to do one of the slip and slides, but the lines were always way too long!
Finish time: 1:34:28


2017
Last year! It was the end of 2015 and into 2016 and 2017 when I really start slowing down on running and having a hard finding motivation to train. I did way fewer races than I had the previous 5 years. I think I was finally feeling the effects of working three jobs. Springtime is when track season is and I was starting to become a race director with 3W Races …. all while starting a business with my boyfriend! Since this time, I have still been on and off with training and running, but last year, I wanted to do the Bolder Boulder again. I got another entry through 3W and tried to get a good time, always shooting for a course PR. I didn’t have that in me that year, not by a long shot, and I do remember feeling very tired on the course. I still finished with a respectable time in general but I remember feeling very down about running in general.
Finish time: 55:16


2018
This year, I’m mixed with thoughts. For my lack of training prior, I did pretty well actually, but overall, I know I can do better and I want to. I really, really, really want to be fast again. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m pretty speedy compared to the general running population, but compared to ME, to my past times, I know I have more in me. What it really comes down to is…well, I’m not quite sure and I could probably write a whole post on this topic. To put it in simple terms, I’ve still been dealing with on and off again love and motivation for running. Having only run literally about 13 times during the months of March and April (truth), I still wanted to do the Bolder Boulder this year. I know it will just sound like excuses, but simply, I’ve been tired. Like, really, really, really, tired. It is probably due to my many jobs, but I just haven’t quite found that happy medium and right motivation to make running a priority again. Anyway, I digress. This year, I wanted to run because I love the event as a whole, but I went in with an open mind that I was going to just treat it like a long run (yes, 6 miles is a long run for me right now) and run how I feel. After finishing, I had to immediately make my way to the expo to work the 3W booth.
Finish time: 56:35


Looking back at all the years I’ve run the Bolder Boulder, it is really cool to see the advances in running gear, the racing industry and myself. From race shirts going from cotton to moisture-wicking tech fabric and my running knowledge of training, form and race practices evolving. It’s cool to see trends in the racing industry too, from pictures moving from having to pay for a print to getting sponsors for them so they can be free for racers and so much more!

I will probably try to keep running this race every year. There are few races I do this with; I’m typically a “one and done” type of racer. I do have a few goals in mind associated with this race specifically:

-I want to introduce a new people to this event; whether they are new to running or just new to the event itself.
-Run for complete fun, drink beer, eat all the food, do the slip and slides and the trampoline…all of it… one year!
-Break 50 minutes at this specific event/race because the course is pretty challenging.

Finish photos from every year! They usually get a good one of me except for this year!


Find out for yourself, come run next year! BolderBoulder.com

They used to only have the one event but now have the Colder Boulder in the winter and the Fortitude 10k at my alma mater, CSU in September.

5 Tips For Making Your Bolder Boulder Experience the BEST!

The Bolder Boulder is one week away, on Memorial Day and it will be the 8th time I’ve run the race. This local race is a blast and known across the country as one of the best 10k’s!

I really enjoy this race from the course to the spectators and the after party to the swag! The whole city gets into the race and almost every runner in the state of Colorado is there. It’s definitely a race to add to your bucket list, even if you’re from out of state!

There are also so many ways to enjoy the Bolder Boulder. You can go for speed – it’s fun to brag about a good time on the hilly course. You can also go for fun and enjoy the many fun sights and treats along the way: the Doritos house, the marshmellow house, beer chugs (if you’re old enough), bacon, trampolines, Elvis, thebelly dancers and the many slip and slides along the way….just to name a few! Or you can split the difference and go half and half: run fast but pick up a few treats to enjoy while running! I have a friend that one raced it for speed, looped around and ran it again to hit all the fun stuff!

I’ve experienced Bolder Boulder in many of the ways above – partaking in the fun parts, running as fast as I can, running with my mom, with a boyfriend in previous years and all by myself. Now, I have not run this race nearly as many times as some people. I have a friend that has run it every year since 1980, like many locals around here, so I’m by no means an expert, but I do have some go-to habits that I’ve come to rely on for this race.

In all the years I’ve run, I stand by a few things that make my Bolder Boulder experience the best it can be, no matter what way I decided to enjoy the race.

Here are FIVE (plus) tips I swear by to ensure you have the BEST Bolder Boulder day:

1. Take The Bus
-I stand by this 100%, no matter what. RTD (Denver’s bus system) sets up a bunch of stops that are special for Bolder Boulder. You pay around $9 (or less) and you get dropped off right by the start line and picked up at the finish line.
-I swear you’ll be thankful for this; traffic on Bolder Boulder day can be horrendous. $9.00 is well worth the stress of traffic, finding a parking spot and then getting back to your car, wherever you end up parking, after the race.

2016. Racing with my Mom! On the bus with our coffee!

2. Travel Light
-Bring only what you need. If you just can’t leave the layers and accessories at home, there is a bag drop, but I’ve never used it. In a crowd of 20,000+ people, I don’t really want to lose my bag in the shuffle.
-I wear a waterproof race belt, or depending on the weather, my FlipBelt Crops, that I keep my phone*, car keys, credit card and ID** in. I’ve seen some people wear a water vest, even if it’s not necessary for the distance.
-I’ve only ever experienced good weather for the Bolder Boulder (knock on wood). However, it’s usually pretty chilly at race start and SUPER warm as you’re running and after. I wear a light jacket or pullover that I can tie around my waste. If you don’t even want to do that, wear something you don’t mind giving to charity. All clothing items left at the start get donated.
*Having your phone with you helps you find your friends and family at the crowded stadium finish line.
**You’ll definitely want your ID for the FREE beer at the end!

3. Speaking of nice weather...
-Sunscreen up ahead of time. Just get it done in the morning. Trust me. Afterall, this race is 5,391ft above sea level; you’re closer to the sun!

4. Decided on your goal BEFORE you run
-Are you trying to get the best time you can? Start in the front of your wave group and keep your eyes up ahead to dodge the crowds and run the tangents.
-If you really are serious about a Bolder Boulder PR, qualify in the year before with a speedy time to get seeded in an earlier wave that puts you ahead of the main crowds of runners.
-Just want to have fun? Start farther back and take advantage of all the fun along the course. Grab a buddy with a similar “goal” and don’t forget to take pictures!

2017 Cheers!

5. Most of all HAVE FUN and enjoy the festivities!
No matter your goal, take in your surroundings, smile and say hi to strangers…this event is a blast! My favorite part is when you come into the stadium, right at the end,  and are running around the field. The stadium crowd noise is invigorating and feels like they are all cheering just for you!

This event has so much to offer from the fun race course, spirit of the neighborhood,  watching the elite race, and the Memorial Day celebration after the race, it’s worth the cheap registration fees and always great swag (shirts and the token lunch box)!


Here are some photos from over the years:

What will 2018 bring!?! We’ll see!


Bolder Boulder 10k Website
Reviews on BibRave.com