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.
The Fall Series is a series of four races in four different city and county parks. The courses are run on trails that range from well-maintained to very rocky with exposed tree roots. And if there is water in the park, you will get wet.
This is a progressive series, meaning each run is longer than the previous one. The series scoring is based on cumulative time of all 4 races.
If you run all four races, you will receive a special award and will be eligible for age group and overall awards. If you run one, two or three races, you will get a specially designed t-shirt.
This event has been around since 1979.
Larry Miller has been the race director for a couple of decades. His enthusiasm for laying out challenging cross country courses has never wavered, and he always has something new up his sleeve. The running community is certain that Larry lays awake at night thinking of new twists for the Fall Series courses. There have been hay bale jumps, fence climbing, culvert tunnels and more. And because of all of this, we all have a treasure chest full of Fall Series war stories to pass along. Thank you, Larry!
Note: Based upon the race director's whim, the courses change slightly each year, so there are no permanent course maps.
This course is fairly tame by Fall Series standards until the last mile. The beginning miles are on grass and well-maintained dirt trails with a couple of short hills thrown in. With about 1 mile to go, the course enters Monument Creek and runners must run up the middle of Monument Creek for about 3/4 mile. Once exiting the creek, your shoes will be filled with about 5 pounds of sand and creek muck, which you get to drag along the last 1/4 mile to the finish. Wear old shoes that you are ready to throw out, because you will want to throw them out once you've finished. Also bring a pair of clean socks and another pair of shoes to change into after the race.
This course is run on the Regional Trail in Bear Creek Park and some smaller trails in the park. Most of the trails are in pretty good shape, although it can be soft and loose in places. There is some good climbing in this course (several hundred feet) and the race director always finds a way to maximize the uphills. The signature part of this course is a 30 foot rope climb up a steep embankment near the end of the course. The embankment is about 75 degrees. Runners must go up the embankment by pulling themselves up on a rope. It sounds really tough, but we haven't lost anybody yet, and most runners are smiling during this part of the race.
The trails in Ute Valley Park are up and down and up and down and up and down. You are not gaining or losing a significant amount of altitude, but you are always either climbing or descending. Add in loose gravel, rocks, exposed tree roots, sharp downhill turns, and you have the most technical course of the Fall Series. Most injuries occur on this course, mainly of the sprained ankle variety, but sometimes more serious. But just keep your eye on the trail and you'll be fine. Some years the weather has been wintry from early winter storms. If there is any moisture, the course can get fairly muddy.
The race director usually manages to work in 3 major climbs and descents on the trails in Palmer Park. In places the trail conditions are again covered with loose rock, exposed tree roots and tricky footing. Thus the eyes need to be glued to the trail again. Most years the weather is cold and there have been a couple of years with snow covered trails, which makes it that much harder to see all the obstructions in the trail.
From I-25, take the Uintah Exit (Exit 143)