Stay motivated and in tip-top shape during the winter months. If you register online at Active.com (keyword search: "36th Winter Series" in Colorado Springs), there is a $10 discount for the series and for each indvidual race.
Note Regarding Winter Series I at Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Because of limited parking and the parking expense (paid for by PPRR), please, please, please carpool with other runners, volunteers and spectators ... ideally 3-4 per vehicle. Once parking fills up in the park, there are no options for overflow parking, thus carpooling is essential. The Safeway parking lot at South Academy & Highway 115 is a convenient place to leave your vehicle and carpool the short distance from there to the race venue.
The Winter Series is a series of four races in four different city and county locations. The courses are mostly run on well-groomed dirt trails. The Black Forest courses are run on dirt and paved country roads.
This is a progressive series, meaning each run is longer than the previous one. Each race consists of a short race and a long race. The distances for the short race series are 3.3M, 4M, 5M, 10K. The distances for the long race series are 7M, 8M, 10M, 20K. The series scoring is based on cumulative time of all 4 races.
If you run all four races, you will be eligible for age group and overall awards. Note: You must run all four short series races, or all four long series races to be eligible for awards.
Please, no dogs or baby strollers allowed on the course. Please do not trespass onto private property. Per PPRR race rules, headphones, i-pods, or MP3 players may not be used during the race.
By paying for the series in full by the 2nd event, or by volunteering, you will receive Winter Series swag: TWO pairs of winter woolie running socks and a Specialized big mouth water bottle. Both items will display the Winter Series 2015 logo so you can prove to your running buddies how cool you are.
Team competition is for the short series only.
Minimum 3 person teams. (3 used for scoring). Teams may be all male, all female, or coed. If coed, the 1st male and female finishers on each team are used for scoring, then the faster of the 2nd male/female on the team is used. Scoring is by cumulative time.
Team categories are:
The Hero Challenge is for members of area police and fire departments.
Clydesdale is for men who are 190 pounds or more. Athena is for women who are 160 pounds or more. Awards are given to the top 3 clydesdale/athena runners who finish the entire series, for both the short series and the long series.
Awards are for series finishers only, meaning those who finish all four short series races, or all four long series races. There are no awards for the individual races.
These awards are for both the short series and the long series, with the exception of teams, which only applies to the short series.
Age Groups: 1-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89, 90-94, 95-99, 100+
The awards are handed out at the awards dinner, usually one week after the last race, with information provided on the entry form each year.
Overall award winners are not eligible for Athena/Clydesdale nor age group awards. Athena/Clydesdale award winners are not eligible for age group awards. Teams members are eligible for individual awards.
The races are chip timed. All scoring is based on chip time rather than gun time.
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!
Approximate course distances are 3.3M for the short course and 7M for the long course. The courses start out on paved roads, but quickly get on the trails in the park. Depending on winter storms prior to race day, the trails can be snow or ice covered. The long course has some tough hills.
Both the short and long courses start and finish at the Norris Penrose Event Center. The short course also uses the trail system in Bear Creek Park. The long course includes Bear Creek Park and crosses under 8th Street to get on the Pikes Peak Greenway trail, heading north, then turning around and returning on the same trails.
This is an out-and-back course on the Santa Fe Trail, which is a packed dirt trail and pavement. The out section heads north going slightly uphill. The back section heads south, going slightly downhill.
History of the former Winter Series III Course — (Baptist Road, Article written by Jack Anthony)
This course runs through the neighborhoods in the Black Forest area. This is mostly dirt roads, but there are a few sections on paved roads. There are rolling hills. The 10K course is mostly in the wooded area and protected from most of the cold winter winds. On the 20K course, the last few miles are out in the open and the wind can be bothersome. There are some spectacular views of Pikes Peak and the Front Range mountains, especially from the 20K course. The course is open to vehicle traffic, which is light in nature, but leave the music at home so you can hear the approaching cars.
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.