By: Philip Snyder
As we prepare for another year of races and events, it is worth looking back at the 2016 season and reminisce.
After supporting a couple of New Year’s themed runs, Runners Roost had a busy few weeks in the store as people embarked on the new year with new training plans and race goals in mind. The season kicked off with a double header of a weekend with the second stop of the winter distance series, Frosty’s Frozen Five and Ten at Hudson Gardens, and the Polar Bear 5k the following day at Wash Park. While the majority of the Roost Race Team chose Frosty’s, both races had a great turnout and some fast times.
While generally a slower time of year in the trail world, Runners Roost hosted Gina Lucrezi and her Trail Sisters for a fun late January run and group panel. One of our most successful events to date, over 125 people in our community room and our own MUT team-member Junko Kazukawa was a great addition to the panel. January also had the official kick-off meetings for the Roost Race Teams.
February saw a bunch of the Roost MUT team head out to Moab for the Red Hot 55k, some strong performances throughout the day, and it was cool to see a dominant performance by a then relatively unknown Jim Walmsley.
Race season unofficially begins in Colorado in March with the Runnin’ of the Green. The Endurance Race Series also kicked off their season with the Westminster Half and Ten-k on Easter. Roost was there as well with a strong team showing as well as our event’s tent with some fun giveaways on a frigid spring morning.
The end of the month brought the Liberty Bell Invitational Track Meet down in Littleton.
The month of May is one of our busier months on the calendar that kicked off with the Colorado Marathon up north and Greenland Trail Race down south. A late season snowstorm turned Greenland into a winter wonderland, but luckily for the runners of the Colorado Marathon they were treated with some snow covered trees in the upper Poudre Canyon, but otherwise great marathon running weather. 2016 also saw the first year of Runners Roost taking over the sponsorship of the Colfax Marathon as well as the Columbine Classic. Both great events that we look to further expand our involvement with in 2017. The Bear Chase folks also started a new trail race back in May, the Rock Hawk Half Marathon down in Castle Rock.
The end of the month also brings the end of High School Track season with the State Track Meet at Jeffco Stadium, where Roost was there all three days to support the athletes, coaches and families. Many records fell that weekend under perfect spring weather.
Memorial Day in Colorado means one thing; The Bolder Boulder. This year was the 37th annual running of it and there were several Roosters at the front of the pack, as well as some outstanding age group performances.
June typically kicks trail and mountain running season into high gear, and 2016 brought a return to our support of the Leadville Race Series, from the kickoff training run, to the Marathon and Heavy Half to the Leadville Training camp, Runners Roost was there in partnership with New Balance supporting our MUT Team at 10,000 feet. The summer months also bring a slew of 5k’s at the local parks and Runners Roost was there at many more than I can list here.
July brings bbq’s fireworks and the Liberty Run at Wash Park, once again the Roost Race Team was out in force with several podium finishes. The Endurance Race Series brought two events in July; the first was the Longmont Trail Half up in Longmont of all places. The Blackhawk Trail Half, however, is held down the canyon a ways from Blackhawk in Golden Gate Canyon. The Blackhawk Trail Half is also one of the hardest races on ERS’ calendar.
July also brought the Leadville Silver Rush 50 miler in which Runners Roost was on site with some great packet pickup deals as well as a VIP area at the finish of the race. It’s always a great time up in Leadville and we are proud to be a part of the Leadville family.
August brought us the final stop of the Leadville Race Series, but not before a stop at the 38th Annual Georgetown-Idaho Springs Half Marathon. Always a favorite amongst front rangers, this fast downhill course punished the quads of many. Several “Gold Pans” were taken home by Roosters.
The following week’s Leadville 100 trail race acted as the culmination of a summer of trail race support. Runners Roost has a large trail running team and several staff members who are passionate about the sport, we do everything we can to be your local trail experts, whether that is supporting marquee events like the Leadville Race Series or our monthly trail runs and clinics. This year’s race saw several team members finish for the first time including our “Last Ass Over the Pass” Sara Foster.
As summer turned to fall trail season turned to fall marathon training and High School Cross Country season. Runners Roost is a proud sponsor of CHSSA (Colorado’s High School Athletics program) and helps facilitate several meets throughout the season as well as the State meet down in Colorado Springs at the end of October. Cross Country in Colorado runs the gamut in conditions from heat stroke races in August to running in the mud and snow at the end of the season.
The Bear Chase Trail Race was another highlight this fall that provided an almost festival-like atmosphere for the participants. Our own Malia Crouse dominated the women’s field in the 50k in her trail debut, she has since gone on to podium at the Xterra Trail Championships in Maui.
October brought some fun new five and ten k’s that we were involved with including the bRUNch Run, the Esprit de She Women’s Run, as well as our involvement with the Scream Scram as a first year sponsor. The big event of the fall was still the Rock n Roll Half Marathon, sadly 2016 saw the loss of the marathon distance on this event, but by cutting the longer race they can provide a better product to the half marathoners. Looking forward to 2017’s event.
November brought pumpkin pie and more turkey themed races than we knew what to do with, but we sponsored no-less than four of them. The Mile-Hi United Way Turkey Trot is the oldest of Colorado’s Thanksgiving themed races and that is where you will find the majority of us Roosters at on Thanksgiving Day. We spent our Black Friday by opting outside with Happy Trails Run Club at White Ranch.
December brought Jingle Bell Runs, Stampeding Santas and very vengeful Reindeer and Resolution Runs to end the year. A toast to the 2016 race year!
See you on the roads and trails in 2017!