I had the good fortune of being in Denver for about a week recently, staying just south of the city in what some urban futurist thought to call the DTC, or Denver Tech Center. I’m assuming there are real live tech companies in the DTC, although I’m not really sure – I didn’t spot any “coder shuttle buses” coming and going. But I can confirm that there are some outstanding places to run in that area.
My hotel was a little over a mile from the Cherry Creek State Park – a really wonderful location to get some “convenience nature” when you want to experience Colorado, but don’t have time to go up in the mountains. Although the park isn’t gigantic, you can easily get in 15-20 miles of unduplicated routes – there’s a large web of intersecting trails around the lake and plenty of fun stuff to look at: fishing docks, boating areas, camping sites and outdoorsy centers. For you adventurous types, if you explore the area behind the giant, looming engineering berm that dominates the skyline and keeps the lake intact, you can hook up with the “Cherry Creek Trail“, a long, meandering 15-mile route that will take you all the way to Denver’s city center along some really beautiful, creek-side scenery.
Denver’s experiencing one of the warmest Octobers on record this year. I’m not sure what that means for the upcoming ski season. For my runs, it meant glorious conditions – big, beautiful, blue skies and crisp, fall air. You’d think that the thin oxygen in the mile-high city might make for tough slogging, but I found the opposite to be true – I felt extra fast and had to keep throttling back to stay in my HR zone sweet spot.
I did three different runs down into the park area. They were all just wonderful routes – nice, rolling hills, lots of Denverites out on the trail, enjoying the heat wave. On the last day, I decided to take a detour to just north of the reservoir, because I thought I remembered seeing some prairie dogs in that area the last time I ran in Cherry Creek. As luck would have it, as I came down the hill on the far side of the park, I ran into a whole crowd of those cute, furry guys, poking up out of their network of holes to see what was going on. I’m not completely fluent in prairie dog, but in the barrage of chatter I’m pretty sure I heard the words for “get the hell off of my yard”.
Keep HR low, Enjoy the run
How’d I do?
Mission accomplished. Nothing like Denver to make you just chill out and enjoy nature