Race Report: 2013 Run For Aurora 50 Mile

This race took place in one of my favorite areas around, Roxborough State Park. The park is small, quiet, has lots of animal and plant life, and does not allow bikes, horses, or dogs. I was surprised to see an ultramarathon being held there as a benefit for the Aurora Theater Victims fund. In my 15 years of living nearby, I can’t remember ever seeing another race in the park. This was an opportunity not to be missed.


It ended up being a low-key, but high quality event. I loved having the chance to run a 50 miler essentially in my backyard.



Most runners on the Front Range were doing the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty, or Ring the Peak, so the field size was smallish (40 total between the 50k & 50 mile). It felt just about right, though. I was honestly a little surprised to see that many runners, considering the scheduling conflicts.

The course was made up of 5 x 9.5 mile loops, plus a little extra on the end to bring the total up to 50 miles. My goal was to run each loop in a little under 2 hours and somewhat comfortably finish the race in under 10 hours. My lap times tell the story:


The first two laps were mostly great. I was sailing up the climbs while keeping my heart rate at or below 160 which is the sweet spot for me in these things. I took a hard fall at mile 15 that ended up derailing my plans. Just caught a little stump hidden under some brush on the edge of the trail. I fell off the trail and was fine except for taking a rock to the upper thigh. That area tightened up and I had a hard time running afterwards. My hand-held bottle cushioned the blow to my upper body, but the impact blew all the water out and I ended up getting behind on hydration and never recovered from that despite sucking down extra water when I could. The next morning I was down 7 pounds even after drinking around 80 ounces of fluids after the race.

I walked almost all of the final lap and finished in 11:26. A little broken down, but in decent spirits considering the long day. More training in the bank.


I saw a GIGANTIC bear above the second aid station on the last lap, which was very cool. It didn’t see me at first (was on a slope about 25 yards below me) and I stopped and watched it for a few seconds. It looked up and saw me and immediately bolted in the opposite direction.


Even though I did not have a good race, I consider the day a great success and thank Claire from Run With it Racing for making the effort to put on a race in such a cool location – and all for a great cause. The word is that it will be back next year and I’m already looking forward to it!

Just watch your step.


Posted on June 6, 2013, in race, run. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Nice race in a nice place. You know the area very well. We have always enjoyed going there.

  2. I was browsing UltraSignup and saw that race, but I stayed home and ate donuts instead.

    Too bad about the fall, but that’s trail running I guess, right? It’s not exactly a controlled environment. Bears, snakes, treacherous rocks… Sometimes that happens. Ah, well.

    My first time at Roxborough they were warning people about a bear roaming around on the trails so I took other routes instead. I don’t understand what the attraction is for them. Are there fruit trees in the park or something? Parks typically have bear-proof trash cans so that can’t be it.

    The last two photos are great, especially the snake. At least you didn’t get bitten!

    • Thanks! No bites for now.

      Bears absolutely thrive in Roxborough. I’m a little stumped about that also. I have seen them digging roots and grazing on the grass there quite a bit. They also love the plentiful acorns. There isn’t a huge abundance of berries or normal-bear food, though.

  3. Curtis Simmons

    Nice report Chris, sorry about your fall. Happy to hear it was’nt any worse. Keep hangin tough.

  4. How did you like the multi-lap format?

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