This morning we went south to Deer Creek Canyon to run the trails there and preview the Fear the Dear race course. My goal was to try and do a long run, so I thought I would do the course twice, reversing direction the second time for a total of 26 miles. Never having run these trails, I was eager to check them out and see what they had to offer. I was not disappointed! The trails are beautiful, with lots of scenic views to the east and north and south along the hogback and Front Range. Likewise, the trails are a mix of semi-technical rocky running and smooth buffed single track through dense Ponderosa forests (I read online that a rock plate might be necessary - no worries, there is nothing that rocky here).
After the first lap, which was uneventful, I was already starting to feel the heat and elevation changes, but mustered up the ambition and headed out for a second go. However, after another hour plus I pulled the plug and just came back down to the car where I commenced drinking several liters of water. Although I didn't make my goal mileage, I was still happy with the run - this was the longest time wise I have run this spring, and with all of the vertical it made it feel twice as long. The question is, is more miles better or more vert?
Either way, the Deer Creek Canyon trails are great, with plenty of shade except on Meadowlark and some spots on Red Mesa. Overall the day was great and I'm happy with it. 20.2 miles, 6,359' of gain, 3:48:23 total time. There were a few other runners out as well, but overall the trails were fairly quiet except for Plymouth and Meadowlark.