October 11, 2015


trail_ascent_run_01Kicking off our developing trail race series, the Estes Trail Ascent run,  is sure to grow in popularity!  This course offers sweeping views of Rocky Mountain National Park and the Continental Divide.  Runners run along a ridge line, which captures views you will want to return to, even when you are not racing!

The race starts at 8,500 feet and reaches a high point of  9,085 feet, and has 1,877 feet of elevation gain on the way. The course will challenge you!  It combines sharp climbs with some rolling descents and a final blast down a dirt road that will have your feet rolling maybe faster than they ever have before!  Race distance is around 5.9 miles…race route and description below..
Race takes place at the top of Pole Hill Road, Estes Park, CO 80517

Registration and packet pick up-  9:00am at Ravencrest Chalet and Conference Center, Pole Hill Road, Estes Park, CO 80517 – there is a short, steep walk from the Chalet  up to the Start area. Note there will only be race day registration if the event is not full at that stage – limited to 100 participants. The race finishes close to the new dining hall, Ridge Haus, at Ravencrest. See directions to Ravencrest here.

trail_ascent_run_02Parking-  There is parking at Ravencrest Chalet and at their second entrance- further up the road.  There will be limited parking near the start area (Pole Hill Road and Alpine Street).    We encourage carpooling!  If you are staying at the Stanley Hotel for the trail conference, there will be shuttles available to deliver to the race, compliments of the Estes Park Shuttle.

Course description – The race starts at the entrance gate to Pole Hill Trail at the top of Pole Hill Road. The trail starts out flat, then climbs steeply to the first summit at the power lines.  You have a short rolling downhill breather before you start to climb again and reach summit number 2.  A long, groomed trail takes you back into the forest and to a T-junction point (around 1.8 miles – aid station is at this location). Take a right and start the climb up to the highest point of the race, and summit number 3.   A short descent with loose rocks back to the main trail that you have already covered. Take a right at just over 3 miles, looping back to the forest t-junction, and the aid station for the second time at 3.7 miles. This time take a left and enjoy rolling climbs and descents, before a final descent and a left turn around 4.75 miles.  You are now back on the main trail, a rolling decent taking you back to a short climb back to the power lines summit. Then a steep descent back to the trail entrance. Through the gate and take a right back down Pole Hill Road – keep right on this section! Then take the north entrance to Ravencrest Chalet, through a short section  of road before the finish just before the new Dining Hall at the Chalet! (total 5.8 miles)

Aid station – water will be available at an aid station at the forest t-junction at 1.8 miles on first loop, and 3.7 miles on second loop.

Registration is limited to 100 runners, so register early to avoid disappointment…you can register online up to midnight on October 11, 2015 (click here to register) – if there are places left available you will be able to register from 9:00 am on race morning – we will let you know on availability here.
Entry Fee:  $35.00 until 7/31/2015; 8/1/2015 increase to $40.00; 9/1/2015 increase to race day $45.00

You Get- Each participant receives a tech t-shirt and breakfast at race finish! Breakfast tickets will be available for non-runners at $5.00 per ticket.

Awards – 1st and 2nd place male and female overall; then 1st and 2nd place, male and female, in the following categories:
15 & under, 16 – 19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and over

Results – results are available for the 2013 race at this link

Estes Park Medical Center – making a positive difference in the health and well-being of all they serve. Existing to achieve a culture of clinical and service excellence through patient-centered care. We focus our assistance on the delivery of truly outstanding and exceptional customer service with core values that outline our basic principles of respect, responsiveness and consistent results. EPMC is a 25-bed critical access acute care facility with a 24-hour emergency department, 24-hour ambulance service, emergency air transport, medical/surgical services, obstetrics, home health care, and hospice. See more at their website here. We are delighted that EPMC have become a Presenting Sponsor of the Estes Park Marathon for 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015.

VFuel is thrilled to be the gel sponsor for the Estes Trail Ascent ! Founded in 2011 by three local ultra runners, Vi Endurance is supplying Vi Fuel, the first true endurance gel, at registration and at the aid station. Vi Fuel was developed on the roads and trails around Estes Park and in Rocky Mountain National Park to finally provide a gel that offers taste, quality, and performance. You no longer have to choose! It is the easiest gel in existence to digest, it offers superior performance to any other gel on the market due to its ammonia scavenging ‘Vi Endurance Formula’, and uses only real flavorings… no faking the great taste here. Learn more about this fantastic new endurance gel here.