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   The annual Colorado Trip took place a couple of weeks ago, and most people that went are glad they did. The athletes made their way through the Badlands of South Dakota and the flats of Wyoming to reach the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
   This year, it was Ben Zhao, Chuck Craycraft, Kim Zhao, Kai Richards, Forrest Tahdooanippah, Neil Grosscup, Heriberto Vargas, Dan Dickinson, Koby Hagen, Charles Yin, Erik DeLapp, and Laura Berksow.

   MAGNOLIA: How many miles can you go?
   The famous Magnolia road is a dirt road that many well known American distance greats trained on. The Colorado Buffaloes, Adam Goucher, and so on. The road runs outward for about 9 miles and then comes back in. To run the whole road would be 18 miles, and many of the people on the Colorado trip achieved the goal. During the run, the temperature climbed from a mild 70's to a blazing 90's with a bright sun. To keep the athletes hydrated, there were 2 bikes carrying water and one car with water, gatorade, energy bars, and energy gel.
   Forrest Tahdooanippah ran a total of 18 miles. He completed the course and was smart enough to stop there.
   Neil Grosscup ran 20. He completed the trail and then was picked up by the hydration car and almost passed out. Whoops!
   Charles Yin: Charles ran the farthest, covering a total of 22 miles before the heat and dehydration, not to mention Chuck's car, stopped him from going further.
   Dan Dickinson: Dan ran 18 miles, completing the Magnolia run.
   Erik DeLapp: Erik ran 16 miles, getting picked up by the "hydration" car with just two miles to go.

   PIKE'S PEAK: Is 14,000 feet above sea level high enough?
   Pike's peak rests atop a mountain 14,000 feet+ above sea level. The journy up consists of 13 miles on a completely uphill trail. It goes so high that near the top the path is made up of only glacier and snow. A test of endurance and strength, indeed.
   Forrest Tahdooanippah and Neil Grosscup led the pack, finishing in 2 hours and 56 minutes, running most of the trail. At the top Neil nearly collapsed, while Forrest had a big snack which he soon threw up.
   Heriberto Vargas finished just 2 minutes behind them in 2 hours, 58 minutes. This guy is a mountain runner.
   Charles Yin and Dan Dickinson finished in about 4 hours. Charles ran up half the mountain and then hiked, while Dan hiked at a quick rate for the entire journey.
   Erik DeLapp hiked the trail and completed it in 5 hours flat.
   The rest of the group-- Ben Zhao and Koby Hagen, finished in about 5:30 or so.

   While going into the city for food, water and recreation, the groups stopped by at a local running store where they saw the author of the book Running With The Buffaloes. Also there were many famous runners from the Colorado team, not to mention Olympiic 5000 meter runner Adam Goucher. Then the Colorado group was even more lucky-- they got their pictures taken with all the famous runners that happened to be in the store! The pictures can be found on the Runners Page media index page.

   THE VAIL TRAIL: Up the ski hill we go.
   The Vail ski hill trail goes 4 1/2 miles upward through the forrest to the top of the hill. It's a tough run, but it gets easier once you start running back down.

   PINEY LAKE: One of the highest natural lakes. Ever.
   The Colorado group stayed near Piney Lake for a night and was able to run on the thin dirt paths near the lake. Some of the runners kept following the paths for  just a little over 4 miles, where the path meets up with a series of waterfalls and eventually stops at a very large and impressive waterfall. It's a very fun run.

   COLORADO AS A WHOLE: High mileage or not?
   The point of the Colorado trip is to just have fun, and for some runners, it's a time to start thinking about the next Cross Country season. Mileage depended on the person-- some people on the trip biked and didn't run much, some ran around 50 miles, and some ran around 70 or 80 miles. There were about 7 or 8 days to run total.

   What a great trip. Now the group has returned to the Killer Beez International for the summer.

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