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Bryon Powell and Meghan M. Hicks Friday, 18 November 2011 11:05 TWEET COMMENTS 0

Mile-High Motivation

A journey into the minds of top Boulder area trail runners

Each morning, the sun lifts above the high plains of eastern Colorado, illuminating the Rocky Mountain Front Range ...

All photos by David Clifford

Each morning, the sun lifts above the high plains of eastern Colorado, illuminating the Rocky Mountain Front Range, beginning with pinpricks of orange on the conifer-covered, rocky peaks above Boulder. Minutes pass, the sunrise's glow sweeps down Boulder's iconic Flatirons, the tilted, maroon-hued sandstone fins that flank the Front Range, revealing its uplifting geologic history. Then the town itself is awash in dawn.

As sunrise lights the day, dozens of runners patrol Boulder's trails. Darcy Africa might already be home from her workout, kissing her husband and child good morning. Anton Krupicka sometimes beats the sunrise to the top of Green Mountain. Susan Nuzum and her yellow lab, Elsa, may be pattering along the Mesa Trail.

Buzz Burrell, longtime trail runner and Boulder resident, says, "This is the land of the uber-jock." Indeed, the city's roads and trails are training grounds for professional triathletes, runners, cyclocross-ers, adventure racers and, of course, trail runners.

That trail runners flock to Boulder comes as no surprise to anyone who knows the town well. Boulder boasts 144 miles of trails and almost two-dozen trailheads inside city limits. When civilization yields to the wilds of the Rocky Mountains west of town, private, state and federal lands proffer enough trails for a lifetime of running.



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