The hills west of Denver are crisscrossed with trails aplenty, but they aren't all wonderful. Some are poorly maintained (or mangled by mountain-bike tracks); others are too exposed to the harsh summer sun, which at 8,000 feet can fry you before you've hit the two-mile mark. Alderfer Three Sisters, on the west side of Evergreen, offers the best of all worlds: scenic vistas (Mt. Evans looms to the west), nicely maintained trails, steep climbs and thrilling roller-coaster cruises, and protective groves of pine and aspen that are close-enough-together to save your hide, but open enough so that the trails are among the first in the area to dry after a drenching rain.
The hills west of Denver are crisscrossed with trails aplenty, but they aren't all wonderful. Some are poorly maintained (or mangled by mountain-bike tracks); others are too exposed to the harsh summer sun, which at 8,000 feet can fry you before you've hit the two-mile mark. Alderfer Three Sisters, on the west side of Evergreen, offers the best of all worlds: scenic vistas (Mt. Evans looms to the west), nicely maintained trails, steep climbs and thrilling roller-coaster cruises, and protective groves of pine and aspen that are close-enough-together to save your hide, but open enough so that the trails are among the first in the area to dry after a drenching rain.
Sometimes it's nice to run a race in which the running plays second fiddle and you can just trot along and enjoy the sights -- like the Bolder Boulder would be if there weren't 40,000 other people trying to do the same thing. So instead go north, to the Colorado Run (September 2 this year), a five- or ten-kilometer run through Old Town Fort Collins. The route is crammed with entertainment, like the Jewels of the Nile belly dancers and Scottish bagpipers. Many observers simply blast music from their front lawns. The race ends at the oval at Colorado State University, so as you near the finish you feel like you're entering the Olympic Stadium. There, you can forget your pain by watching the Frisbee-jumping dogs and the live band. Best of all is the recovery food: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream hosts a booth.

Sometimes it's nice to run a race in which the running plays second fiddle and you can just trot along and enjoy the sights -- like the Bolder Boulder would be if there weren't 40,000 other people trying to do the same thing. So instead go north, to the Colorado Run (September 2 this year), a five- or ten-kilometer run through Old Town Fort Collins. The route is crammed with entertainment, like the Jewels of the Nile belly dancers and Scottish bagpipers. Many observers simply blast music from their front lawns. The race ends at the oval at Colorado State University, so as you near the finish you feel like you're entering the Olympic Stadium. There, you can forget your pain by watching the Frisbee-jumping dogs and the live band. Best of all is the recovery food: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream hosts a booth.

This is not advanced human kinetics here. The easiest way to run an extremely fast race is to make sure you are always heading downhill -- not a sheer drop, but a nice, steady decline in elevation. And the nicest place to do that in the Denver area, by far, is the Evergreen Town Race, this year to be held on Sunday, August 6. Both the five-kilometer and ten-kilometer courses wind -- downhill, natch -- along the highly scenic Upper Bear Creek Road, past some of the most sumptuous mountain mansions you are ever likely to lay eyes on. Of course, they'll all be a blur because of the high velocity with which you will be passing them.

Readers' choice: Bolder Boulder

This is not advanced human kinetics here. The easiest way to run an extremely fast race is to make sure you are always heading downhill -- not a sheer drop, but a nice, steady decline in elevation. And the nicest place to do that in the Denver area, by far, is the Evergreen Town Race, this year to be held on Sunday, August 6. Both the five-kilometer and ten-kilometer courses wind -- downhill, natch -- along the highly scenic Upper Bear Creek Road, past some of the most sumptuous mountain mansions you are ever likely to lay eyes on. Of course, they'll all be a blur because of the high velocity with which you will be passing them.

Readers' choice: Bolder Boulder

Now in its fourth year, the U.S. Vertical Kilometer will present you with possibly your worst time ever. The course begins at the base of the Vail ski resort and ends at the top, rocketing nearly straight up 1,000 meters in anywhere from three to three and a half miles. (Although the best route is marked by flags, runners can more or less select their own path -- usually at their peril.) In fact, even to call the U.S. Vertical Kilometer, held in mid-June, a running race is something of a misnomer. This year the men's winning time was just over 40 minutes -- an average of about 13 minutes per mile. The top woman finished in about 49 minutes -- or a bit over 16 minutes per mile.
Now in its fourth year, the U.S. Vertical Kilometer will present you with possibly your worst time ever. The course begins at the base of the Vail ski resort and ends at the top, rocketing nearly straight up 1,000 meters in anywhere from three to three and a half miles. (Although the best route is marked by flags, runners can more or less select their own path -- usually at their peril.) In fact, even to call the U.S. Vertical Kilometer, held in mid-June, a running race is something of a misnomer. This year the men's winning time was just over 40 minutes -- an average of about 13 minutes per mile. The top woman finished in about 49 minutes -- or a bit over 16 minutes per mile.
Former National League MVP and two-time batting champ Larry Walker gives way to the 26-year-old Tennessean Todd Helton, a rugged third-year man who led the league for most of the spring in four major offensive categories -- batting average, runs scored, runs batted in and hits. The oft-injured Walker, now 33, may still be the Rockies' greatest talent, but the level-headed, slick-fielding Helton is a natural for the 2000 All-Star Team -- and the young star who's helped Coors Field fans forget popular first-sacker Andres Galarraga's departure to Atlanta.

Former National League MVP and two-time batting champ Larry Walker gives way to the 26-year-old Tennessean Todd Helton, a rugged third-year man who led the league for most of the spring in four major offensive categories -- batting average, runs scored, runs batted in and hits. The oft-injured Walker, now 33, may still be the Rockies' greatest talent, but the level-headed, slick-fielding Helton is a natural for the 2000 All-Star Team -- and the young star who's helped Coors Field fans forget popular first-sacker Andres Galarraga's departure to Atlanta.

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