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New starting line, 'fun course' featured in this year's Summer Roundup Trail Run

July 8, 2017 Updated: July 8, 2017 at 8:34 pm
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Hundreds of runners tried to dodge rain puddles and mud as they made their way through a soggy train in Bear Creak Regional Park for the Summer Roundup Trail Run 12K on Sunday, July 5, 2009. The race is the second leg of the Triple Crown of Running. The Gazette, Bryan Oller

The Summer Round Up Trail Run has earned a reputation for altering its course over the years.

The 2017 edition of the 12k race - taking place Sunday - will feature a slight change of its own, with the starting line being moved to help with parking problems faced in the past.

Other than that, the second leg of the Triple Crown of Running series will be largely the same as it was the last two years, with the runners taking three laps around Bear Creek Park before finishing at the same place they started: the Norris-Penrose Event Center.

"We're always open to improving our race courses," said race director Tim Bergsten. "We think we did that this year with the Garden of the Gods 10-mile. The Summer Round Up we just changed that starting area. It's going to be a lot nicer starting area."

The Roundup is the shortest of the three races in the Triple Crown of Running, and slightly easier than the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run and Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon.

And though the course does feature a tough hill the runners will have to conquer on each of their three laps, Bergsten says the course is friendly to spectators and newcomers alike.

"That (hill) makes it a challenge. However, this is also a race that people new to trail running will be able to handle without a problem," Bergsten said. "It's a fun course, especially for spectators, because they get to see the runners go past three times. That makes it fun, and we've gotten a lot of positive feedback."

The race will begin at 7 a.m., with parking available on the north side of the Norris Penrose Event Center.

The Pikes Peak Ascent and the Pikes Peak Marathon - the third leg of the Triple Crown of Running - will take place on Aug. 19 and 20, respectively.

After that, Bergsten says, the race coordinators will consider what changes, if any, they'll need to make to their courses, including the Summer Roundup's. But until then, Bergsten is simply focused on making this year's events as successful as possible, and to him, that only means one thing:

"Happy people at the finish line."

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