Creede Mountain Run

When I told people I was going to Creede, Colorado for a race last weekend, most everyone’s reactions were as follows:

“Yeah, I have a race this weekend down in Creede.”

“Creede? Where is that?”

“It’s about 5 hours south near South Fork.”

“South Fork?”

“Yeah, just north of Durango.”

“Oh! Durango, okay.”

Apparently not too many folks (including myself, initially) know where Creede is.  Well, brace yourself, because I’m about to tell you, and it just may be southern Colorado’s best kept secret.

The historic town of Creede is a Statutory Town that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in Mineral County, Colorado. -Wikipedia

Here’s a little background first, as to how I found myself in Creede for a race.  I was presented with the opportunity to do some coverage for the Creede Mountain Runs in exchange for lodging and race entry over the weekend.  I figured hey, why not?  So Pete and I packed up the Jeep and headed down to Creede on Friday afternoon.

We basically took 285S the entire way – not a bad 5 hour drive if you ask me.  We drove through Fairplay, Buena Vista, the San Isabel Forest, and saw Great Sand Dunes National Park from afar (“What the flip was Grandma doing at the sand dunes?”).  We started heading west into the Rio Grande National Forest and drove through some adorable mountain towns and gorgeous vistas before arriving in Creede.

Above Town – B4 Studio

Pete and I explored town a bit before grabbing a drink and some grub in the upstairs patio of Kip’s. The patio had vaulted glass walls that offered amazing views of the surrounding mountains. That’s the thing about Creede, anywhere you look you have an incredible mountain view.

Creede Downtown – Robert Seago

Okay, enough about how cute – pristine – beautiful – etc. Creede is. Let’s talk about the race.

There were three different races held on Saturday morning: a 2 mile, 12 mile, and 22 mile. I decided to go for the 12 mile, as both the 12 and 22 mile distances had some hefty climbing involved and my mileage wasn’t up to par for 22 miles (at least not enough to enjoy myself!).

When the gun went off I was quite hopeful to have a good race. I wanted to do well and knew that the course profile was in my favor: straight up and straight down. As we headed through main street and into the heart of the canyon that would lead us up the mountain, I settled into a comfortable pace and mindset to enjoy the race.

Mines – B4 Studio – The jeep road we followed is just to the right of the mines.

After about seven miles of climbing, approximately 3,000 feet of elevation gain, some serious oxygen deprivation at 10,000+ feet and an array of incredible views of the start of Fall in the mountains, I topped out at the high point of the course and began the five miles of descent back into town.

East Willow Creek – B4 Studio

I had passed a couple of runners towards the top and at this point found myself relatively alone for the remainder of the race. As I pounded down the mountain, watching the tiny town of Creede become closer and bigger, I found myself thinking about how blessed I am to have these sorts of opportunities.

Nothing like an esthetic orgasm to make you appreciate what you have.

I descended into town and crossed the finish line a little after two hours, happy to see Pete and give my quads – and lungs – a rest. I finished up in seventh in the women’s race – not as high as I wanted to place, but not too shabby considering the elements and majority of locals competing.

7th Female – 4th in AG – 19th Overall

Here’s a land where all are equal
Of high or lowly birth –
A land where men make millions
Dug from the dreary earth.
Here meek and mild eyed burros
On mineral mountains feed,
It’s day all day in the day-time
And there is no night in Creede.

The cliffs are solid silver
With wondrous wealth untold,
And the beds of running rivers
Are lined with purest gold.
While the world is filled with sorrow,
And hearts must break and bleed,
It’s day all day in the day-time
And there is no night in Creede.

Cy Warman

After hanging out in Creede awhile longer, Pete and I headed back to Denver.

So, with a positive mountain race under my belt, I was getting pretty amped for the Lead King Loop 25K. Unfortunately, there are schedule conflicts and I won’t be able to attend. C’est la vie.

Coming up next is the Bear Chase half marathon on September 30th.

2 thoughts on “Creede Mountain Run

  1. Love hearing about your time in Creede and the race you ran. Look forward to seeing you at this years race

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