Athletics Magazine

The Time I Saw Big Foot

By Brisdon @shutuprun

Ken loves it when I drag him out of bed at 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning to drive up to 9,200 feet and run for 12 miles.  He must really love me. Or, not want me to get eaten by a bear because then who would cook dinner and darn his socks?


Today we headed to the Sourdough Trail, which is about 45 minutes from home, near Ward, Colorado. This is a random trail I found online. I wanted to get in 11 miles today, so I picked a trail based on that distance.


We were the only ones at the trailhead.  Poor, lonely Ford Explorer (yes, I have not gotten a new car yet). Needs a sassy Dodge Charger to procreate with. That would result in an Explarger.


What I liked about this trail:

  • No one was there. We saw only four mountain bikers the whole time. No runners. Oh, and some people out picking mushrooms. Hope they make a good Chicken Cacciatore later and don’t poison themselves.
  • Cool temperatures. It’s nipply at 10,400 feet.
  • 1,800 feet of climbing, but it was pretty mellow. No especially tough climbs all at once.



  • Good high altitude training. I usually train about 5,000-6,000 feet, so this made me not breathe.

What I didn’t like:

  • Way too many rocks. I sprained and twisted my ankle 5,000 times. I did fall once, but did it gracefully and ended in that Table Top pose from yoga.  I don’t mind climbing, but I hate thousands of loose rocks and roots on the trial (and this was the less rocky section):


  • No views. I mean, here we are in the Colorado high-country and there were literally only 2 spots over the 12 mile run where you had a slight view.


  • Long drive.

We both decided we wouldn’t do this one again, but in my mind, no trail run is ever “bad.” There are just levels of how good it is.

This was supposed to be 11.2 miles, but I hid my long-sleeved shirt at mile one when I got hot. On the way down I couldn’t find it and ended up going a mile and a half extra before I found it. I think the mushroom people hid it. Stupid me. Have you ever done that?


It was so peaceful being out there today. We heard some elk bugling or maybe it was a child screaming.  I only got in trouble once when I was running in front of Ken and let a few silent but deadlies fly out. He reprimanded me, telling me I had to warn him. Geez, he’s so high maintenance.

There were some crazy obstacles on the trail. Hope there are no trees in the middle of the Denver Rock and Roll course.


Here I am trying to have some fun on the downhill, not rocky section and almost broke my neck. Note to self: if you want to video tape while running, where a helmet cam (but then I’d have to run with a helmet, which is actually not a bad idea).

All in all, it was 12.6 miles (including my hunt for the shirt) with over 1,800 feet of climbing. And, my knee didn’t hurt at all. Something about the trails is usually very kind to the body.


Look! I’m ready for 12 more!

On the way home driving down the canyon, we saw a black mama bear and her cub sitting on a rock above the road. All the years I’ve lived in Colorado, and I’ve never seen a bear in the wild. I’m just glad she wasn’t on the trail. She probably got scared off by my silent but deadlies. Ken should be grateful.


That’s baby bear at the top:


Do you ever overdress when you run? I try to remember to dress like it is 10 degrees warmer than it is, but I also hate being cold, so sometimes I have to strip down and hide stuff or do the dreaded wrap around the waist thing.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in the wild? Probably these bears. I once saw Big Foot and the Lochness Monster on a trail run (at the same time), but no one believes me.


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