Apr 26, 2012

Distance today = 34.57 km; Total distance = 5614.95 km; Location = Colorado Springs – 38 50.764′ N, 104 52.063′ W; Start time = 0915, Finish time = 1439


A big downhill section this morning saw me into the outskirts of Colorado Springs before midday.  Surprisingly, my legs handled the 2,500 feet drop very well.

Colorado Springs is a mecca for altitude-training athletes, and there are many US and other Olympic athletes training here at the moment.

One of the great pleasures of a run like this is when I reach a town I know nothing about, only to be surprised by its hidden treasures. Today I ran into such a place – Manitou Springs – which is on the outskirts of Colorado Springs as one descends from the Rockies. This town is a must-see for anyone visiting the region.

And right next to Manitou Springs is the Garden of the Gods. Have a look at the photos and video – they’ll do it more justice than my words. In short, it’s a stunning park full of spectacular geological formations, and with Pike’s Peak as a backdrop.

Today has been shorter than normal, as I didn’t feel like running past the hotel and being shuttled back. Occasional shorter days are important, not just from the physical perspective, but from the mental side too. One often hears how the mind and body are interlinked, but this has never been as clear to me as it is on this world run. When one is functioning well, the other tends to follow suit, and vice versa. And it’s vital to give both a rest from time to time. Funny how a 34 km day can do that, when you’re used to 50+ km.