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Flaming Foliage Relay - Idaho Springs to Buena Vista

Fri September 6 - Sat September 7, 2024 Idaho Springs, CO 80452 US

The FFR Course

I read that "signage" is provided, but I was uncertain as to how well the routes are marked. Are they marked well enough that it would be difficult to get lost and off of the path?

Every turn will be marked with signs. Detailed maps with written directions are also available to download and print out. However, we can't be responsible if the wind blows a sign down hard or someone thinks it's funny to remove or change the direction of the signs. It is strongly recommended that each runner study their leg before they start and carry the map for each of their legs as a back up. Signs will also be posted even where there aren't turns on the sections teams will be at night just as a reassurance that they are on the right route. These signs will also be supplemented with flashing blinking lights to make them more apparent. The signage should be used as a supplement to the maps. Maps should be studied before each runner's leg and van drivers should have a navigator looking at the maps as some van routes are different than the runner routes.

The course description of the Flaming Foliage Relay states we will travel through National Forests, dirt roads, paved roads, and bike paths. What can we expect?

The Flaming Foliage Relay begins by following the original Colorado Relay course. Created by Outward Bound in 1998, this route takes runners from Idaho Springs to Georgetown, up and over the summit of Guanella Pass (11,669 ft) , on a series of singletrack trails to go over Georgia Pass (11,598 ft) to Breckenridge, then on bike paths through Frisco to Copper Mountain.

From Copper, the course then sets out on new and uncharted terrain as it heads over Fremont Pass (11,318 ft) to Leadville, around Turquoise Lake, and down the Arkansas River Valley. You'll finish your adventures in beautiful Buena Vista

While the only single track trail running is when you go over Georgia Pass, you will encounter dirt roads, paved roads, and bike paths throughout the rest of the FFR relay course.

Will a minivan be able to navigate the Flaming Foliage Relay roads to the exchange points?

None of the dirt roads are 4-wheel drive roads. Normal vehicles can easily drive on the dirt roads. Legs 8, 9, 10, 11 will have no support along the leg as they are single track trail. 

What will be used to mark the paths? Will you be using small power line flags and/or glo-sticks?

The directional arrows on the route are on plywood sandwich boards. There will be directional arrow signs placed at every turn. At night, the arrows on the signs are made with reflective material will be marked with blinking red lights (like bicyclists use). Power line flags and glo-sticks become litter so will not be used.

I know that the night runners are required to have a reflective vest, a flash light, and a red blinking light, but how dark and how alone are most runners?

Our relays travel through rural and isolated areas, so the only section where there will be lighting is through the few small towns the course passes through. Flaming Foliage Relay is in September so days are shorter relatively. It is better to be prepared and ere on the side of caution when it comes to visibility, blinking lights, etc. 

Unless the team is way ahead or far behind the main pack of teams due to misrepresenting their average per mile time during a 10k, runners should not feel particularly isolated.

Has there ever been any concern or issues with animals (wild or domestic) in the middle of the night?

There is always that possibility. If there are concerns about wildlife, the wearing of "bear bells" (essentially jingle bells that you can attach to your shoes or a belt) and carrying pepper spray that attaches to your hip, is suggested. Both would be available at outdoor stores like REI. However, the amount of vehicle traffic, along with all the runners, that travels through these areas is going to be significantly more than normal. Animals would normally avoid this increased activity.

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