By: Kia M. Ruiz
I've been a Black Girls RUN! member since 2012 here in Denver. I have not done much running since mid-2014 when I developed what would be a lingering stress fracture in my foot. I blame kids and my post-natal body for having some calcium issues. So, I've been working slowly with a team of folks to deal with the atrophy around my leg and hip to safely get back to running after a hiatus focused on healing. I am glad to get back to a running event schedule in 2016 include doing Ragnar Trail with BGR! Denver.
This run was at Great Sand Dunes National Park. I was staying at a land trust near the park that weekend and had planned to run here since it was close and themed nicely with the BGR! REI Explorer virtual run. However, when I arrived, the rangers in the visitor center informed me that every trail in the park was iced over and not safe, running on their roads was not an option, and that the dunes were the only way to get anything in.
The dunes had a mix of hard sand, ice, and snow on them above 7500’, so this was an exercise in resistance training. Our three national parks in Colorado are all at higher elevations than the 5280’ we live in around Denver. This run was a combination of walking, jogging, running, sprinting, and laying flat on the ground sucking in wind. It was a fun day out there since the wind was not whipping and the sun was out. I plan to return in March with my oldest son to rent sleds and race down the dunes again.