Running series offers new views of Bear Creek Lake

Clarke Reader

Lakewood residents will want to keep running gear handy during the month of September. runners will have the chance to hit the trails at Bear Creek Lake Park, and enjoy the cooler weather and scenic views.

The city’s annual trail-running series will kick off Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the park, 15600 W. Morrison Road, 6-9 p.m.

The series continues every Wednesday in September, with routes that start at Pelican Point and vary from 4 to 7 miles.

The series will help people enjoy cooler weather and scenic views, and offer those who may have been thinking about starting a running program a social way to get going.

“It’s late enough that people can do this on their way home from work and early enough that it won’t be too dark while running,” said Polly Zimmerman, a fitness specialist who helps set up the courses and organize the event. “It’s a great place for people who have never tried running trails to give it a chance.”

Zimmerman said the series starts with the shortest route, which is about four miles. The middle two runs are longer and more challenging, and the last run of the series is a repeat of the shortest route.

The runs are capped at about 100 runners and, according to Zimmerman, more than 100 runners participate regularly.

The series is sponsored by Runners Roost in Lakewood and Mizuno, which offer prizes to runners and help keep the series going.

Zimmerman said she and her staff run the park regularly and decide on the courses. It’s important to maintain the park, she said, so marking the course can be a bit challenging because no paint or permanent markers can be used.

Drew Sprafke, regional parks supervisor, said his staff offers some help with the series in case there are any emergencies, but for the most part it’s Zimmerman’s show.

“When the series first started, we were really involved, but as the years have passed they’ve really got it down,” Sprafke said.

For Zimmerman, the series is not only a stress-free way to introduce people to trail running, but it also introduces them to Bear Creek Lake.

“It’s a really nice, low-key event to get people running,” she said. “Bear Creek is a unique park, and this is a fun way to showcase it.”

To register, go online to

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