The Doherty Spartan has run several consecutive years now at Bear Creek Regional Park on the west side of Colorado Springs. And, being a county parks property, the meet has seen several changes due to the hand of the county parks in administration.
The meet now starts (and very nearly ends) in the parking lot of the community gardens. I can only imagine the ordeal of negotiation that involved. And, for all practical purposes, parking is now banned in the park east of 21st Street on the afternoon of the meet.
What that means is that people park in lots west of 21st and jaywalk to the meet, people surreptitiously park in the dog park parking lot and cross at the light, or people park in the neighborhood south of the park and jaywalk to the meet. As for buses, they stop, drop, and roll.
But, it does all seem to work. At least it did on Thursday. And, I will readily concede the parking situation is easier than it was the last time I was able to attend the meet.
The meet lasts longer than your typical four-race meet due to the impracticality of starting one race before every last runner from the previous race is in. The first quarter mile of the next race is essentially identical (except for direction) of the last quarter mile of the previous race, and there isn't a lot of room on the shoulder.
But, all that aside, there was some nice racing going on and a lot to be learned from Thursday's outcomes.