There was definitely some consternation over the regional location in Woodland Park. A course reconfigured to take out a major hill at the far end of the circuit and changing the course to a two-lap circuit instead of a mostly single circuit helped to reduce some of that consternation, but the issues of an altitude of 8000 feet remained.
The new course configuration isn't really flat, but it involves no more in the way of hills than a typical Front Range course. It is, however, entirely soft surface except for a short stretch of asphalt. 90% of the course is golf cart paths with a bit of a loose layer of sand on top. That, combined with elevation, did a great deal to slow the race down, but there was nothing otherwise exceptional about course difficulty.