No matter the weather, the Estes Park Frost Giant 5K and 10K races go on! The winter weather, the high altitude, the cross country portions, and the uphill start can make these races a challenge.
The Estes Park Frost Giant races started in 1979 when local resident, triathlete, mountaineer, and author Chip Salaun and another Estes Park Alpine Runner decided to create a winter run.
Chip devised the name, drew the original logo, laid out the course, pulled the trigger on the first start, and was the catalyst behind the success of this annual mountain run. The scenery is spectacular.
Sadly, Chip vanished in the snow and ice of Mt. Cook in New Zealand in April, 1985.
Estes Park Frost Giant 5K Course
The 5K course leaves the Estes Park Municipal Building and heads uphill on MacGregor Avenue to MacGregor Ranch. This 1 mile portion is on a paved road. Once at the ranch, the course follows the dirt road past the ranch office, then loops back to the ranch entrance cross country, paralleling Devils Gulch Road, for a total of 1.1 miles. Participants then retrace the first leg of the race to the municipal building.
Here is a map of the Estes Park Frost Giant 5K course.
Estes Park Frost Giant 10 K Course
The 10K course leaves the municipal building on Park Lane and then turns right onto Virginia Dr, following Virginia Dr. to Bighorn Dr. The course continues on Bighorn Dr. across Hwy 34, which curves back to MacGregor Avenue.
Runners then follow MacGregor Avenue to MacGregor Ranch, and the course, now on a dirt and gravel road, passes the ranch office, loops back through a field to the ranch entrance, then crosses the street and makes a convoluted loop through another field. After that loop, participants return to the municipal building via MacGregor Avenue.
Here is a map of the Estes Park Frost Giant 10K course.
The race is held each year in January, typically toward the end of the month.
Overall winners receive trophies, and age division winners receive medals or ribbons. All participants receive a technical long sleeve shirt.
NEWS FOR 2020: Sadly there won’t be a Frost Giant in January 2020. Gnar Runners are actively engaged in taking over ownership of the race; however MacGregor Ranch have indicated that they will no longer allow the race to take place on ranch property. We are currently looking at an alternative venue for 2021, and will do whatever we can to keep this historic race alive! I know many runners will be disappointed – we will keep you updated with news as it happens.
See you at the Estes Park Frost Giant!