Truth time, we’re a little biased when it comes to Colorado races. We live, work, and race here, and we love it. The people are passionate, the scenery is stunning, and there’s craft beer and endurance events galore. We’re talking everything from city marathons to mountain bike races in the sky. Don’t agree with us? Try out our picks for our favorite races in Colorado and see if they change your mind.
Aug. 5, 2017 | Boulder, CO
The Boulder Ironman 70.3 is known for its fast course and stunning Rocky Mountain views. After starting your swim against a beautiful backdrop in the Boulder Reservoir, hop on the bike for a 56-mile loop and 1,823 ft. elevation gain. The final half-marathon leg is two loops on mostly dirt roads, back to the Boulder Reservoir. When the race is over, don’t miss your chance to head to downtown Pearl Street for prime people-watching and a post-race brew.
Sept. 8-9, 2017 | Steamboat Springs, CO
Run Rabbit Run is not for the faint of heart. However, it’s real fun, in a running-50-to-100-miles-through-beautiful-fall-foliage kind of way! The courses start and end at 6,900 ft. having you huffing and puffing up and down steep, rocky hills. The 50-miler reaches 10,568 ft. before crossing the Continental Divide to Rabbit Ears Pass. Those who take on 100 miles will see similar elevation with a few runs through the charming town of Steamboat Springs. Once you cross the finish line, you’ll be rewarded with free beer, pizza, a technical shirt, and an awesome finisher’s mug.
Aug. 26, 2017 | Breckenridge, CO
The Colorado Rockies Spartan easily makes our list for the best races in Colorado, and may even be one of the best Spartan Races! It’s all thanks to Breckenridge: at 9,600 ft., this scenic ski town takes your breath away in more ways than one. It’s the highest starting point for any Spartan Race and whether you take on the 12-14 mile Beast or the beginner 3-5 mile Sprint, both are packed with mountain views and dozens of obstacles. After the race, enjoy the other outdoor activities Breckenridge has to offer – if you have the energy.
June 18, 2017 | Estes Park, CO
Home to “The Shining” hotel and elk that block traffic, Estes Park is actually a charming neighboring town to Rocky Mountain National Park. The scenic marathon starts at an altitude of nearly 9,000 ft., but runners get off to a breezy start with a 7-mile, 1,000-ft. descent. As runners travel over trails and roads, they’ll be greeted by enthusiastic spectators and picturesque views of both the natural environment and the 100-year-old town.
May 21, 2017 | Denver, CO
For a more urban race experience, head to the Mile High City for the Colfax Marathon! Promoted as “Denver’s ultimate urban tour”, the city’s only marathon lives up to its name as runners traverse eclectic neighborhoods, downtown Denver, and the stadium that’s home to the Denver Broncos. But of course, it wouldn’t be Colorado without a little nature: the Colfax Marathon features 7 miles along rivers, lakes and bridges, all with the Rocky Mountains in the background!
TBD 2017 | Breckenridge, CO
It’s back to Breckenridge for this trail run! The Independence Day 10K is the perfect way to kick off your July Fourth festivities and see the best sights Breckenridge has to offer. The race offers waves for both beginners and seasoned veterans, but no matter which one you are, the stunning views will keep you moving forward. Just make sure you cross the finish line in time for the Main Street parade!
Sept. 23, 2017 | Aspen, CO
This race gets its name from the gorgeous fall foliage that lines the trail course from Snowmass Village to Aspen. But don’t be fooled by the pretty name: it’s a challenging course with elevation ranging from 8,000 to 9,000 ft. You’ll start with an incline from 8,650 ft. and end with a gradual descent to the finish at 8,000 ft. You won’t find an over-the-top post-race party at the end, but this race doesn’t need it. Nothing could top its breathtaking course!
Aug. 12, 2017 | Leadville, CO
We admit it: we’re Leadville nerds. Leadville lovers. Leadville junkies. Whatever you want to call us, it’s for good reason. This legendary 100-mile mountain bike race is only for the most dedicated athletes, and even the spectators have a hard time not getting hooked! You’ll be amazed at the big spirit of this tiny town and the grit of competitors as they climb the mostly-trail course from its lowest point of 9,200 ft. to a whopping 12,424! You have to qualify and/or win a lottery to enter, but we promise it’s worth the effort.
Aug. 20, 2017 | Manitou Springs, CO
If you really want to get high in Colorado, head to the small and quirky town of Manitou Springs for the Pikes Peak Marathon. This trail race is designed for the truly hardcore with a 7,815 ft. elevation gain from the start to the 14,115 ft. summit of Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s famous Fourteeners (a mountain with a peak above 14,000 ft.). A steep uphill battle, the ascent can take as long, or even longer, than a full flat marathon! Then, of course, it’s time to go back down. With amazing views and even better bragging rights, it’s no surprise that the Pikes Peak Marathon calls itself “America’s ultimate challenge”.
May 29, 2017 | Boulder, CO
This Memorial Day 10K has quickly become one of the largest 10Ks in the world with more than 70,000 spectators and 50,000 participants. That’s as many athletes as the New York City Marathon – but in a 10K and a town that’s .002% of NYC’s population! But we see why everyone wants to join: the course is lined with entertainment, there’s runners of all abilities from kids to elites, and the race ends in the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field, where the largest Memorial Day tribute takes place with a 21-gun salute, skydivers, and an F-16 flyover. Oh, and did we mention the mountains?
These are our choices for some of the best races in Colorado, but we would love to hear from you! Which ones did we miss? Let us know in the comments below and join Athlinks to claim your results and build your Colorado race calendar!