Best Marathons in Colorado: Top Races to Conquer the Rockies

Colorado, often referred to as the Centennial State, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with its diverse landscapes and rugged beauty.

The state’s majestic mountains, deep canyons, and vast plains provide a natural playground for a variety of outdoor activities, including marathons.

The growing popularity of marathon events in the state has led to the organization of numerous races that showcase the picturesque terrain and vibrant culture of Colorado.

Among the best marathons in Colorado, participants can expect to encounter challenging courses traversing the breathtaking, high-altitude landscapes, as well as races running through stunning wine country and picturesque orchards.

These marathons not only test the physical endurance and mental fortitude of the runners, but also reward them with unforgettable views and unforgettable experiences.

In the following sections, we will delve into the details of some of the most highly regarded marathons in Colorado.

From urban races like the Denver Colfax Marathon to scenic, high-altitude routes like the Grand Valley Marathon in Palisade, there is a perfect race for every marathon enthusiast in this incredible state. No matter which marathon you choose, you’re sure to find the ideal challenge while being immersed in Colorado’s captivating landscapes and friendly communities.

Top Marathons in Colorado

Colorado Marathon

The Colorado Marathon is held in Fort Collins and is a popular race for both locals and visitors. The course begins in the scenic Poudre Canyon and follows the Poudre River, offering stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. The race is known for its fast, downhill profile, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a personal best or attempting to qualify for other events.

Colfax Marathon

Taking place in Denver, the Colfax Marathon is the largest marathon in Colorado. The course takes runners through historic neighborhoods, parks, and iconic landmarks of the city, including a stretch along Colfax Avenue, the longest commercial street in the US. This race offers a unique urban experience and also hosts a half marathon, 10K, and relay options.

Steamboat Marathon

The Steamboat Marathon is held in Steamboat Springs and is considered one of the “Top 10 Destination Marathons in North America.” The race begins in the picturesque Hahn’s Peak Village and winds through the lush countryside, eventually finishing in downtown Steamboat Springs. With its scenic course and friendly atmosphere, the Steamboat Marathon is a must-run for marathon enthusiasts.

Aspen Valley Marathon

Set in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Aspen Valley Marathon starts in Aspen and finishes in Basalt. The course takes runners on a beautiful journey along the scenic Rio Grande Trail, a predominantly downhill path that follows the Roaring Fork River. This marathon is perfect for those looking for a high-altitude challenge and breathtaking mountain scenery.

Leadville Trail Marathon

The Leadville Trail Marathon takes place in the historic mining town of Leadville, Colorado. Known for its demanding course, this race tests runners’ endurance with steep climbs, technical trails, and unpredictable weather conditions. At an average elevation of over 10,000 feet, the Leadville Trail Marathon is a true test for even the most experienced trail runners.

Scenic and Challenging Races

Valkyrie Trail Race

The Valkyrie Trail Race is a fantastic event set in the beautiful town of Buena Vista, offering a scenic course that challenges runners with its diverse landscape and natural beauty.

Revel Rockies

Revel Rockies is a popular marathon known for its fast, downhill course which serves as a Boston qualifier. The race starts in the mountains and ends at Mile High Stadium, providing participants with stunning views throughout the event.

Rio Grande Trail

The Rio Grande Trail marathon showcases the beauty of Aspen Valley with its picturesque course that stretches from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. The trail winds along the Rio Grande River, offering runners a unique and enjoyable racing experience.

Staunton Rocks! Marathon

Staunton Rocks! Marathon is a challenging event that highlights the diverse landscape of Colorado. Featuring a mix of technical trails, rolling hills, and steep climbs, this race is perfect for those looking to test their endurance and abilities.

South Park Trail Marathon

The South Park Trail Marathon takes runners through the historic mining town of Fairplay, with a course that boasts high elevations and stunning panoramic views. This race offers a true mountain running experience for those seeking adventure.

Silverton Alpine Marathon

Located in the San Juan Mountains, the Silverton Alpine Marathon offers runners a challenging and scenic race through the high-altitude town of Silverton. With breathtaking views and unique terrain, this event is truly one-of-a-kind.

Emerald Mountain Epic

The Emerald Mountain Epic marathon in Steamboat Springs challenges runners with its combination of technical trails and stunning natural beauty. Winding through lush forests and open meadows, this race showcases the best of Colorado’s outdoors.

Boulder Rez Marathon

Taking place around the Boulder Reservoir, the Boulder Rez Marathon offers a fast, flat course that’s perfect for setting personal records. Surrounded by mountain views, this race provides a scenic backdrop for a memorable marathon experience.

Mountain Rats

Set in the rugged landscape of Leadville, the Mountain Rats marathon challenges runners with a demanding course that features steep climbs and technical descents. This event showcases the true spirit of trail running in Colorado.


As a part of the Leadville Trail Marathon series, the Fairplay marathon takes place in the historic mining town of Fairplay. With a high-elevation course that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, this race is a true Colorado classic.

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