With its awe-inspiring mountain scenery, and desert and city trails, it’s no surprise that Colorado’s diverse landscape is host to a number of marathons throughout the year.
If you’re a Coloradan wanting to run their first marathon, or a seasoned runner looking for new challenges further afield then you’re in luck!
Below we have fifteen of the best marathons that take place in The Centennial State.
South Park Trail Marathon, Fairplay, CO
Starting at South Park City Museum and finishing at the Town of Fairplay Beach, the 38-mile South Park Heavy Marathon starts at a staggering elevation of 9,915 ft and finishes at an eye-popping 13,183 ft.
This rugged marathon is steeped in history, as you run through the South Park Historical District all the way to the top of Horseshoe Pass you’ll be transported to the time of the great Colorado Gold Rush.
If the beautiful creeks and tree-lined track doesn’t inspire you, then your 300 fellow runners are sure to keep you motivated during this challenging, scenic, and rewarding run!
All-Out Beat The Heat, Westminster, CO
Not too hilly, not too flat, the All-Out Beat The Heat marathon is just right!
A favorite trail of Colorado runners, the All-Out Beat The Heat marathon is the only groomed trail marathon course in the Denver Metro Area.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Colorado marathon without beautiful, breathtaking views, and this marathon certainly delivers on that front!
On the Big Dry Creek Trail you’ll be treated to wonderful views of Standley Lake and the Flatirons on the horizon.
This scenic marathon has a terrain that is suitable for all abilities, so if you’re running your first marathon in Colorado this race is for you.
Desert RATS Trail Running Festival, Fruita, CO
For a fun weekend of running look no further than the Desert RATS Trail Running Festival.
Established in 2003, the Desert RATS Trail Running Festival takes you through world renowned trails around Fruita, Colorado.
The festival takes place from Friday to Sunday.
On Friday you’ll receive all the information you need ahead of the trail marathon on Saturday and a delicious food truck dinner.
Then on Sunday a half-marathon and 10K takes place, as well as kids’ races.
The festival welcomes friends and family to attend so they can cheer you on, and special rates are offered at the Fruita Super 8 hotel for all participants.
This is a hot-ticket marathon, so make sure to register early!
Colorado Marathon, Fort Collins, CO
Looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon? Then why not run the Colorado Marathon?
Held annually in Fort Collins, the Colorado Marathon is one of the best marathons to qualify for the famous Boston race.
This is thanks to their downhill course.
Its gradual elevation provides runners a fast advantage that other Boston qualifier races just can’t match.
But that’s not all, the Colorado Marathon is also an environmentally conscious run.
Registration is only available online, to reduce the environmental toll of paper waste.
Valkyrie Trail Race, Colorado Springs, CO
Taking place at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, the Valkyrie Trail Race is a women-only trail that provides stunning views of Colorado Springs’ rich, varied ecosystem and beautiful city.
There are several distances to choose from, making it ideal for female runners of different abilities.
The race is run in teams of two, with each member running a half-marathon course.
The winner of the race is decided by combining your two times together.
Refreshments such as water and soda are available long the way, and you’ll finish the race exactly where you started.
Denver Colfax Marathon, Denver, CO
Starting and finishing in Denver City Park, the Denver Colfax Marathon really is the best way to see the grand sights of Denver!
Not to mention the most rewarding.
You’ll run through Empower Field at the famous Mile High Stadium not once but twice, while also running through Denver Fire Station #1, busy Colfax Avenue, Lakewood, downtown Denver, and over Sloan Lake.
What’s more, you’ll also be treated to views of the stunning Rocky Mountains as you run!
Plus, the Colfax Marathon is a certified Boston Marathon qualifier race. The Denver Colfax Marathon needs to be on every runner’s bucket list!
Spirit Trail Run, Buena Vista, CO
The Spirit Trail Run takes you through the beautiful Buena Vista Trail System that includes the Broken Boyfriend, Midland Grade, River Park, and Whipple Trails, and is a fun challenge for avid runners.
REVEL Rockies, Denver, CO
Another Boston Qualifying race, the REVEL Rockies is a beloved race for Colorado runners.
One of the speediest marathons on this list, the REVEL Rockies takes you through the canyons and forests of the majestic Rocky Mountains and into the foothills of Denver.
The downhill slope makes for a delightfully smooth run – the perfect race to really soak in the scenery around you.
Steamboat Marathon, Steamboat Springs, CO
One of the most beloved marathons in the country, the Steamboat Marathon is one of the smaller races on this list, but its quaint nature and community spirit is what makes this race so appealing.
Every runner is supported during this race, and with a backdrop of beautiful, inspiring scenery you’re sure to stay motivated every step of the way!
Leadville Trail Marathon & Heavy Half, Leadville, CO
The Leadville Trail Marathon is one rugged run that takes you through the historic mining district of Leadville’s east side on a single track, and is 26.2 miles of old mining trails and dirt roads.
There is also a Heavy Half marathon that takes you through the same route, but bypasses the Ball Mountain portion of the race.
The Leadville Trail Marathon takes you 13,185 feet to Mosquito Pass, which is the highest continuous pass in the US and is often covered in snow.
If that sounds daunting, then the course is well-marked with flour arrows and fluorescent striped ribbon to keep you as safe as possible.
Estes Park Marathon, Estes Park, CO
Colorado isn’t short of scenic marathons, but the Estes Park Marathon may be the most scenic of them all.
Coming in at number 7 of Forbes Magazine’s list of most scenic races in the US, this road course is surrounded by views all around of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
The race starts at a staggering 1,500 ft descent and in the first 6.5 miles of the race you’re sure to develop a strong rhythm and pace for the rest of this phenomenal race.
he views of the Rocky Mountains are sure to inspire you during the challenging, rewarding climbs and thrilling downhill runs.
If you’re looking for a destination run, look no further than the Estes Park Marathon.
Silverton Alpine Marathon & 50K, Silverton, CO
If you want a marathon that’s really going to test your endurance look no further than the Silverton Alpine Marathon.
There are a few runs to choose from, from the marathon, to the 8 mile, to the 50K that takes place on Saturday and the 12-mile Kendall Mountain Run that takes place on Sunday.
The Silverton Alpine Marathon is a real workout!
Warm up on the Alpine Loop, before venturing to Silverton on Sunday for the Kendall Mountain Run for a closer look at the ghost towns that you ran through the day before.
Aspen Valley Marathon, Aspen, CO
An official Boston Marathon qualifier event and one of the fastest marathons in North America, the Aspen Valley Marathon is a scenic, 1,418 ft downhill run through the Rio Grande Trail.
During the race you’ll be treated to beautiful Aspen Valley scenery that takes you past rivers and old railway routes, and at the end of the race you’ll receive food and beverages.
The Aspen Valley Marathon is a surprisingly smooth run too, being 80% paved trail and 20% hard-packed dirt trail.
Emerald Mountain Epic, Steamboat Springs, CO
The second marathon on this list to take place in the town of Steamboat Springs, the best mountain bike and trail running racers flock to the Honey Stinger Emerald Mountain Epic.
But even if you’re new to the world of marathon running, the Emerald Mountain Epic is a unique, fun and challenging place to push yourself.
The Emerald Mountain Epic is 90% single track with impressive elevation gains.
Boulder Rez Marathon, Boulder, CO
Taking place in early summer, the Boulder Rez Marathon is a favorite among west coast runners, thanks to its beautiful scenery, ideal running temperatures, proximity to Boulder attractions, and its eye-catching finisher medals.
The course takes you all around the Boulder Reservoir and is mainly lined with dirt trails.
This is probably one of the flattest courses on this list, with just 200 ft of elevation gain.
Still, this doesn’t mean you’ll be deprived of those famous mountain views!
The half-marathon is completed in 2 loops, while the 10K is completed in one loop, and the 5K has a different route altogether.
Spectators are welcome!
There you have it! Fifteen of the best marathons in Colorado!
These marathons are fun, challenging, scenic, and some are even Boston Marathon Qualifying races.
We hope that you have found a Colorado marathon to suit you on our list. Happy running!