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Colorado > Boulder Marathon, Half Marathon & 5-Mile
Boulder, CO  •  Sunday, October 5, 2014  •  Course Map

The foothills of the Colorado Front Range Mountains are the backdrop along the course for runners who come out to participate in the Rudi's Organic Bakery Boulder Marathon, Half Marathon & 5-Miler (formerly known as the Boulder Backroads Marathon & Half Marathon), which takes runners on a mostly off-road course through the countryside just north of the city, along mostly dirt roads and quiet rural lanes.

Runners see farms, cottonwood groves and several ponds along the out-and-back course's rolling hills, which starts and finishes near the Boulder Reservoir Park and Sixmile Reservoir just outside town.

Colorado's rugged outdoors is the setting and with it comes a steep challenge for runners who take part, namely the long, steady climb in elevation from the starting line all the way up to the half-way point in the race, at the intersection of North 39th Street and the aptly named Plateau Road. The course climbs roughly 300 feet in elevation from the start to the half-way point, from an elevation of about 5,200 feet above sea level at the starting line near the reservoirs to nearly 5,500 feet above sea level at the turnaround point.

The good news is, of course, that what goes up must come down -- after running a mostly uphill race for the first 6.5 miles of the course, runners get to follow a mostly downhill course on the way back to the finish line, as they run the same course in reverse for the second half of the 13.1-mile race. Be sure to bring a sturdy pair of sunglasses for this run, as the sun is often out this time of year for the race, and Colorado's wide-open blue skies and bright sun necessitate protection during the event.

More than 1,300 runners crossed the finish line in the half marathon alone at the race's 2012 running -- out of more than 2,000 runners for all events combined -- making the Boulder Backroads event one of the state's more popular half-marathon running events, even if it's not strictly a road race like most of those run in city centers. Walkers are welcome for both the full and half marathon races, and the event also includes a full marathon relay and a 5-mile race.

Also, because the race takes place at over 5,000 feet above sea level -- and many participants train at our near sea level -- race organizers encourage entrants to allow themselves a few days to acclimate to the Colorado altitude before they take part in the race.

Race Weather & Climate

Located just to the east of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, about a 30-mile drive northwest of Denver, the city of Boulder typically sees cool weather conditions as the seasons are changing from summer to fall.

October Avg. Day of Race Monthly Precip.
Low: 38°F Low: 41°F Rain: 1.28 in.
High: 66°F High: 71°F Snow: 5 in.

Course Map

View the race route map for the Rudi's Organic Boulder Half Marathon

Starting Time

8:00 AM


See race website


To reserve your spot in the fall 2014 running of Boulder's Rudi's Organic Boulder Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay or 5-Mile race, register online at the event website.

Official Race Website


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SEE ALSO: 12-, 16- and 20-Week Half Marathon Training Plans
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