Colorado > Blue Sky Marathon & Half Marathon
Fort Collins, CO • Sunday, October 6, 2013 • Course Map
A trail race that's small in numbers but takes runners through some of the biggest, most wide open areas anywhere in the country, the appropriately named Big Sky Marathon & Half Marathon is a trail running event that unfolds along the winding trails of Colorado's scenic Front Range Mountains just north of Denver.
The centerpiece attraction for the race is northern Colorado's Blue Sky Trail, a 15-mile natural surface trail that crosses through 4,000 acres of protected areas in the foothills just west of Fort Collins. At the race's 2011 running, 180 runners crossed the finish line in both races combined, including 92 finishers in the half marathon.
Like the full, 26.2-mile marathon, the 13.1-mile half marathon follows an out-and-back course that starts and finishes at the Soderburg Trail Head just off the Horsetooth Reservoir's Inlet Bay. From there, the course takes runners southward along the Blue Sky Trail as its winds through areas within Horsetooth Mountain Park like Spring Canyon, Twin Springs, Graveyard Gulch and Rattlesnake Gulch, on the way toward a loop at the half-way point, which runners follow all the way around and then head back along the same trail toward the finish line.
Along the way, runners will experience the sights and sounds of a truly high-elevation trail race, with a narrow natural trail -- it's just a few feet across through many stretches -- and scenery in the distance like Colorado's Easter Plains, Horsetooth Rock and the Devil's Backbone, an open space stretch of the trail.
The terrain is often challenging for both the full and the half marathon, as the trail is made of dirt and often strewn with rocks, and runners also often encounter stretches where the trail slopes to the side, as well as a number of challenging uphills and downhills -- the biggest hills occur at the half-way point in the race, and runners also face big hills between mile markers 2 and 3, and between mile markers 9 and 10.
Weather & Climate
Located in central northern Colorado, about an hour's drive north from Denver, Fort Collins tends to see cool to cold and mostly dry weather in the early fall. In October, average monthly temperatures range between 35°F and 64°F, while precipitation amounts average just under an inch for the month.
On the day of the race (Oct. 6), the average low is 39°F and the average high is 69°F.
View the race route map for the Blue Sky Trail Half Marathon
To reserve your spot in the early fall 2013 running of Fort Collins's Blue Sky Trail Marathon or Half Marathon, visit the event website.
Official Race Website
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