Wild, remote, and untamed thanks to the mountain peaks that are capped with snow in winter and tree-covered in summer, Colorado's tiny Lake City is a onetime mining town that today serves as the jumping-off point for vacationers, hikers, snowmobilers and mountain climbers who come from all over the world to scale its nearby 14,000-ft. peaks and take in its breathtaking natural beauty.
At more than 8,600 feet above sea level, Lake City offers a challenge for runners before they've even started the race at its all-new Mountaineer Marathon & Half Marathon, which marks its inaugural running in the late spring of 2011. You'll definitely need to be ready for a high-elevation race, as the half marathon alone rises more than 700 feet from the start to the half-way point before turning back and heading back downhill.
Like the full marathon, the half marathon follows an out-and-back route that starts and finishes in Lake City's downtown, in the town park at the corner of Silver and 3rd Streets. From there, runners then make their way southward and westward onto Henson Creek Road (County Road 20), which they follow as it winds its way upward and westward into the nearby mountains, following in rough parallel with the winding waters of Henson Creek.
Once runners reach the mid-way point of the half marathon between mile markers 6 and 7, they then turn around and head back downhill all the way along Henson Creek Road to the finish line back in Lake City. Those running the full marathon continue on into the mountains until they reach the 13.1-mile mark, their half-way point, where they make the turn and then head back downhill into town.
Though the season is largely over by the time the race rolls around in late May, it's worth noting that Lake City is considered a mecca for winter outdoor vacationing -- in fact, it's called the "snowmobile captial of the world" for its ample opportunities to ride snowmobiles in and around the snowy mountains that surround the town on all sides. In the summer, Lake City is just as big a draw for its plentiful trout fishing as well as horseback riding, camping, hiking and mountain biking.
Weather & Climate
Nestled among the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, just over 160 miles southeast of Grand Junction and more than 250 miles southwest of Denver, Lake City typically sees mild to moderately cool and often still quite cold weather in May, when average monthly temperatures range between 63°F and 31°F. On the day of the race (May 22), the average high is 65°F and the average low is 32°F, while precipitation amounts average just over 1.1 inches for the month.
$35 for the half marathon
$50 for the full marathon
To reserve your spot in the late spring 2011 running of Lake City's Mountaineer Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at imATHLETE.com
Half Marathon Course Map
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