Colorado > Colorado Running Festival at Copper Mountain Half Marathon & 5K
Copper Mountain, CO • Sunday, July 13, 2014 • Course Map
Described by race organizers as "one of the toughest and highest elevation half marathons" anywhere in the country, the Colorado Running Festival at Copper Mountain (formerly known as the Copper Mountain Half Marathon) takes runners over trails, roads and ski runs through the heart of the Colorado Rockies, along a course whose elevation ranges from about 9,700 feet above sea level at its lowest point to over 10,300 feet at its highest point.
The out-and-back course for the race -- the event also includes a 10K run on Saturday and a 5K on Sunday with the half marathon -- starts and finishes in the Copper Mountain Ski Resort Village, in front of the shops at Burning Stone Plaza.
From there, runners follow the first half of the course as it winds eastward through the resort village, with the vast panorama of the Valley of Copper Mountain all around, following it for the first three miles on Copper Road along the edges of the Copper Creek Golf Club.
Runners follow the course through the village to finish up the first five miles of the race and then head out onto Beeler Place and then along the trail that skirts West Tenmile Creek, which they follow for the next few miles as it winds its way westward and northward roughly parallel to Interstate 70.
The course passes through the areas in the valley known as Wheeler Gulch, Smith Gulch and Wilder Gulch before hitting the turnaround point at roughly the 9-mile marker, where runners head back along the course they've just run to the finish line at Burning Stone Plaza.
These sections of the race are definitely among its most challenging, as runners follow hilly, high-elevation dirt trails that are often strewn with rocks and roots along the way. This part of the course takes runners along an approach to Vail Pass, the highest point in the race, and is mostly uphill all the way there.
The reward, of course, is that the return trek back toward the finish is mostly downhill, as runners finish the race to the music of live bands at the post-race celebration.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in Colorado's Rocky Mountain ski resort areas, a couple hours' drive west from Denver, Copper Mountain usually experiences moderately warm to cool (and sometimes cold) weather in July, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 22 degrees (in 1938) and as high as 89 degrees (in 1939).
||Day of Race
||Rain: 1.75 in.
||Snow: 0 in.
See the race route map for the Copper Mountain Half Marathon
8:00 AM - half marathon
8:30 AM - 5K
9:30 AM - kids' half-mile dash
$70 for the half marathon, if registered by June 27, 2014
$75 between June 28 - July 11
To reserve your spot in the summer 2014 running of Copper Mountain's Colorado Running Festival Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at Active.com.
Official Race Website
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