Mountain West Region
Run the Ranches and 7.5-mile races
Sept. 15, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Grand County, Colo.
The first of two scenic fall trail races in beautiful, hidden Grand County, Run the Ranches is a 7.5-mile tour through the rolling ranch lands and fall foliage at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, known for its exceptional cross-country skiing and rustically upscale family lodging and recreational activities. There’s also a 3-mile run/walk and a half-mile fun run for youngsters. The second race in the fourth annual series follows on Sunday, Sept. 22, at nearby Granby Ranch. New this year is a post-race Western-style barbecue, complete with cold brews and bluegrass music. Proceeds benefit the local Headwaters Trails Alliance.
Equinox Half Marathon and 5 Mile
Sept. 22, Poudre Canyon, Fort Collins, Colo.
If it’s time to give the legs a fall break after a long race season, look no further than down the canyon. This fast, fun point-to-point half marathon (with a 5-mile option) follows the scenic Poudre Canyon, alongside the rushing waters of Colorado’s only nationally designated Wild and Scenic River. Heading out from the historic Mishawaka Amphitheatre (or Gateway Natural Area for the 5-mile run), this 13.1-mile road race winds down to a post-race wrap on private land, featuring plenty of local foods and beer from some of Fort Collins’ 11 award-winning breweries.
Pikes Peaks Road Runners Fall Race No. 1
Oct. 6, Monument Valley Park, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Part of the historic Pikes Peak Road Runners Fall Series, which builds to progressively longer distances, this 3.5-mile trail race is a tame grass-and-dirt trail trek with a couple of short climbs. By far the best part of the friendly, hometown event comes near the end, when runners must wade up Monument Creek, salmon-rush-style, for three quarters of a mile, then drag shoes loaded with sand and mud to the finish. Sound like fun? Bring your best smile — and worst shoes.