Northern Colorado is famously a runner-friendly community. In fact, Fort Collins is a Road Runners Club of America Official Runner Friendly Community! That might be because of our intricate system of parks and trails or perhaps it’s our proximity to some of Colorado’s most impressive scenic routes. We think it’s a combination of those plus NoCo’s lineup of marathons, half marathons, 5Ks, training races and other fun running events!
Autumn in Northern Colorado offers impressive changing colors and some of the best running conditions before the snow falls! Check out the region’s best, most anticipated races so you stretch your legs with our community of running fanatics.
Photo courtesy of Partners Mentoring Youth
Saturday, September 9, 7 a.m.
Starting in Lory State Park, this half marathon gains about 2,000 vertical feet along the outer boundaries of the park. Along the way, you’ll pass breathtaking views to of Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins and the Great Plains.
Saturday, September 9, 10 a.m.
This fundraiser 5k starts at Dayspring Christian Church in Windsor. The proceeds from the race are used to raise money for an athletic scholarship fund for the Weld RE-4 Windsor/Severance School District! Register online before September 7.
Saturday, September 9, 8:30 a.m.
Kicking off in St. Michael’s Town Square, the 5th Annual Superhero Run and Family Carnival will be bigger and better than ever! Don your capes and your superhero costumes then register the whole family.
Sunday, September 10, 9 a.m.
Over the past eight years, the Berthoud Run/Walk club has raised approximately $15,000 to support health and wellness in the Berthoud schools and provide much-needed resources for the Berthoud Cross Country Team. Join them at the 2017 Fall Family Fun Run this year! Register online.
Saturday, September 16, 10 a.m.
Though the Running of the Bulls begins at 10 a.m., be sure to arrive an hour early for the Little Stampede! After the kids’ fun run, the Estes Park 5k covers a scenic trail with mild inclines. All proceeds benefit Partners Mentoring Youth so register online today.
Sunday, September 17, 7 a.m.
Both the 5-mile race and the half marathon begin at 7 a.m. The shorter race begins at Gateway Natural Area while the 13.1-mile adventure begins from the famous Mishawaka Amphitheater! You’ll finish at the bottom of the canyon where you can enjoy post-race food and beverages on private land at the base of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain foothills.
Saturday, September 23, 9 a.m.
The 3rd Annual Rodelle Vanilla Day 5K is scheduled for September 23 in celebration of all things vanilla! Refreshments will include locally brewed vanilla beer and other sweet treats as well as entertainment provided by KD & The Painkillers. All race proceeds will benefit social programs for communities in the vanilla growing regions of Madagascar through the Rodelle Foundation.
Sunday, October 1, 8 a.m.
The Fort Collins Running Club’s Tortoise & Hare series is a low-key handicap series of seven races run monthly from October to April. Their first 2017 run takes place in Rolland Moore Park and will offer staggered start times for the faster and slower participants.
Saturday, October 7, 9 a.m.
The 2017 Bacon Strip Race is the 20th anniversary of one of FoCo’s favorite annual runs. The track is a very challenging 10-mile loop with constant undulating hills on rural dirt roads, but the views are unforgettable. Register online where you can also find details on the shorter 4-mile option.
Saturday, October 7, 9 a.m.
Everyone is invited to the annual Taste in Timnath Fall Festival which kicks off with the Scarecrow 5K Fun Run at 9 a.m. Stick around for the festival fun which includes a performance by one of NoCo’s favorite bands, The Burroughs!
Saturday, October 14, 8 a.m.
CSU Homecoming is already a favorite weekend in Fort Collins. One of the many reasons is we’re all invited to run in the Homecoming 5K! Celebrating its 37th year in 2017, the family-friendly race will move from its traditional campus course to the new Hughes Stadium, providing runners with more of a cross-country feel.
Saturday, October 14, 10 a.m.
Strides for CJD is a fundraiser walk benefitting the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation. Inside Rolland Moore Park, participants can walk as many laps around the course as they would like in 2 hours — all to raise awareness and funds to support families affected by the disease.
Sunday, October 15, 10 a.m.
In a spectacular mountain setting, Estes Trail Ascent is put together by the Estes Park Marathon team. Offering 5.8 miles of stunning fall scenery, the short, challenging ascent is the perfect start to marathon training!
Saturday, October 21, 7 a.m.
Beginning at the Blue Sky Trailhead in Horsetooth Mountain Park, this marathon is Fort Collins’ original and only trail marathon. Between Horsetooth Mountain Park and the Devil’s Backbone Open Space, you’ll cover the easternmost hogbacks of Northern Colorado’s Front Range with 3,500 feet of elevation gain and an equal amount of elevation loss.
Saturday, October 28, 9 a.m.
This dog-friendly, Halloween-themed race is hosted by Animal House Rescue & Grooming and benefits NoCo’s homeless pets. The 2017 event features a new venue, a new four-mile course, post-race hot breakfast and beer from The Biergarten at Anheuser Busch, live music, sponsor and vendor booths, and a new beneficiary partner, the Fort Collins Cat Rescue Spay/Neuter Clinic! Register online.
Saturday, October 28, 8:30 a.m.
Taking off through Greeley’s Twin Rivers Park, LIVE UNITED in Color benefits United Way of Weld County, a nonprofit organization working to create lasting change in how we live, work, rest and play in Weld County.
Saturday, November 4, 9:30 a.m.
This 5K on CSU’s famous “oval” is a prediction race which means the winner is whoever predicts their actual race time most accurately. For just $5, you can buy additional predictions: all benefiting Foundation Music School, a community non-profit in town that supports music therapy for children with special needs.
Saturday, November 4, 9 a.m.
Sunday, November 5, 8 a.m.
The November run for the Fort Collins Running Club’s Tortoise & Hare series takes place in Spring Canyon Park. Offering staggered start times and a scenic run through the park, this a great training run!
Thursday, November 23, 9 a.m.
Each year, the Fort Collins Club hosts the Fort Collins Thanksgiving Day Run, now one of the city’s favorite themed races! For the second year, the run has partnered with RamStrength, a nonprofit supporting local cancer survivors through financial assistance.
Thursday, November 23, 9 a.m.
For the 20th year, the NCMC Foundation and Banner Health’s CardioVascular Institute of North Colorado are hosting this Thanksgiving Day race. With the support of generous sponsors as well as race participants, over $55,000 has been raised to assist Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation patients. Check out the route and register online.
Let us know which fall races you’re training for in the comments below.