Back to top

Cool Running: Winter Races in Colorado

In a state where outdoor recreation is a way of life, Coloradans don’t stow away their sneakers during winter. Register now for these wintertime races that range from traditional 5Ks and marathons to fat bikes and uphill snowshoe treks.

Winter Biking at Copper Mountain
Winter Biking at Copper Mountain

Emma Crawford Coffin Race
Manitou Springs
Oct. TBA, 2021 
In 1889 when Emma Crawford died of tuberculosis, her final wish was to be buried atop nearby Red Mountain. Her fiancé honored her command, but rainfall tempted fate and released her coffin down the mountainside. Emma’s body was never found, but the coffin became a rallying point for this modern-day race where period-dressed racers roll coffins up Manitou Avenue. 

New Year’s Eve Resolution 5K
Dec. 31, 2021
Washington Park’s beloved Resolution Run is a time-honored tradition. Post-race music, food and drinks set your night on an energetic, runner’s- high-induced trajectory. After the race, continue the countdown at one of Wash Park’s neighborhood breweries, like Grandma’s House on Broadway.

Rio Frio 5K On Ice
Jan. 28–30, 2022
The Rio Grande River is a powerful force of nature, carrying snowmelt from Colorado’s San Juan Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. This lifeblood of the Southwest is awe-inspiring from its banks, but race organizers in Alamosa want runners to see and feel the landscape from the river itself. Hard-packed ice permits racers to run directly on the Rio Grande and experience a newfound appreciation for the waterway.

Colorado Cup Snowshoe Race
Jan. TBA, 2022
The people of Leadville are hardcore. Each August, elite athletes run the Leadville Trail 100-mile race (yes, 100 miles!). Not to be outdone, winter residents lovingly founded a 26.2-mile snowshoe race. A marathon is not for the faint of heart, but those who endure are rewarded with racer camaraderie and one heck of a bucket list item.

Copper Mountain
Feb. TBA, 2022
Winter biking is growing exponentially in popularity. But don’t take our word for it: Join fat-bike enthusiasts at Copper for a nighttime race down ski runs and through the resort’s picturesque village. Newbies can rent demos and kids can enter the LittleBike race. Fireworks and winter warmers await finishers.

Vail Mountain Winter Uphill
Feb. TBA, 2022
Vail visitors are used to swishing down world-class slopes. Not so in February, when racers charge up 2,200 vertical feet from Lionshead Village to the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. The Winter Uphill is a la carte: Choose from running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or any other winter transport you can fashion.  

Run Through Time Marathon
March 12, 2022
For the habitual long-distance runners out there, put Salida’s Run Through Time on your list. Elevations of more than 7,000 feet and views of the Arkansas Valley have made it a favorite among trail-running junkies. A half marathon and 2-mile option are also available.

Additional Heart-Pumping Winter Races in Colorado:

Find more events in Colorado >>

Tips for Running in Colder Weather

    1. Footwear: Less mesh equals less potential for wet feet. Depending on the race, consider buying running crampons that will give you more traction on ice.
    2. Clothing: Don’t forget Colorado’s mantra: layers! Our high elevation means you can be in a T-shirt one second and a heavy jacket the next.
      Tip: Dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature.
    3. Fabric: Wear fabrics that wick away moisture, especially on your feet, where cotton harbors uncomfortable chilliness.
    4. Efficiency: Gloves, face masks and hats help maintain your body heat.
      Tip: Put hand warmers in your shoes and gloves. 
    5. Warm-Ups: Avoid shocking your body with a sudden drop in temperature. Instead, warm up inside before heading out.

Want more?

Discover locally loved running and biking destinations in Colorado >>

Explore challening cycling routes >>

Check out awesome adaptive winter sports in Colorado >>