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Summer trail running for Colorado runners

Trail running is a booming sport and the 2014 summer season reflects Colorado's enthusiasm for the outdoors. With over three dozen runs to choose from, runners from beginner to advanced will have no trouble participating in plenty of events this summer. Distances from 1 mile to 100 miles in the glorious Colorado mountain dirt are available in every corner of the mountain state.

Trail running for Colorado long distance runners
Trail running for Colorado long distance runnersSteve Krull

The Collegiate Peaks in the Leadville area are a virtual trail running mecca with no less than a half a dozen major events in the midst of the 14,000 foot mountains, including a running camp, a rugged trail marathon and the daunting one hundred mile Leadville Trail 100, a brutal run almost all above 10,000 feet of elevation over six mountain passes with two ascents over 12,600 foot Hope Pass.

Short but scenic and close to the cities are the Elk Meadow 5 and 10k runs in Evergreen and the Mesa 1 mile and 10 mile runs in Golden. Rugged trail marathons are being hosted in the Mosquito Range near Leadville, on Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs and in the awesome peaks of the Breckenridge ski area.

Ultra marathoners will also have a full plate with at least three races at the one hundred mile distance, including the Hard Rock 100, the Leadville 100 and the Grand Mesa 100 which also includes optional 60k and 50 mile distances. 50 mile and 50k races will be run in the Leadville area and on Mount Werner.

The summer of 2014 is shaping up to be one of the best trail running seasons ever so whether you are a beginner or a trail running veteran be sure to get out and join in. Runs of every distance from Fort Collins to Steamboat to Aspen to Pueblo assure that there is something for everyone. Following is a short list of some of the most notable events in the state, but be sure to check your local listings and your favorite online calendars for new events and schedule changes in existing events. Trail Runner Magazine and Ultra Running Magazine are excellent sources for trail running information.

Jun 1 Mesa Run, Golden Colorado, 1m, 5k, 10m

Jun 14 Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half

Jun 28 Elk Meadow 5k / 10k

Jul 4 Independence Day 10k Trail Run, Breckenridge

Jul 11 Hard Rock 100

Jul 13 Silver Rush 50, Leadville

Jul 26 Grand Mesa 60k, 50m, 100m

Jul 26 Mt. Werner Classic Trail Run 50k

Aug 3 Power of Four Trail 50k, Aspen

Aug 16 Leadville Trail 100

Aug 16, 17 Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon

Aug 16 Run the Rockies Trail Half, Frisco

Aug 30 Bergen Peak Trail Half, Evergreen

Aug 31 Breckenridge Crest Adventure Run