Whether you’re a road, trail or ultra runner, you’ll find that the Pikes Peak region offers prime outdoor locations where you can get your cardio on and enjoy amazing views while you breathe in pure air. Paved, gravel and dirt roads that wind through mountains, and in some cases considerable elevation gain, will certainly get your heart rate up and your endorphins flowing. In this blog post we’ll look into the main competitive and social races in and around Colorado Springs this 2018.
Most races are organized by the Pikes Peak Road Runners Club, a 100% volunteer-based organization dedicated to promoting the sport of running in the Pikes Peak region. With around 1,700 members, PPRR is one of the largest and oldest running clubs in America. You can view their full calendar (180 races for 2018) here.
In this calendar we can find recurring events or series that allow runners to track their progress over time, as well as socialize with other runners. Our top picks for race series are:
Winter Series 2018
Stay on you A-game during the upcoming cold months! The Winter Series consists of four races in four different locations, mostly run in dirt trails. This is a progressive series, in which each race covers a longer distance than the last one. Each event offers a short race and a long race. Distances for the short race series are 3.3M, 4M, 5M, and 10K. For the long race series, distances are 7M, 8M, 10M and 20K. Scoring is based on total time for the entire 4-race series.
- Winter Series I: 3M / 7M. Sat, Jan 13 @ Cheyenne Mountain State Park
- Winter Series II: 4M / 8M. Sat, Jan 27 @ Norris Penrose Event Center
- Winter Series III: 5M / 10M. Sat, Feb 10 @ El Pomar Youth Sports Park
- Winter Series IV: 10K / 20K. Sat, Feb 24 @ Wolford Elementary School, Black Forest
Price: $25 for Single Race / $80 for 4-Race series (Discounts for PPRR club members, Police, Fire and Military)
Nielson Challenge 2018
How does 12 FREE races a year sound? The Nielson Challenge offers one 2-mile race per month and like The Winter Series, it also aims to track runners’ progress during the year, but in a totally different way: The first time runners participate they establish their base time, which is used to generate a handicap time using an algorithm. Once this handicap time is set, runners will be racing against their own time at every future Nielson Challenge. The person who improves the most at each monthly event receives a prize. At the end of the year, the person with the most wins is recognized as the year’s winner. All races are held at North Monument Valley Park (W Fontanero St & Culebra Ave).
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Jan 06
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Feb 03
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Mar 03
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Apr 07
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, May 05
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Jun 02
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Jul 07
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Aug 04
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Sep 01
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Oct 06
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Nov 03
- Nielson Two Mile Challenge: Sat, Dec 01
Full Moon Run 2018
Just like the Winter Series and the Nielson Challenge, The Full Moon Run is also a PPRR series. What sets The Full Moon Run apart is that it’s a geared towards a social gathering, instead of a competitive race. As such, these events are also FREE! All ability levels are welcome, both runners and walkers, and there will be various distance options every time. During months with extended daylight runs are held at Red Rock Canyon Park, and when days start getting shorter they move to the outside Trading Post at the Garden of the Gods (Beckers Ln & El Paso Blvd).
There are 13 runs scheduled for 2018. Come out and take a full-moon moonlit stroll and stay for the tailgate gathering!
PS: You might need a headlamp or flashlight.
- Full Moon Run: Mon, Jan 01 @ Beckers & El Paso, Manitou Springs
- Full Moon Run: Wed, Jan 31 @ Beckers & El Paso, Manitou Springs
- Full Moon Run: Thu, Mar 01 @Beckers & El Paso, Manitou Springs
- Full Moon Run: Sat, Mar 31 @ Beckers & El Paso, Manitou Springs
- Full Moon Run: Sun, Apr 29 @ Red Rock Canyon Open Space
- Full Moon Run: Tue, May 29 @ Red Rock Canyon Open Space
- Full Moon Run: Thu, Jun 28 @ Red Rock Canyon Open Space
- Full Moon Run: Fri, Jul 27 @ Red Rock Canyon Open Space
- Full Moon Run: Sun, Aug 26 @ Red Rock Canyon Open Space
- Full Moon Run: Mon, Sep 24 @ Beckers & El Paso, Manitou Springs
- Full Moon Run: Wed, Oct 24 @ Beckers & El Paso, Manitou Springs
- Full Moon Run: Fri, Nov 23 @ Beckers & El Paso, Manitou Springs
- Full Moon Run: Sat, Dec 22 @ Beckers & El Paso, Manitou Springs
Other great series organized by PPRR are the Brewer’s Cup, the Summer Series, and the Fall Series. Now we will look into some of the most important stand-alone competitive races during this year, covering half and full road marathons, trail races and ultras.
- Super Half 2018: 13.1M / 5K. Sun, Feb 04 10:00am @ 121 South Tejon Street
Price: Half Marathon $55 / 5K $20
Register Here: https://runsignup.com/Race?raceId=37447
- Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run: 10M/10K, Jun 10 7:00am @ Rock Ledge Ranch, Garden of the Gods, 3105 Gateway Road
Price: 10M $50 / 10K $40
Register Here: http://gardentenmile.com/
- Colorado Springs Marathon: 26.2M/13.1M/5K/Kids, Sep 29 7:00am @ Acacia Park
Price: Price on this one gets a little zany so please click here
Register Here: http://thecoloradospringsmarathon.com/
Trail Races & Ultras
- XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain State Park: 5K/12K/24K, April 08 8:00am @ Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
Price: 24K $51 / 12K $41 / 5K $31
- Rattler Trail Race: 50K/25K/10K, April 14 7:30am @ Palmer Park
Register Here: https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=47917
Price: 50K $85 / 25K $75 / 10K $50 (Prices go up on Feb 28)
- Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race: 50K/25K/10K, April 28 8:30am @ Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Register Here: https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=41886
Price: 50K $55 / 45K $75 / 10K $35 (Prices go up on Feb 28)
- Greenland Trail Race: 50K/25K/8M, May 05 7:00am @ Greenland Open Space (Larkspur)
Register Here: https://www.coloradorunnerevents.com/Greenland/
Price: Once again, prices can get a little confusing here, so click the link
- NORAD Trail Race: 26.2M/13.1M/4M, May 20 7:00am @ Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Register Here: https://www.madmooseevents.com/norad-trail-race
Price: 26.2M $85 / 13.1M $60 / 4M $35 (Prices go up on Mar 31)
Mad Mooser offers a $10 option for kids under 18, for the shortest distance.
- Summer Round Up Trail Run: 13.1M/10K, Jul 08 7:00am @ Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Register Here: http://summerroundup.com
Price: 13.1M $40 / 10K $30 (Prices go up on May 31)
- Barr Trail Mountain Race: 6M, Jul 15 7:00am @ Barr Trail
Register Here: http://barrtrailmountainrace.com
Price: Early Bird $45 / $55 through June 14 / $65 (June 15-July 12) / $80 (July 13-15)
- Pikes Peak Ultra: 50M/50K/30K, Jul 28 5:30am @ Bear Creek Park
Register Here: https://www.madmooseevents.com/pikes-peak-ultra
Price: 50M $125 / 50K $95 / 30K $80 (Prices go up Feb 28)
- Pikes Peak Ascent & Pikes Peak Marathon: 13.1M/26.2M, Jul 18/19 7:00am @ Barr Trail
Register Here: http://www.pikespeakmarathon.org/
Price: Ascent $160 / Marathon $190
- American Discovery Trail Marathon: 26.2M/13.1M/10K, Sep 03 6:30am @ America The Beautiful Park
Register Here: http://adtmarathon.com/
Price: Click here
- Pony Express: 15M, Sep 16 8:00am @ Rampart Range Road, Woodland Park
Race Day Registration Only. More info here: https://pprrun.org/events/PonyExpress
Price: PPR member $10 / non-members $15
- XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races: 26.2M/13.1M/5K, Oct 07 8:00am @ Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Price: 26.2M $61 / 13.1M $41 / 5K $31
- The Cheyenne Mountain Run: 10+M/3M, Oct 20 10:00am @ Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Register Here: http://friendsofcmsp.org/?page_id=957
Whether you’re planning on running the 2018 Pikes Peak Marathon or just want to add some cardio to your weekly routine, get out there and get moving!