Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.
A publication that's all about running, RaceRaves, recently published the results of their readers' poll regarding the best marathon in each American state. After the votes were tallied, a race that's among the most difficult marathons in the world ended up on top.
A September race that involves 26.2 miles of mountain running, 7,815 feet of vertical gain, and reaching a wild elevation of 14,115 feet above sea level, the Pikes Peak Marathon was dubbed the best marathon in the state. The trail climbs to the summit of 'America's Mountain,' passing a wide variety of terrain along the way including steep forest running, more climbing on alpine trails, and a rocky mid-point with exposure to the elements and a lack of oxygen. Not only does a race of this nature require extreme endurance and the ability to exert oneself at elevation, it also means having a durable body that can handle a brutal descent on an uneven surface and tired legs.
Perhaps even more impressive, some runners opt to compete in a half marathon dubbed the Pikes Peak Ascent on the day before the full marathon run, aiming to became a 'doubler.' This shorter race follows the same trail, but only involves the uphill portion. It's no surprise that this race was also honored as the 'best half marathon' in the Centennial State.
The runner-up 'best marathon' was the Denver Colfax Marathon, which is typically held in May each year. The runner-up 'best half marathon' was the REVEL of the Rockies race, which is known for being a fast race as it's mostly downhill.
This year, the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent weekend will take place from September 16 to 17. Marathon registration is $225 and Ascent registration is $200.
Find full lists of the country's best marathons by state here. Best half marathons can be found here.
© Pikes Peak Marathon