Six Things Denver Runners Should Know Before Racing in the Colfax Marathon

Lace up those running shoes.
Lace up those running shoes. Creative Commons: slgckgc
Denver’s Colfax Marathon is sprinting into town this weekend, May 20-21. Runners train for months preparing for the 26.2-mile endurance test and the seven races included over marathon weekend. While it may be too late to plan for the Urban 10-Miler or get a team together to split up the full course for a relay team, you can still take complete advantage of Denver’s running scene and community. Here’s a list of things runners should know about Denver ahead of Denver’s Colfax Marathon.

Training Runs

Whether or not you’re planning on lacing up next weekend, you can always test your pace with group training runs around town. During the months leading up to the marathon, Colfax Marathon Ambassadors are present at these marathon-approved group training runs.

If you’re down south, Boulder Running Company’s Greenwood Village location sets out on a weekly long run every Saturday morning, with water stations every two miles. Boulder Running Company’s Littleton and Boulder locations offer similar training runs on Wednesdays and Sundays, and Life Time Fitness sets out for a quick training run to test your speed every Tuesday.

All information about group training runs can be found here.

Get to know Denver's trails. - WALK RIDE COLORADO FACEBOOK PAGE
Get to know Denver's trails.
Walk Ride Colorado Facebook page

There’s no shortage of trails or running opportunities in and around Denver. For city runs, the South Platte River Trail is a local favorite, offering eighteen miles on a paved surface. While on the run, you’ll pass by the Pepsi Center, Confluence Park, the Auraria campus and other natural points of interest. This trail also offers intersections with nearby trails, including the Bear Creek Trail and the Lakewood Gulch Trail.

If you want to push yourself further for full “marathon-training” capacity, consider jumping on the even longer Cherry Creek Trail, which spans a full 42 miles. For distance lovers, especially, the Cherry Creek Trail offers an opportunity to travel from downtown Denver along the Cherry Creek Reservoir through Parker; the trail ends just east of Castle Rock, in Franktown.

For a comprehensive list of trails in the metro Denver area, visit

You're in good hands with this group. - BELMAR RUNNING CLUB FACEBOOK PAGE
You're in good hands with this group.
Belmar Running Club Facebook Page
Running Clubs

Running alone is great and a healthy choice, but training with a partner offers you an opportunity to push yourself and maybe even shave a few seconds off your mile time. Running in the USA offers a full list of dozens of officially registered Colorado running clubs, but there are several free clubs in Denver worth pointing out as well. For the downtown crowd, consider joining Denver Beer Company's run club on Tuesday nights. A full 5K course is covered through the neighborhood, and it’s topped off with a free pasta dinner at the end, when you find yourself needing to carbo-load.

On the west side of I-25? Join Lakewood’s Belmar Running Club for its weekly free runs. The group meets at Runner’s Roost Lakewood each Thursday at 6 p.m. and heads over to Rocko’s Cantina for happy-hour-priced drinks following every run. You’re in good hands with this club, which is 100 percent sponsored by Rocko's and Chiropractic Belmar.

For those traveling and looking to stay in a running-friendly environment with staff that knows the area, the Westin Denver Downtown has its own little run club for guests. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning starting at 6:30 a.m., the hotel’s general manager kicks off a three-mile urban run, giving guests a mini tour of the city. New Balance running shoes are even available for those who didn’t pack their own in their carry-on.

Let's get some shoes.
Boulder Running Company Facebook page
Running-Related Stores

Whether you’re setting out on a 26.2-mile marathon or heading out on foot a few miles to the grocery store, having proper running shoes is essential. Luckily, there are a few stores in the Denver area ready and willing to help you hit the pavement.

New Balance in both Cherry Creek and Littleton offers a professional fitting experience with a New Balance “fit specialist” to help find the perfect fit for your shape. Runners Roost’s seven locations have been locally operated since 1977, and all are dedicated to customer service and a sincere passion for running.

The same can be said of Boulder Running Company; at its Greenwood Village, Boulder and Littleton locations,a professional fit is what the staff is after. Be sure to bring your current running shoes, as you'll be asked to hop on a treadmill so both your foot and the show can be measured before determining a perfect fit.

National Running Day

If you’re ready to lace up your running shoes, set a goal to hit the pavement for National Running Day, which takes place on June 7 this year.

click to enlarge Do it for the beer. - ALPINE DOG TUESDAY RUN CLUB FACEBOOK PAGE
Do it for the beer.
Alpine Dog Tuesday Run Club Facebook page

Fun Runs

If running for time isn’t your style, then maybe running for beer is. Denver is full of “fun runs” – both free and for cost. Spend Tuesday night with Alpine Dog Brewing for its Tuesday Night Run Club, jogging around Cheesman park and enjoying $1 select beers at the end. If you’re farther south, hop on a 3.1-mile “pub run” with Boulder Running Company in Greenwood Village, and top it off with a brat and a beer from Halfpenny Brewing Company.
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Lauren Archuletta is a contributor for Westword's arts section, covering Denver's health and wellness scene. Follow her work for tips on cheap workouts and which yoga classes include mimosas and beer.