From high alpine mountains to desert mesas, here are our picks to keep on your radar this running season.
Words By Tiona Eversole
August 26th, 2018
Northern Arizona is packed with many desert gems.
The North Rim Ramble course takes you through spruce, pine and aspen forest, and along the East Rim of the Grand Canyon where renowned areas such as Marble Canyon, the Vermillion Cliffs and the Saddle Mountain Wilderness are all visible.
September 29th-30th, 2018
Located just outside Phoenix in McDowell Mountain Regional Park, the Jangover Night Runs wind through the desert terrain when temperatures are coolest. Beginning at 7pm, you’re going to want your headlamp for this race.
September 15th-16th, 2018
From the high Sonoran desert to Ponderosa pine forest, the Mogollon Monster 100 offers a rugged and challenging race that climbs up and down the Mogollon Rim in four separate locations. The race begins in the town of Pine, located about an hour and a half northeast of Phoenix.
August 25th, 2018
Who doesn’t love finishing a race with a cold beer?!
Sponsored by the First National Bank of Durango, the Thirsty 13 concludes at the San Juan Brewfest, where over 50 breweries will be pouring your congratulatory post-race beer. Plus, there’s food and live music.
July 7th, 2018
If you’re an ultra runner looking for a real challenge, the John Cappis 50k is it.
Last year, 12 runners started the race. Only two finished: Michael Versteeg with a time of 14hr 47min and Christof Teuscher coming in at 17hr 52min.
With 66 percent of the race being off-trail and unmarked, with multiple steep climbs and 19,000ft of elevation gain, this race is not for the faint of heart.
July 8th, 2018
How high can you go?
Leadville is the highest incorporated town in the U.S., and this 50-mile race spends its entirety above 10,200 feet. This out-and-back course takes you to the old mining town known as Stumptown, and provides breathtaking views of the area’s 14ers.
July 20th, 2018
There’s no better way to see the San Juan National Forest than by foot.
The Hardrock Hundred covers a 100.5-mile loop over a total elevation change of 66,100 feet. Starting in Silverton and winding through the nearby towns of Ouray and Telluride, the race concludes when the runner kisses the Hardrock- a large block of stone mining debris with a painting of a ram’s head.
September 15th, 2018
Named for a runner and esteemed member of the Gallup community that collapsed from a heart attack during this race in 2007, the name changed from the Squash Blossom Half Marathon to the Kent Hodges Memorial Trail Run.
The Half Marathon demands respect, as the course makes it way through steep, technical sections and around mesas. Not recommended if you are attempting your first half marathon.
September 15th, 2018
Explore the New Mexico high country.
The Bull of the Woods Trail Races wind their way through Taos Ski Valley, with the marathon summiting the prominent Kachina Peak.
September 29th, 2018
A 50k awaits you in a little town in northwest New Mexico.
The Mt. Taylor 50k summits the 11,305-foot stratovolcano, and takes runners on the Continental Divide Trail for a portion of the course.
September 1st, 2018
The Endurance Santa Fe Mountain Races are a great way to get out and explore the mountains of northern New Mexico. Get a 4-person team together and try out the 50-mile relay!
November 3rd-4th, 2018
The desert can get extremely hot, which is why this race is held later in the year. The Moab Trail Marathon offers the essential desert course, as runners make their way through narrow canyons, across sandy washes and over Moab-style slickrock.
July 21st, 2018
If you held the record for the most 100-mile trail race wins (coming in at 38), then you would probably have a race named after you too.
The Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer 50k consists of a steep, rocky, rooty terrain that spans across Snowbird Ski Resort and is sponsored by Hoka One One. No drop bag service is available, but the aid stations are well stocked. This will be the first year that the 25k distance is offered, but just because it’s only half the distance of the original race doesn’t mean that it will be any easier. Don’t expect to improve your distance PR on this course.
August 4th & 5th, 2018
Source: Aravaipa Running
Chances are that you might not know where the Tushars Mountains are. But after this race, it’s likely that you will never forget the beauty of this stunning mountain range.
Sponsored by Altra Running, the race weekend now includes several options for different running levels, from the half marathon to a 62-mile course that will have you topping out above 12,000 feet.
Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run
September 7th, 2018
Head to the Wasatch Mountains for a point-to-point run that takes you through some of the most breathtaking scenery the area has to offer. Race entry is based on a lottery that typically begins December 1st, with winners being notified in February.