The Boulder Backroads Marathon was born in 1999, when local athlete and entrepreneur Lesley Kinder decided that Boulder needed a marathon. It immediately became a destination event and attracted 1500 runners in its first year. The race was known, not only for its scenic route and dependable on-course support, but also for its memorable post-race party. Bagpipers led runners to the start line of the original Backroads Marathon and a rowdy crowd cheered them in to the finish.

We have revived the spirit of the original race. The double-loop course is spectator-friendly and not quite as hilly as the original. The festive mood and runner-centered approach remain. The race expo will include some of your favorite local and national brands; the post-race party, headlined by Avery Brewing Company, and including food from Niwot Market, Savory Cuisines and more, will allow runners to refuel and relax with friends, family and fellow-athletes. Local companies Skratch Labs and V-Fuel provide on-course nutrition.

Race Schedule

Fri, Sep 29

  • 3:00PM - 6:00PM: Packet pickup at Flatirons Running Inc.

Sat, Sep 30

  • 11:00AM - 6:00PM: Packet pickup at Flatirons Running Inc.

Sun, Oct 1

  • 5:30AM – 6:45AM: Packet pick-up and registration at the Boulder Reservoir
  • 7:15AM: Half Marathon and Marathon races start
  • 7:45AM: 10k start
  • 10:00AM: Half Marathon awards
  • 12:00PM: Marathon awards

Race Registration

  • Marathon: $100
  • Half Marathon: $75
  • 10k: $45



Boulder Backroads Marathon and Half Marathon Logo

The Course

Location: Boulder Reservoir, 5565 N 51st St. Boulder, Colorado 80301

The 2017 Boulder Backroads Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k are USATF-sanctioned road races held north of Boulder, framed by the majestic Colorado Front Range foothills. Marathon and Half marathon runners begin at the Boulder Reservoir and travel out through the rural countryside of Boulder County on mostly dirt roads and quiet lanes on a loop course. You'll pass farms, cottonwood groves, prairie dogs and ponds, returning to the reservoir along the Northern Colorado canal and across the north and south dams. Half marathoners finish alongside the shores of the Reservoir, while marathoners continue past the finish to run the loop again. The half marathon finish also serves as the hand-off zone for relay racers. Runners receive support from over 100 volunteers staffing seven aid stations along the course.


Parking will be available at the Boulder Reservoir. Please arrive early and carpool when possible.

Packet Pickup

Packet pickup will be at Flatirons Running Inc. on Fri, Sep 29th 3-6 pm and Sat, Sep 30th from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. You can, also, pick up your packet on race day from 5:30am to 6:45am at the start/finish area.


All entrants will get a tech race shirt from Brooks. In addition, goodie bags will have give-aways. Medals go to all finishers in the marathon and half marathon.

Drop Bags

Participants will be able to deposit their gear at the drop bag tent from 5:30 AM to 7:00 AM on race day. Please make sure you attach your baggage tag your bag. Baggage tags are located on your race bibs. Runners just look for the Flatirons Running tent near the start!


Aid stations, race officials, runner number verification points and course marshals will be located on both courses. For runners unable to complete the race, sag vehicles are available to return them to the start. Emergency radio communications, portable toilets, and Band-Aids will be available at all aid stations on the course. A medical tent will be set up at the finish line, staffed by AMR Medical. Two AMR EMT bikes will also be on course, to provide on-site aid if needed.

Not Allowed

Non-registered runners, pacers/escorts, bicycles, inline skates, dogs, or wheelchairs are not allowed on the marathon course. Dogs and glass are also not allowed at the reservoir.

Child Care

We are excited to have PRKids on site offering childcare services during the race. Your kids (age 5-12) will have fun in a safe environment while you run! In addition to a variety of activities, water and snacks will be provided. Check in begins at 6 am. For more info go to PRKIDSUSA.COM.

Aid Stations

Official aid stations, placed approximately every 2 miles beginning at Mile 2 on the course, will be stocked with Eldorado Artesian Spring water, and SkratchLabs Sports Drink. Aid stations at mile 6/19, 9/22 and 13 will also have V-Fuel Endurance gels, pretzels, bananas, chips, and soda.  We're also excited to have HotShot at the mile 6/19 aid station to help prevent and do away with cramping.

Time Limit

There will be a 4 hour time limit for all half marathoners. 6 hour time limit for marathon


Half Marathon:
5-yr age group winners: $10 gift certificate,
Overall M/F 1st: $250, 2nd: $125, 3rd: $75;
Overall Masters M/F $100;

5-yr age group winners: $25 gift certificate,
Overall M/F 1st: $500, 2nd: $250, 3rd: $125;
Overall Masters M/F $125;

10k: M/F 1st: $100, 2nd: $50, 3rd: $25


Results will be posted to this site within 24hrs of the race.


Glen Delman Photography will be on the course. Photos are posted on the Boulder Backroads Marathon Facebook page.

Finish Line Festival

After a hard day of running, come join us at the FINISH LINE Festival with over 25 vendors passing out samples, food and drinks. There will be a massage tent, beer garden and music to keep you and your family entertained.

The EXPO Is open to the public…so come visit many of our Boulder/Denver based companies that have come out to support the Boulder Backroads Marathon.

The awards ceremony will take place at the expo throughout the day. (Do not need to be present for your age-group award, they will be available for pickup at Flatirons Running after the race)

Post-race food will be from Savory Cuisines Catering, RAD, Niwot Market, and Lucky's Market.

Enjoy the Avery Brewing Co beer tent after the race, too!

Many other events and local training and coaching groups will also be on hand to get you signed up for your next adventure.

This year's expo will include HotShot, Darn Tough, V-Fuel, Brooks, Native Eyewear, Roll Recovery, Rad Rollers, Flatirons Running Inc, and many more.

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Thanks to Our Sponsors

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