Overall Rating
Overall Rating (88 Reviews)
4.7
(88 Ratings)(88 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.6
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.5
Get some fresh air, and escape to the mountains this summer! With the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon, 5K, and Elk Double (half marathon + 5K), you can choose your own adventure! The course runs on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CO. Most of the pre … MORE
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H (°F) 78 79 81 80 72
L (°F) 52 52 46 46 56
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Recent reviews

    ohheyapril FIRST-TIMER '21

    As a first time half marathon runner, race day jitters kicked in the day before the race while I trained 20 minutes on the stair master at 4500 elevation. While … MORE

    As a first time half marathon runner, race day jitters kicked in the day before the race while I trained 20 minutes on the stair master at 4500 elevation. While picking up my bib, my nerves were soon calmed when I talked to a 65 year old couple who told me not to worry, while they have completed 15 half marathons.

    Up at 4am excited for the race. The first two miles started out around Estes Lake in very cold rain with hard cold muscles. Once my body was warm the rain was enjoyable. The rain stopped around the 3 mile mark. I felt pretty good during miles 2-8 where I slowly went from 4500 elevation to 7000. At the 5 mile mark my vastus medialis started cramping (the muscle that starts by your inner knee and goes 1/3 the way up your quad). I got a little freaked out bc I used to get calf cramps while running down the soccer field, which would cause me to collapse. I feared this muscle might take me down. I stretched it out, power walked it off, and continued running. At the 6 mile mark the same cramping happened in the other leg. Mile 9 was the big climb up to 8000 elevation. I was surprised during the duration of the race how decent my lungs felt considering the lack of oxygen they were getting. Mile 12 was the hardest bc it felt the longest as I could see the finish line on the other side of the lake. No better feeling then crossing the 13.1 mile mark finish line. I trained for 3months at 73 elevation and raced at 8K. If I can do it, you can to! Set goals and make them happen.

    At some point, every muscle or joint hurt from the waste down. Parts that have never hurt, hurt while running in the hills. This reminded me of a photo of my father running the LA marathon in the 80’s, where he wrote “pain pain pain all around”. I felt that for sure. I let my mind flow and my legs go, all while listening to a Jimi Hendrix playlist I made. Ran my first half in memory of my father, maybe someday I’ll do a full.

    Overall the race was gorgeous, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be with the hills and elevation, but it was a good fun challenge. My competitive self wonders what my race time would have been if I didn’t have to stop and use the bathroom the first 5 miles. Note to self, when you mostly eat gluten and meat free, don’t try Elk pasta the night before the race. ha! I am grateful for for porta potties, water, and the goo’s at the mile marks. Can’t wait for next years race. I think I’ll race in the Tetons.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    lbiasillo FIRST-TIMER '21

    There are beautiful views and the race communications is on point! The first 1/4 of the race will definitely test you with the hills at elevation. But after mile 5 … MORE

    There are beautiful views and the race communications is on point! The first 1/4 of the race will definitely test you with the hills at elevation. But after mile 5 it’s just rolling hills and amazing views of the ranges. And the oranges at mile 9 are a lifesaver!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    redheadsings FIRST-TIMER '21

    Breath-taking views from mile 1-11. Steady incline the first 5.5 miles, but it's the incline that doesn't look like an incline...so that helps mentally, haha. Always impressed with the organization … MORE

    Breath-taking views from mile 1-11. Steady incline the first 5.5 miles, but it’s the incline that doesn’t look like an incline…so that helps mentally, haha. Always impressed with the organization of the race. Seriously a new favorite to add to my book! Would definitely do it again! Gorgeous!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    whiterabbit484 FIRST-TIMER '21

    What I mean by best race ever is I’ve run hundreds of races in my home state of florida. But, Colorado has won me over. The views are incredible, the … MORE

    What I mean by best race ever is I’ve run hundreds of races in my home state of florida. But, Colorado has won me over. The views are incredible, the people are friendly. I have never met a better group of runners and people. The staff is amazing and so encouraging. While most of my races consist of the elite making fun of the slower crowd I found it to be the opposite with vacation races. I was nervous about the elevation change but everyone around me cheered me on and helped along the way. This is an amazing course (you get a little bit of everything). Course is paved all the way. Which was nice for this first time mountain runner. The memories I have taken away have triggered a fire in me I didn’t know I had. Looking forward to more races with vacation races and already signed up for my next race next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    This race was incredibly beautiful but harder than I imagined. I live at 4530ft but running at 7900ft was still hard. It’s possible that hiking for 7.25 miles the day … MORE

    This race was incredibly beautiful but harder than I imagined. I live at 4530ft but running at 7900ft was still hard. It’s possible that hiking for 7.25 miles the day before plus the 5k the night before affected my speed but I don’t know that I would change it since it rained so much Saturday afternoon that if we hadn’t hiked Friday, we wouldn’t have hiked at all. I plan on doing it again next year because it was so incredible and I want to be better prepared. Highly recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    Sriniy FIRST-TIMER '21

    1. scenic place 2. Race around the lake was great 3. Race location is scenic place 4. watch out weather because It was unpredictable during 5k run 5. Well organized … MORE

    1. scenic place
    2. Race around the lake was great
    3. Race location is scenic place
    4. watch out weather because It was unpredictable during 5k run
    5. Well organized
    6. Race shirt is great
    7. Make sure you carry water pouch
    8. Recommended to take accommodation in Estes park, CO. well in advance.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    alexoett FIRST-TIMER '21

    The race was scenic and had great views the entire time. It was well organized and the course was difficult but worth it. I would recommend this race to others … MORE

    The race was scenic and had great views the entire time. It was well organized and the course was difficult but worth it. I would recommend this race to others and would run it again in the future.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    simon.rhett FIRST-TIMER '21

    The event was well-organized and entertaining. I enjoyed the course, there were very few cars around and race personnal were around to direct traffic and runners at every relevant point. … MORE

    The event was well-organized and entertaining. I enjoyed the course, there were very few cars around and race personnal were around to direct traffic and runners at every relevant point. Difficulty was moderate; there were some big hills, both steeper, shorter ones and flatter, longer ones. Elevation difference was +2,500 for me so I was not affected much.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    IrishRunner007 FIRST-TIMER '21

    Organized, great communication leading up to event, helpful and cheerful volunteers. The hills were challenging for this Midwesterner, but tolerable. The views were worth it! Will definitely register for more … MORE

    Organized, great communication leading up to event, helpful and cheerful volunteers. The hills were challenging for this Midwesterner, but tolerable. The views were worth it! Will definitely register for more Vacation Races. One of the few organizations that will collect your cast-off layers and return to you at the finish line! Also, really appreciated the oranges and bananas at a couple of the aid stations.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    naowings FIRST-TIMER '21

    Vacation Races hit the ball out of the park with this race! I was so excited to participate in my first half marathon with them and they did not disappoint! MORE

    Vacation Races hit the ball out of the park with this race! I was so excited to participate in my first half marathon with them and they did not disappoint!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    ruthdelwiche REPEAT RUNNER '21

    I came to Denver from Chicago ... where hills and elevation are not known. I knew I should have trained for what was coming. As the date of the race … MORE

    I came to Denver from Chicago … where hills and elevation are not known. I knew I should have trained for what was coming. As the date of the race got closer I realized I was going to have to give it my best. And that is exactly what I did. Not my best time, but surely not my worse. The scenery was out-of-this world. This was the first race where I actually took pictures along the course to try to capture the beauty that surrounded the runners. The packet pick up was extremely organized. The organizers did an amazing job in making sure we were kept up to date on what to expect on race morning. By far, one of the greatest half marathons I have ever ran!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    kapplegate27 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This course was not the easiest given the elevation and the 5 miles of uphill start but the weather was great and the the swag is even better. Vacation races … MORE

    This course was not the easiest given the elevation and the 5 miles of uphill start but the weather was great and the the swag is even better. Vacation races does have the best production staff and swag. The race was all on roads and I wish it was a little more scenic but I had a great time exploring the national park after the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    jmack778 REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Make sure to prepare yourself to run a slower pace however the views on the course make up for this. As you run around Lake Estes, you become engrossed in … MORE

    Make sure to prepare yourself to run a slower pace however the views on the course make up for this. As you run around Lake Estes, you become engrossed in the view of the mountains surrounding the town.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    validus FIRST-TIMER '21

    Running in the mountains is no joke if you haven't been training at altitude. This was not my fastest race for sure! Start line, packet pickup, everything was well organized … MORE

    Running in the mountains is no joke if you haven’t been training at altitude. This was not my fastest race for sure!

    Start line, packet pickup, everything was well organized and environmentally friendly (no cups!). Race director /announcer was phenomenal. Medal and shirt were awesome!

    The only thing I would change is the photography. They advertised signs for the photographers on the course. Only one had a sign. There were none at the finish line where you cross, and none post – race.

    There was no real after party/events of any sort. I don’t know if that’s normal or because of covid, but most races I’ve been to usually have something going on afterwards.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    annette.bissinger Aug 08, 2021 at 7:31am

    I just received my free pictures from the race by email. They had a photographer at mile 2, at mile 13 and at the finish. Check the link and put… MORE

    I just received my free pictures from the race by email. They had a photographer at mile 2, at mile 13 and at the finish. Check the link and put your bib number. If the bib was not visible, you can search by the time you finished. There wasn’t post race gatherings due to COVID this year. I’ve run races in Glacier and Lake Powell with Vacation Races before COVID and they did have post race celebrations. Hopefully they will again. LESS

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    donphelps REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This was my second year to run this race. The staff and volunteers with Vacations Races are amazing and do everything possible to make it the best experience possible! This … MORE

    This was my second year to run this race. The staff and volunteers with Vacations Races are amazing and do everything possible to make it the best experience possible! This is a very well run and organized event! And as far as the scenery…breathtaking! My family and I arrived a week early and spent a lot of time exploring and hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park! We will definitely return again next year!!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    DaBomb REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Absolutely beautiful course! The scenery is so rewarding! Vacation Races takes such great care of its runners. This year was my second time doing this race, and I would definitely … MORE

    Absolutely beautiful course! The scenery is so rewarding! Vacation Races takes such great care of its runners. This year was my second time doing this race, and I would definitely do it again, I love it so much. There is some uphill and altitude, but totally manageable with appropriate hydration.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    dwhit490 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I had been wanting to do a Vacation Race for several years, and finally got the chance. I was not disappointed! This race had fantastic scenery, was well organized and … MORE

    I had been wanting to do a Vacation Race for several years, and finally got the chance. I was not disappointed! This race had fantastic scenery, was well organized and my medal stands out among my many medals on the wall! There were more than enough hydration stations along the route, and the honey stinger gels and fruit were plentiful and tasty! I can’t wait to do another Vacation Race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    josephwambaugh REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Beautiful location, right outside rocky mountain national park. Coolest medal I've received from any race. The organization and communication by vacation races was top notch. MORE

    Beautiful location, right outside rocky mountain national park. Coolest medal I’ve received from any race. The organization and communication by vacation races was top notch.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    HalfSpeedQueen FIRST-TIMER '21

    The national park races put on by Vacation Races are, by far, my favorites! The views are breathtaking (and so is the altitude). But the race support and overall race … MORE

    The national park races put on by Vacation Races are, by far, my favorites! The views are breathtaking (and so is the altitude). But the race support and overall race management made the race a pleasure to run. There were frequent porta-potties, a diverse choice of hydration and energy options at the frequent aid stations, and phenomenal views to distract from the “pain” of those hills in the first 5 miles. Can’t wait to run it again next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    blackoutbaker FIRST-TIMER '21

    I loved the views of this race. I am a flat lander so it was a challenge with the incline of the course. The 5k had a rain delay but … MORE

    I loved the views of this race. I am a flat lander so it was a challenge with the incline of the course. The 5k had a rain delay but over all I feel they handled the situation very well and those who stuck around were able to complete the event. The folks who orchestrate the VR events are so nice! I will definitely be signing up for more events with them and plan on being back to CO next summer to complete the half marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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