Overall Rating
Overall Rating (104 Reviews)
4.7
(104 Ratings) 🏆 (104 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.7
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.6
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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Recent reviews

    Ampete FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was my first Vacation Race, and I absolutely LOVED it. I will diffently be back next year to run the Elk Double again. The amazing weather, and beautiful scenery … MORE

    This was my first Vacation Race, and I absolutely LOVED it. I will diffently be back next year to run the Elk Double again. The amazing weather, and beautiful scenery made it more awesome. I traveled from Mesa,Az so this was a treat for my family and I. As far as the difficulty I would have to say work on inclines, from mile 3 to mile 6 is a gradual incline. Also I would say if you are not use to the elevation arrive a couple days early so you can acclimate yourself to the elevation. I would change nothing about this race, it was all very well organized. Just run and have FUN!!! HAHAHA.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    ty5caldwell FIRST-TIMER '22

    With the race start time at 6:00am, runners were up (not so) bright and early, huddling together in the staging area with warm drinks and raffles keeping everyone engaged, until … MORE

    With the race start time at 6:00am, runners were up (not so) bright and early, huddling together in the staging area with warm drinks and raffles keeping everyone engaged, until we all got to see the sunrise over the Rockies and bounce back at us off of Lake Estes. While the starting temperature was a little cold, once you got moving, nothing felt better than breathing in that cool mountain air. The stunning scenery was effective at distracting you from the slow and steady incline over a 5-mile stretch – nothing too intense or steep, just a constant climb that left your calves feeling it. Again though, the surrounding views took over, as we ran past several elk around the 6-mile mark. This was one of those races that you want to just ease off the throttle (only a little bit) so you can better take in all of the beauty around you. Before competing in the Elk Double, I didn’t think I’d choose to return to any completed races, choosing instead to try out all of the different options. However, the course was set up so well and made the most of what the land offered, so I would definitely consider returning to this race in future years and cannot recommend it enough to anyone currently on the fence.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    I live in East Tennessee, at about 1,000 feet of elevation so I was preparing for a hard grueling race. However, that is not what I found. While I am … MORE

    I live in East Tennessee, at about 1,000 feet of elevation so I was preparing for a hard grueling race. However, that is not what I found. While I am sure that the altitude and elevation effects everyone differently, I had a harder time training in the heat and humidity of Tennessee. For every hill of this course there is a long downhill, it has a great balance. So, don’t let the elevation scare you away, it was easier to run in the cooler and elevated CO that it was to run in the hot and humid TN. Plus, if you are struggling just look at the scenery around you, was absolutely beautiful.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    WWelbaum REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Keep in mind that the “Elevation” will pay a big part in your run!!! Where I live and run, we are at 300-600 ft. The race I was at around … MORE

    Keep in mind that the “Elevation” will pay a big part in your run!!! Where I live and run, we are at 300-600 ft. The race I was at around 7,500 ft. The first 5 miles up hill are rough, but miles 5-9 are absolutely gorgeous and worth the 5 mile struggle up hill. Get the portable Oxygen, it does help.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    nofarbarel FIRST-TIMER '22

    This race was organized so well at times I felt speechless. It’s like the were thinking about every single thing. The coffee and hot cocoa was at the perfect time … MORE

    This race was organized so well at times I felt speechless. It’s like the were thinking about every single thing. The coffee and hot cocoa was at the perfect time and place. The course was well marked and staff were always guiding us. I live in Boulder, CO, and the elevation here is 5300’, running in Estes still felt difficult but the scenery was well worth it. I wish there were more photographers throughout the race since the views were really breathtaking. I will definitely be back for more races and this is a start of out long distance relationships.
    Thank you Vacation Races for the good vibes and energy and for this well excellently organized race.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    kbuck2 FIRST-TIMER '22

    The altitude made this tough for me as a runner from a much flatter state, but the course itself was great. The 5ish miles of steady uphill at the beginning … MORE

    The altitude made this tough for me as a runner from a much flatter state, but the course itself was great. The 5ish miles of steady uphill at the beginning was very gradual so hardly noticeable. Then some steep downhills for much of the last 8 miles. A little crowded at the beginning, but plenty of space by mile 2. As with all Vacation Races, the medals are awesome, shirts great and views along the course are top-notch. Highly recommend doing the 5K the night before for the Elk Double. Great preview of the first mile and last couple miles of the half. Plus, it comes with an extra swag item and two more medals.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    dynum FIRST-TIMER '22

    the hill from mile 1.5 to 5 is a monster. it goes from gradual to steep multiple times. The race has another fairly steep hill at mile 9ish. with all … MORE

    the hill from mile 1.5 to 5 is a monster. it goes from gradual to steep multiple times. The race has another fairly steep hill at mile 9ish. with all the uphill of course comes with a lot of downhill though.

    The beginning of the race was on a normal running/biking trail. much narrower than most run starts. This is obviously highlighted by the stupid people that don’t understand or the selfish people that don’t care that they are going to walk from the fastest starting group. This is a problem in all races but with this narrow starting path it was harder to navigate around these people.

    the scenery of this race was one of the best I have been to. at the top of the hill the view of the mountain range is breathtaking. the lake at the end had a crystal clear reflection of the same mountains.

    I assume the pacer for 2 hours was planning for the slower start due to the hill but I do think the pacer passing me at mile 10 running 8:15 pace seems a little too lopsided for people to stay with him. I am a novice so I might not know how to run a race with this type of beginning.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    robson FIRST-TIMER '22

    I traveled from Houston and my family drove up from San Antonio for this race. We all agree that this was one of the most fun races we've been a … MORE

    I traveled from Houston and my family drove up from San Antonio for this race. We all agree that this was one of the most fun races we’ve been a part of. I’ve been to Estes many times before, but this was one of the most memorable experiences I have had here. I would recommend getting your hotel/Airbnb early because they will fill up fast.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    akitt FIRST-TIMER '22

    This is only my second Vacation Races course but I absolutely loved it. The race started and ended around Lake Estes (which made a beautiful backdrop for post-race pictures). There … MORE

    This is only my second Vacation Races course but I absolutely loved it. The race started and ended around Lake Estes (which made a beautiful backdrop for post-race pictures). There were several uphills throughout the course for an extra challenge. Running by the Stanley Hotel was a fun touch, and luckily we didn’t have to run along too many high traffic areas. The support along the way was excellent and well spaced out. As always, I appreciate the quality event that Vacation Races puts on and look forward to the next one!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    LPeck135 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was my first vacation race and I will say I plan on doing many more! It was such a great race environment with great views. The medals were the … MORE

    This was my first vacation race and I will say I plan on doing many more! It was such a great race environment with great views. The medals were the best I’ve seen, too. The course was marked really good. I’ll be back I’m sure.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    hiseykay FIRST-TIMER '22

    Vacation Races puts on an excellent race series! The views in and around the park are spectacular. The elevation of the course makes it more challenging if you don’t live … MORE

    Vacation Races puts on an excellent race series! The views in and around the park are spectacular. The elevation of the course makes it more challenging if you don’t live at elevation, but the course is otherwise very do-able. The medals and swag are wonderful. The photo ops between the location and the vacation race props were very fun as well. Loved this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    nobodyimportant REPEAT RUNNER '22

    I hope to come to this race until I die.... If you get to travel into Colorado; going into Rocky Mountain National Park is the closest you can come to … MORE

    I hope to come to this race until I die….
    If you get to travel into Colorado; going into Rocky Mountain National Park is the closest you can come to Heaven! Drive that road with awe! Its incredible!
    It is awe inspiring and breathtaking…..

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    nobodyimportant REPEAT RUNNER '22

    If you get to take a trip to Colorado then driving through Rocky Mountain National Park is an absolute must. Its as close to Heaven as we can get!! I … MORE

    If you get to take a trip to Colorado then driving through Rocky Mountain National Park is an absolute must. Its as close to Heaven as we can get!!
    I hope to do this race until I die, just for the excuse of being this close to the top of our little world…..

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Lyourkin REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Awesome swag! Great course! Beautiful! Small town to stay in is fun! Stay at a place by a stream or lake and hike in the park! Repeat runner and this … MORE

    Awesome swag! Great course! Beautiful! Small town to stay in is fun! Stay at a place by a stream or lake and hike in the park! Repeat runner and this course just gets better every time!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    jdeekin REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This is a challenging altitude course, first 4-5 miles are a gradual uphill, then rolling hills. The ending loop is around their local lake which gives a flat finish. Vacation … MORE

    This is a challenging altitude course, first 4-5 miles are a gradual uphill, then rolling hills. The ending loop is around their local lake which gives a flat finish. Vacation Races does a great job with awards and swag bags.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    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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    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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    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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    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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