Close to 1,000 people have registered to run the first Revel Rockies half-marathon/marathon on Aug. 17 — a downhill course from Squaw Pass Road east past Red Rocks to Bandimere Speedway.
Downhill courses are growing in popularity as runners realize they can log “personal best” race times and enjoy great scenery along the way, said Anna Ryan, race director. Revel Rockies also is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, Ryan said. It currently costs $104.99 to register for the Revel Rockies marathon and $84.99 for the half-marathon.
“People are hungry to get (the Boston qualifer race) these days,” Ryan said in explaining why she thinks so many people have signed up to race so far.
More than 80 percent of the Revel Rockies runners so far are from Colorado, the average age is 35, and 65 percent of the racers are women, Ryan said. Race organizers expect about 1,500 participants total, she said.
Brooksee LLC, the Utah-based parent company of Revel Rockies, has grown its running and bicycling race segment quickly in the last four years. The business consulting company got into the racing business four years ago after holding a running race in Big Cottonwood Canyon in California. The total number of runners jumped to about 4,000 racers the second year after an initial year of about 1,000, Ryan said.
Brooksee is paying the Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Barricade to help with road closures and has coordinated with emergency personnel along the race route, Ryan said. The race route is scheduled to be closed to all other traffic — including bicycles — from 6 a.m. to noon that day, Ryan said.
In the meantime, the 11th annual Slacker Half Marathon in Clear Creek County had about 1,700 participants this year, down from 1,900 last year, according to Beth Luther, a race organizer.
The Slacker — billed as the “highest downhill half-marathon in the country” — runs from the top of Loveland Pass to Georgetown on the last Saturday in June. It cost $55 to enter this year, $65 on race day.
Seven other half-marathons take place the same week in the region, potentially lowering the participation rate in the Slacker, Luther said. This year, the Estes Park Half Marathon was June 22, the Winter Park Half Marathon was June 28, the Heart and Sole Half Marathon was June 29, and the Castle Rock Half Marathon was June 29, she said.
In addition, the Half on the 4th was held July 4 in Colorado Springs, and the Redline Half Marathon was July 5 in Longmont.