- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, 50K, Relay, Other
- Trail Race
The Under Armour Mountain Running Series - Copper Mountain was easily one of my favorite trail races... ever. I don't make that claim lightly, but they just checked SO many boxes (I did the 25K).
Spectacular setting? Check.
You run up the Copper Mountain ski hills on exquisite single track trails, climbing steeply right out of the gate and enjoying phenomenal views of the massive Colorado mountains. There is a ton of climbing, and you go from about 9,500 to about 12,300 at the high point, so there is a lot of climbing and at VERY challenging elevation. But this was a high effort/high return situation, so I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Ease of access? Um - outstanding!
Copper Mountain was the perfect place to host this event. It's about 90-120 minutes from the Denver Airport, and the entire village sort of encircles the event, so packet pick up, shake out runs, start/finish line, tons of restaurants/bars/shops, post-race party, and everyone's lodging is all within a 5 minute walk. That created this very comfortable but concentrated experience where you kind of spend the weekend with everyone who's there for the race, and you get to walk 5 minutes to just about anywhere you want to go.
The post-race party also had a cool DJ, beer cart, and recovery area with a ton of vibrating massage tools that erased the damage I'd done to my legs and shoulders (due to my poor running form). And again, everyone's there because it's right in the middle of the resort.
Tons of BibRave Pros?
Haha - yes! See my attached pic - was so good to see so many BibRave Pros!
The medals and shirts were awesome - the guys' shirt was a super high-quality, somewhat heavy material in a long-sleeved hooded shirt (not a sweatshirt). Women's was similar.
Aid stations were about every 3-4 miles, and they were very well stocked. Course markings were probably the best I've ever seen - one thing they did that was really helpful was to use colored tape, weighed down with rocks to create a curve in the path whenever there was a turn that might be easily confused. As someone who regularly goes off course and blows past cones and hanging tape, this was a super obvious sign to turn this way or that. Would love to see other trail races adopt this method.
Under Armour also did a great job of bringing in people from all different parts of the country and from all different running backgrounds. There were city people, new trail runners, elite trail runners, weekend warriors and locals - all represented. It created a very lively atmosphere before, during, and after the race!
My race was just brutal - it took me 2:50 to run 15 miles, which for me is really not moving very well. I felt terrible on the ups, pretty solid on the downs, but in the end just couldn't move very well. I was carrying an intentionally overloaded pack to practice for an upcoming trail race, but even without that I don't think I would have moved very well.
I run a lot of trail races and this event simply had it all. I'd highly recommend it, and I hope to be back next year!