Above Cottonwood Lake
The Autumn Color Run is held each year in and around the historic, friendly, and picturesque town of Buena Vista, Colorado nestled in the upper Arkansas River Valley at the base of the Collegiate Peaks.
The race also takes place in a spectacularly scenic part of central Colorado known as the “Fourteeners Region,” so called because it includes a number of mountains that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation, including Mount Elbert, Mount Harvard and Castle Peak.
The towns along the valley, like Buena Vista, Leadville and Salida, also offer plenty of things to do after the race, from camping, hiking and river rafting down the Arkansas River to seasonal art and music festivals.
The Half Marathon starts west of town above Cottonwood Lake and winds it’s way into town through a peaking aspen grove. Run along Cottonwood Lake and follow dirt forest service and county roads, then on paved county roads for the final stretch. The course follows approximately 9 miles of dirt roads and 4 miles of pavement. The course drops about 1,500 feet to an elevation of 8,000 feet in the town of Buena Vista. While the elevation does drop steadily along the course it’s not all downhill. Buses transport runners to the start of the race.
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