If you prefer pounding the pavement to paddling the surf, Salida has more than its fair share of race options for you as well. There are over 300 identified hiking trails, run courses, bike paths, and roads in the immediate vicinity of Salida, and thousands more miles of trails to explore in the surrounding Sangre De Cristo mountain range and the San Luis Valley. You could run your entire life and not run the same route twice. But what if you’re looking for more than rock-hopping and frolicking through the forest? Here’s a list of road races, trail races, and ultras that are within a stone’s throw of Salida, CO.
FIBark 5K & 10K Road Races, and 10K Trail Race – A great way to kick off a day of whitewater hijinks!
Run Through Time Marathon, ½ Marathon, and 2 Mile Fun Run – 26.2 miles, 11.7 on singletrack mountain trails, 4,750 feet of climbing, and 450 runners. May the best runner win!
Two Turkey Relay – Find a friend and run back to back legs on this 2 mile course through downtown Salida.
Sleeping Indian Hill Climb and 28K – the Sleeping Indian takes place during the annual 14er fest held every September in neighboring Buena Vista. The hill climb is an intense 5.8 mile “sprint” on local trails, while the 28k is a challenging ½ marathon through the surrounding mountains.
Collegiate Peaks Trail Run – Collegiate Peaks Trail Run starts out of Buena Vista, CO and includes grueling 25 and 50 mile runs through some of Colorado’s most pristine mountain landscapes.
National High School Trail Running Championships – a 6 mile trail race out of Salina that is open to all comers entering grades 8-12 in the next calendar year.
High Lonesome 100 – If you’re a glutton for punishment, the High Lonesome 100 is a 100 mile trail race through the beautiful Sawatch Mountains. Topping out at 13,150 feet of elevation, and with more than 24,500 feet of vertical climbing, this epic ultramarathon trail race draws elite runners from across the nation and the globe.
The Upper Arkansas River is known as some of the best whitewater in the country, home to too many epic runs to mention and the ever-popular Brown’s Canyon, a nationally renowned stretch of whitewater that accommodates peaceful floats and monster rapids all in a single trip. When it comes to whitewater racing in Salida, look no further than the FIBArk festival to wet your appetite!
FIBArk for Beginners
The FIBArk festival (which stands for First In Boating on the Arkansas) started in 1949, is the oldest whitewater festival in the United States, and is held annually in mid-June in Salida. It is THE place to be if you’re a whitewater enthusiast, and entails 4 packed days of river rat heaven. Here’s the short list of whitewater racing events you’ll find at FIBArk if you’re looking for competitions to enter:
- Numbers Boater Races
- Freestyle Kayak
- Raft Sprint
- SUP Surf Competitions
- SUP Surf Cross (Demo Derby SUP Style)
- Slalom Races
- Downriver Raft, SUP, Kayak, and Canoe Races
- Hooligan Race (A Make-Your-Own Whitewater Raft Race)
And if those whitewater options don’t peak your interest in the FIBark festival, there’s plenty of foam around the taps at free concerts and other fun events running throughout this 4 day whitewater racing extravaganza![Top]