Course Info

The Blue Sky Marathon starts at the Blue Sky Trailhead at Horsetooth Mountain Park in Fort Collins, CO. The course starts by heading north for an eight-mile loop on the Horsetooth trails before returning south for a trip down to the Devil’s Backbone Open Space on the Blue Sky Trail. The marathon boasts approximately 3,300ft of vertical gain, with the majority of the running done on single track trail with a variety of terrain ranging from smooth dirt paths to very technical rocky sections. A small portion of the route will be on smooth dirt road and gravel bike path.

Marathon Course Map

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Blue Sky Marathon Course Map

Marathon Elevation Profile

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Blue Sky Marathon Elevation Profile

Aid Stations

One of several well stocked aid stations.

There will be four aid stations located along the marathon course: Towers, Blue Sky Start/Finish, Indian Summer North, and Indian Summer South.

All aid stations will have water and Succeed S! Caps. The Towers Rd aid station at mile 4.7 will be minimally stocked with water, Succeed S! Caps, and first aid supplies. The Start/Finish, Indian Summer North, and Indian Summer South aid stations will have water, Succeed S! Caps, and a variety of sweet and salty snacks (chips, pretzels, fruit, etc.).

There are bathrooms and a water pump at the Soderberg Trailhead. Extra port-o-johns will be at the Blue Sky Start/Finish and at Indian Summer North.

*Aid stations will not provide disposable cups. All runners are required to carry their own water bottle or hydration pack.*

All aid stations will be manned with numerous volunteers to assist you with your race.

Station
Total Distance
Leg Distance
Info
Blue Sky Start/Finish
0
0
Full Aid
Soderberg
1.2
1.2
Water Pump Available
Towers
4.7
3.5
Water/Succeed Only
Soderberg
8.0
3.3
Water Pump Available
Blue Sky Start/Finish
9.2
1.2
Full Aid
Indian Summer North
13.0
3.8
Full Aid
Indian Summer South
15.4
2.4
Full Aid
11:00am Cut Off
Hunter Turn Around
17.9
2.5
Bib # Check Only
Indian Summer South
20.3
2.4
Full Aid
12:15pm Cut Off
Indian Summer North
22.7
2.4
Full Aid
Finish
26.5
3.8
Full Aid

 Course Marking

The course will be clearly marked with brightly colored ribbons. In addition, there will be signs and volunteers at key trail junctions.

Turn By Turn

0 – 4.7: The start line is located at the Blue Sky Trailhead off CR 38E, six miles west of Fort Collins. From the start, you will run north on the Blue Sky trail through the campground 1.2 miles to the Soderberg trailhead, continuing north on the Swan Johnson trail over Towers Rd and straight onto Shoreline trail. After about a mile you will make a hard left to turn back south on Nomad, returning to Towers Rd, where you will make a right up the hill. The 1,000 foot climb is the biggest on the course and takes you to the Herrington trail junction. There is a limited aid station here. Volunteers will direct you to turn left onto Herrington.

4.7 – 9.2: Shortly after the turn onto Herrington you will bear left onto the Stout trail. The descent down the Stout trail is rocky, so watch your footing, though be sure to check out the views. Stout will contour back around the hillside to bring you back to Towers Rd. Turn right on Towers Rd and take another right back onto Swan Johnson south back to the Soderberg trailhead. Continue south back through the campground to the Blue Sky start/finish area where aid will be available.

9.2 – 13.0: Continue south on the Blue Sky trail. This section of the trail will be winding, rolling single track with many blind corners. Please be aware that the trail is open for public use. You will pass only one trail junction with the Rim Rock trail. Continue straight past this intersection down the hill into the valley towards the Indian Summer north aid station, which will be visible from this point on the course.

13.0 – 15.4: The Indian Summer North aid station is at the junction of the Indian Summer loop. Make sure that your number is recorded at the aid station and volunteers will direct you to turn right up the hill onto the Indian Summer trail. On completing the loop, make a right at the trail junction to turn south back onto the Blue Sky trail. A volunteer should be stationed here to help direct runners in the right direction. The Indian Summer South aid station will be located about a quarter mile south of this intersection. This is your last chance for aid before a long and difficult 5 mile section through the Devil’s Backbone side of the course. Make sure leave with adequate water.

15.4 – 20.3: Once you pop over the hogback cliff band the terrain becomes very rocky and technical. There are two loops to negotiate here. At the first junction with the Laughing Horse loop, turn RIGHT. At the end of the Laughing Horse loop, continue straight ahead. At the second junction with the Hunter loop, turn RIGHT. At the end of the Hunter loop, a course marshal will record your number. Volunteers hike into this location so there will be no aid available. The course marshal will direct you to continue around the Hunter loop, and you will return north towards the finish. On the return trip at the end of the Hunter loop, turn RIGHT and continue north. At the next Laughing Horse loop junction, turn RIGHT. At the end of the Laughing Horse loop continue straight north, back down off the ridge into the valley to the Indian Summer South aid station.

20.3 – 22.7: From the Indian Summer South aid station, you will return the way you came. About a quarter mile north of the aid station, you will turn LEFT to go back up and over the Indian Summer loop to the Indian Summer North aid station.

22.7 – 26.5: After leaving the Indian Summer North aid station, you’ll have a short climb up past the Rim Rock junction. From there you’ll have just a few more miles of rolling single track to the finish.

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