Focus on a race Interview

Running a mile high race at the Colfax Marathon

30 Sep 2013 13:31
Jean-Loup Fenaux


Hello, on May 18th 2014, you’ll be organizing the Colfax Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The Colfax Marathon is Denver, Colorado’s springtime marathon. The marathon takes runners through Denver’s best landmarks.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

This is our ninth year. Colfax Avenue is famous for being America’s longest main street – 26 miles, to be exact – and prior to the age of interstates, Colfax was the gateway to the Rockies. The Colfax Marathon was established by the three cities it runs through: Aurora, Denver and Lakewood – to encourage a healthy community and to celebrate the revitalization of Colfax Avenue. The Colfax Marathon is Denver’s hometown race, and it’s really grown over the past few years.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The Colfax Marathon runs through Denver’s best landmarks. The race starts and finishes in Denver’s spectacular City Park, then takes runners onto the field of Mile High Stadium — the home of the Denver Broncos — twice, at miles 6 and 20, through downtown, along seven miles of urban lakes, rivers and creeks, through historic neighborhoods, and of course retains the charm and grit of Colfax. It’s an urban tour of the Mile High City.

The Half Marathon is the first race ever to run one mile through Denver Zoo – then takes runners through Denver’s historic neighborhoods and a fire station.

Credit : Colfax Marathon

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

In 2013, we had 14,000 runners register for the seven events we offer on Marathon Weekend. We have a small but distinguished elite field. Colorado is home to many talented distance runners competing in our races. And we have a good number of first-time marathoners, too.

We are home to Colorado’s biggest corporate fitness race: companies compete for $50,000 in awards for charity in the Corporate Cup Marathon Relay – where teams of 5 co-workers split the 26.2 mile marathon course.

Because we have 122 Charity Partners raising money and awareness through our race, we added distances to accommodate runners of all abilities.

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

We host seven events over two days. The weekend kicks off with the Colfax 5K on Saturday.

Sunday’s races are

  • 26.2 mile Marathon
  • 13.1 mile Half Marathon
  • 5-person, 26.2 mile Marathon Relay
  • The Corporate Cup Marathon Relay
  • The Government Cup Marathon Relay
  • Urban 10 Miler

Credit : Colfax Marathon
p(question). At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

There is nothing like Colorado in the springtime! Colorado is famous for our sunshine and blue skies. Last year, we had perfect weather: Temperatures in the 60’s at the race start (6:00 a.m.) with a slight overcast, blue skies by 10:00 and highs in the low 80’s. Mornings can be cool, highs in the 80s.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

We host a two-day Health & Fitness Expo and packet pickup at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, with vendors showcasing the latest in fitness, running apparel, shoes, gear and accessories.

After the race, we throw a terrific party lakeside in City Park with great food, live music and a beer tent – open to runners and spectators alike.

Our 122 Charity Partners come out for race weekend and each has a tent in Charity Partner Village – everyone is part of the party.

Credit : Colfax Marathon

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Denver before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Denver is home to a thriving restaurant scene based on fresh, local and seasonally changing ingredients. We love the outdoors and the Rocky Mountains are just a short drive away. The options are endless for a day hike, bike ride, picnic in the park – even climbing a 14’er (Colorado is famous for its many peaks above 14,000 feet elevation). Catch a Rockies baseball game or see our National Champion lacrosse team, The Denver Outlaws, play at Mile High Stadium!

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Colfax Marathon?

The Colfax Marathon is bucket list material: 26.2 miles at 5,280 feet altitude and zero attitude, it’s the ultimate urban tour of the Mile High City.

Interview with Creigh Kelley, Race director. Creigh (pronounced “Cree”) has been a runner, competitor, agent, race director, national consultant, and elected leader in the national and international running community for 30 years. Since moving to Denver in 1978, he has represented elite athletes as an agent and put on more than 1,000 races across the country. He is President of BKB Limited, which has managed, produced and directly assisted with over 1,000 recreation special events throughout the nation. He has been an integral part of the Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon since its inaugural race in 2006, and has been the Race Director since 2008. Creigh has been running since his sophomore year in high school and ran college track at Virginia Military Institute. He was inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame in 2009.