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The 12 Best U.S. Cities For Runners

#6 Boulder, CO

Population: 97K

Boulder

Sweat has long been the “new black” when it comes to the fashion of this adrenaline-fueled mountain town of a city. Nestled against the majestic Flatirons at an elevation of 5,430 feet, Boulder has more than 200 miles of paths and trails, a diverse array of running clubs and a dizzying variety of healthy eating joints for pre- and post-run.

Must Run
Hot summer days feel cooler when running on the 5.5-mile paved Boulder Creek Path aside the bubbling water. For a more adventurous run-hike—that’s still within city limits—hoof it up and down Mount Sanitas for a rugged 5K trail loop with 1,343 feet of gain and sweeping views stretching from Long’s Peak to Denver, Pikes Peak and beyond.

Get Away From It All
The 8-mile Walker Ranch Loop is a quick drive from town with single track trails and terrain worthy of a national park—think wildflowers, meadows, long climbs and descents.  If you need a bit of solace, the Switzerland Trail, with 14 miles of sweet dirt and gravel running, doesn’t get quite as much traffic.

Destination Racing
Of all the neighborhood 5Ks, club runs and USATF-sanctioned events, the ultimate is the BolderBoulder 10K. First run in 1979, this race blends festive and fast as more than 50,000 people and even larger throngs of spectators take to the streets to kick off summer. If you want more miles, check out the Boulder Back Roads Marathon and Half Marathon for rural running (mostly dirt) and big-sky views. —AP

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“The Boulder running scene is unique, because it is so large. I have never lived in a town that had so many run-focused people, let alone athletes.” —Gina Lucrezi, professional ultrarunner living in Boulder

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