Ready, set, race: Boulder's summer running events are back in action. This year's BOLDERBoulder will take place on May 29. Credit: Infinite_Eye

Feeling the energy of a local race is one of those things considered a staple of summer in Boulder, whether we’re racers, spectators or just stuck in the ensuing traffic. 

Last week marked the kick-off of the summer race season with the Dash & Dine 5K around the Boulder Reservoir, which ended in a post-race feast. It was the first of a four-part series of races taking place every week in May. It’s also a qualifier for the grand BOLDERBoulder 10K happening on Monday, May 29, which starts at the intersection of 30th and Walnut Streets and ends in a party at Folsom Stadium. 

Runners can use their best time from the reservoir 5K series to enter into an earlier wave of the 10K BOLDERBoulder race that has been the summer mainstay for the Boulder community since 1979, and has grown exponentially since then. If you’re running around Boulder and into Folsom Field on Memorial Day, you’ll be racing among some 50,000 other people who had the same idea. 

Next up, on June 10, is the legendary race that epitomizes athletic masochism: Ironman, a 70-mile triathlon that will qualify a group of winners for the World Championship event in Finland. Crowds will amass at the Boulder Reservoir, where the race starts and finishes, to watch athletes do their best to wiggle out of their wetsuits and strap into their bike shoes before launching into the final half marathon.  

Further along in the summer, the Pearl Street Mile will bring the scent of sweat and glory downtown. This year, the event is taking form as a triple crown race series for the first time. 

Three races, each a mile long, will take place every three weeks starting June 22. The first race will start on the west end, running from Pearl and 10th Street up to 6th Street and back again two times. The next race on July 13 brings racers to the east side of Pearl, from 16th Street to 20th Street and back twice.

The final flagship race on August 5 will take runners for 3.75 laps around the Boulder Courthouse. Each race will be followed by beer, live music and an outdoor movie starting with the apt Top Gun: Maverick.

Once you’ve had enough pavement, you can end the season with a beautiful trail race out of Gold Hill. The Sunset Trail Running Festival takes runners on varied terrain, through forests, to the old mining town of Sunset, and tapping the lovely Mount Alto Picnic area.

All proceeds go to the Boulder Watershed Collective, which is a partnership between fire districts and other state and federal agencies that act as stewards of the Boulder Creek watershed. 

May 3, 2023 marked the kick-off of the summer race season with the Dash & Dine 5K. Courtesy of DashnDine5K

To check out the many upcoming races this summer throughout Boulder County, go to Running in the USA for a running list. 

Jenna Sampson is a freelance journalist in Boulder, Colorado. When not dabbling in boat building or rock climbing you can find her nursing an iced coffee in front of a good book. Email:

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