With lilac bushes in full bloom near the starting line in City Park, the Colfax Marathon returned to its traditional position as a rite of spring for Colorado runners on Sunday for the first time since the pandemic.
The city’s largest running event attracted an estimated 11,000 in the marathon, half-marathon, 10-miler and marathon relay. Another 5,000 ran in a 5-kilometer race on Saturday. The return to near normalcy after the pandemic was on the minds of many.
“It’s awesome to see the community still wants to be here, that this isn’t lost, that people’s desire to do something and accomplish something hasn’t diminished at all,” said Patrick Rizzo, 38, who finished second in the half-marathon. “It’s seeing positivity in an atmosphere of camaraderie come back.”
The Colfax Marathon races began in 2006. It was canceled in May 2020 and postponed from May until October in 2021 because of COVID-19. It traditionally ranks as Colorado’s second-largest running event behind the Bolder Boulder Memorial Day 10K.
Al Herzl, 66, of Littleton, has run the marathon every year it was held, including the one last October to keep his streak alive.