Running Magnolia Road in Boulder, Colorado
Coach Mark Wetmore
moved to Boulder on August 21, 1991 and it took him less than 24 hours to discover Magnolia Road after looking at a topographical map. At the time, no one was running Mags except Arturo Barios, it would soon become a staple of CU Sunday workouts and a popular destination for local runners to tackle a challenging long run. When "Running with the Buffaloes" was published, the secret which was previously just known to locals, was announced to the entire world. Now runners from all over the country, when visiting Boulder, will make their way to Magnolia Road to run the same road as the CU Buffs.
* From Boulder take Highway 119 (Boulder Canyon Drive) West
* After going through the tunnel, turn left onto Magnolia Road (Highway 132)
* At first, the road will be incredibly steep and paved, continue driving until the road turns from paved to dirt.
* Limited parking is available off the side of the road where the pavement end.
* The run starts either at the top of the hill where the pavement ends or further down at the five-mile marker on the side of the road at ~8,000 feet.
The first half of the run features rolling hills and a substantial increase in elevation. You have a few options, you can turn around at the Peak to Peak Highway (119) and you'll have run 14-15 miles. Or you can match the runners in "Running with the Buffaloes" and cross the highway and do a simple out and back stretch on the flattest portion of the road.
For an even greater challenge similar to what the CU runners now do, park at the Nederland side of the road near the Puma Adopt-a-Road sign and run the road in reverse, finishing in the hardest direction.
Whatever you do, enjoy this stunning road, as it's one of the great runs in the country.