Set Your Sights on the Finish Line
As we turn the page on the new year, runners, racers, and goal-makers alike find themselves at the starting line of new possibilities. With a whole calendar full of outdoor recreation events throughout 2024, this is the perfect time to set your sights on a goal to help you keep those resolutions.
Read on for the ultimate roundup of annual races and athletic events in and around Laramie, for everyone from runners to skiiers and even pickleball aficionados. Whether you are a seasoned race veteran or are setting sights on an "underachievers" race, the goal of a date-based deadline can help fuel your determination with the promise of a finish line. These are the upcoming races in Wyoming for 2024:
Nordic Ski Races for 2024
The first races of the year will, of course, be in the snow! Embrace the frosty air and carve your path into the new year with the lineup of this year's Nordic ski races in Wyoming. If you're new to cross-country skiing, Laramie has several vendors who can hook you up with seasonal rentals or a full set of retail skis for your style of racing. Get expert local advice on trails and training techniques at Laramie's Basecamp, Fast Haus Ski & Bike, Nu2u Sports, and Westgate Sports. Check them out for all your other Wyoming winter sports needs, too!
Pole Mountain Shuffle
Saturday, February 3rd. This race's entry is free but encourages a donation to the Medicine Bow Nordic Association, who keep up with trail grooming all season long. Two courses will be 5km and 10km lengths for both classic and freestyle.
- Laramie Loppet & Cowboy Chase
February 17-18. The Loppet is the premier Nordic ski half marathon in Wyoming and Northern Colorado. They also offer a 10k race, a 5k race, and a free kids race! Custom awards will be given to age-group winners. The race is freestyle, but there will be classic tracks for those who would prefer not to skate. There is a discount for registration if you register early! Proceeds benefit the University of Wyoming Nordic ski team.
- Centennial Poker Run
Dates are estimated to be February 24th or March 2nd for 2024, but double-check at the link above as the event gets closer! This beloved tradition is more of a fall than a race, as racers make their way down Barber Lake Road with questionable levels of sobriety. Racers gather their hand of cards around Centennial businesses for the poker portion. Most carpool to Green Rock Trailhead and make their way down to Centennial, stopping along the way for hot dogs at the Barber Lake bonfire and a promise of live music and brews at the Trading Post at the end.
Laramie's 5k and 10k Foot Races
When the weather finally gets warm enough to be dependable, you can rest assured that there will be races in Wyoming for you on a given Saturday. Here is a lineup of the community favorites!
- Hapi-ness 5k
Estimated to be May 18. The Hapi-ness 5k, run in memory of Laramie middle schooler Hapi Patterson, is on its 39th year this year. This race is put on annually by Laramie Middle School and serves as a fundraiser for cancer treatment for children.
- Living in Color 5k Fun Run
Estimated for June 15 or 22nd. This 5k benefits Hospice of Laramie. The race is not timed or scored, but color is thrown making this event fun for the whole family!
- Underachievers .5k "Race"
Estimated to be September 14. For the underachievers of the group, Hits 106 has started an event just for you! Run, walk, or crawl your way through 500 yards of fun at Washington Park. Costumes are encouraged. Recharge halfway with a donut and celebrate with a beer at the finish line. Each year the fun run is also a fundraiser, so it's all for a good cause.
- A Walk to Remember 5k
Estimated to be September 21. This annual walk is a suicide awareness and memorial event in Downtown Laramie. Walk to remember a loved one and bring awareness to the mental health issues facing Wyoming.
- Thanksgiving Downhill Mile
Thursday, November 28. Gobble-wobble down a point-to-point downhill mile course on Thanksgiving morning. This is an opportunity to make a fast mile PR time and burn some calories before digging into your Thanksgiving meal. Proceeds benefit local youth running groups, including the Laramie Valley Jackalopes, Laramie Middle School Cross Country team, and Laramie High School Cross Country teams.
If you awaken to the sound of your running shoes hitting the pavement, it's time to set your sights on finishing a Wyoming marathon or your first half. Join us as you infuse the new year with miles of determination. Laramie's running community is about resilience and personal triumph, making our races some of the hardest and most rewarding. And when you train at elevations above 7,220 feet, well, that's just an added challenge. Here are the races of 2024:
- Wyoming Marathon Races
One of the oldest running events in the state of Wyoming! This race is held in late May. There will be a 50k, Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5k events. This course runs through the beautiful Medicine Bow National Forest east of Laramie. It is a scenic, hilly, out-and-back course beginning at 8,700 feet and dropping to 8,000 feet at the 35k turnaround. The races are on mostly dirt and gravel roads (100% for the Half and 77% for the Marathon).
- Med Bow Rail Marathon and Half Marathon
This race showcases the beautiful Medicine Bow Rail Trail and provides a unique high-elevation race experience. The marathon course covers the Rail Trail from end-to-end with loops around scenic Lake Owen. As a trail set on a previous railroad, it is gently graded, wide, gravel path. The trail briefly dips into Colorado just north of the state line. The half marathon makes two loops around Lake Owen and does not dip into Colorado. All race proceeds fund the Rail Trail upkeep and improvements.
Here near the mountains, we do most of our recreation on trails, so it's no surprise to see we prefer our races in Wyoming to be on those same trails! These scenic races are some of the best in the West, with uphills, downhills, and all the beauty of Wyoming's forests.
- Twin Mountain Trudge
January 13, 2024. This event is already full for 2024! And as it sounds, it's a January trudge in the snow, NO "flotation devices" allowed. Race distances include a true 50k "Triple Trudge," a Double Loop, and a Single Loop of about 10.2 miles that takes 2-5 hours depending on the snow.
- Pilot Hill 25k Classic
June 1, 2024. The oldest continuously run footrace in Wyoming. This race dates back to the 1970s when trail running was a "fringe sport." The Pilot Hill race starts on rugged two-track, crosses sandy flats, and climbs up some glarly limestone. Climb to the top of Pilot Hill and back down. Proceeds benefit Pilot Hill Inc., preserving the area aquifer and critical wildlife habitat.
- Jelm Mountain Run
Estimated September 22, 2024. This course is over 10 miles out-and-back up Jelm Mountain with a total elevation change exceeding 2,000 feet. The course begins at 7600' and tops out at 9600' at the top of Jelm Mountain. Proceeds benefit Albany County Search & Rescue.
- Silent Trails Memorial Race
October 2024. This 10-mile race takes place at Tie City in memory of the eight University of Wyoming cross country athletes who were killed in a car accident south of Laramie in 2001. If you are looking for more races to memorialize "The 8", another excellent race event is held in Gillette, Wyoming in September as well.
Laramie Range Epic, 2022
Do you find your thrills on two wheels? Laramie beckons mountain biking enthusiasts to embrace the challenge of rugged terrain and mountain views. Our annual events promise an adrenaline-fueled journey for any mountain bike fan. Be sure to check with Laramie's bike shops for more regular casual races throughout the year, as well as the best Wyoming mountain bike trails for your experience level. We highly recommend Pedal House and All Terrain Sports to round out your gear and repair shops.
- 2023 Snow Dawg
February 12, 2024. A fun February fat biking event on open trails. This event is organized by Laramie BikeNet and funds trail grooming. The race is free to BikeNet members, but the public is welcome for a registration fee. This is a timed-stage event with uphill and downhill categories as well as a combined overall.
- Chubby Chaser Fat Bike Race
Estimated the first weekend of March. Get outside for one of the best fat bike races on the best-kept single-track trails you'll see. The Chubby Chaser is a 12-15 mile course depending on conditions. The Jelly Roll is 5-8 miles. Tradition dictates that your number be a paper plate, and every lap you either eat a doughnut or drink a beer! Put on by the Pedal House.
- Link Hill Climb and Trail Run
Estimated July 13, 2024. The Link Cycling Hill Climb is a 7-mile mountain bike hill climb as well as a half-marathon trail run out-and-back up Pilot Hill. Proceeds benefit Pilot Hill Inc as well as the 7220 Mountain Bike Team.
- Tour de Wyoming
July 14-19, 2024. This year's Tour de Wyoming ends in Laramie after a six day ride. This year will traverse four mountain passes, including our Snowy Range Scenic Byway. Make it the event of your year for the serious cyclist. Registration is done via drawing and opens in February.
- Laramie Range Epic
Saturday, July 27, 2024. If you mountain bike in Wyoming, you know the Epic! Choose your adventure: a one-and-done 32-mile route winding through the Laramie Range's iconic trails, or a 64-mile "life-affirming" single-track epic taking a second lap on the 32-mile course. At the finish line, live music, free beer, and fantastic food await. This is a bucket list race. You may have once known it as the Laramie Enduro.
- Gem City Mountain Bike Series
A series of races hosted by the City of Laramie Parks & Rec Department in the Schoolyard/Pilot Hill trail system east of Laramie on Tuesday nights. These races happen each Tuesday from late June through early August. Courses vary by skill level from kids to experts, and routes are posted the Monday prior to the race.
Adult Team Sports in Laramie
If camaraderie and competition get your heart going, Laramie offers all sorts of sports from youth to adult. Be sure to check the Parks & Rec schedule for events while you are in Laramie.
2024 Dates TBD based on special guest appearances! Cowboy Picklebrawl is the event of the year for pickleball fans. This sport has been taking the world by storm, and it's no wonder. It's fun for all ages, easy to learn, and a great way to get a quick workout. In Laramie, the pickleball courts at Undine Park are always a place to find a partner any time of year. But the Picklebrawl? It attracts players from all over the US. Cash prices go to the top 3 teams in 4.5+
- Rec Center Programs
If you're a Laramie resident, be sure to check into all of the programs put on by Laramie Parks & Recreation. Adult rec programs include basketball, pickleball, roundnet, coed soccer, softball, indoor volleyball, sand volleyball, aquatics, broomball & curling, and regular drop-in fitness classes.
- Drop-In Activities
Here in Laramie for a visit? Be sure to check the Rec Fitness Calendar for drop-in classes with a day pass. We also recommend Seek Yoga, Hot Power Yoga, Leap Ninja Warrior Fitness, and Laramie's many gyms to help you hit your fitness goals. Find more in our blog about staying healthy and happy during your visit.