In the evening, hang out on downtown Boulder's Pearl Street. Campsites are also available throughout the national forest. "Being out here—running through the trails, through the woods, seeing some animal life—it's a lot different than home, where I see a lot of cars and have to worry about traffic," says marathoner Ryan McGuire. It was established in 1864 and incorporated in 1881. Although there's no conclusive sweet spot for optimal elevation training, USA Track & Field has recommended that athletes live between 7,000 and 8,000 feet above sea level. The 17-mile Railtrail is a flatter option, which turns to dirt three miles from town and offers mountain views in every direction. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. Order the protein-rich buffalo burger: a patty from local Bosque farms on a brioche bun with garlic mayo and hand-cut fries. Where is this place: high altitude, warm...? Seven Kenyan born athletes with top-ten marathon finishes are on the Santa Fe Road Runners Club roster, such Andrew Musuva, a Grandma's Marathon Champion, and Jonathan Ndambuki, a 2:10 marathoner. Over 5,000 feet. A serious desert runner is best refueld at Tune-Up Cafe. Stay at the club's 8,000-foot-high altitude training center where residents are served organic meals cooked with ingredients grown, picked, or slaughtered within 100 miles. Elevation: 6,818 feetAlthough some American distance runners travel to train in Iten, the high-altitude running epicenter of Kenya, some Kenyan-born runners live at around 7,000 feet in foothills of Santa Fe, about an hour outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Or, buy some inner tubes from the town's gas station and float the lazy Dolores River. Visitors often become residents. Elevation: 4,954 feetNew Mexico is not widely known for its lofty peaks, but Albuquerque is the best kept secret above 4,000 feet. The 13.32-mile Pikes Peak Ascent, held each August, also offers runners a chance to test their climbing en route from 6,300-foot Manitou Springs to the top of the mountain. Nick Symmonds said he trained for a month at around 6,000 feet in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, leading up to the 2014 indoor track national championships. Called the Manitou Incline, the trail shoots up 2,000 feet in about 5,200 feet. "You won't see anyone on the trails except our athletes, which is remarkable that still exists in Colorado," said Ben Hahn, founder of The Mancos Project running club. For most of the year, a blur resembling Ryan Hall can be seen zooming over evergreen shaded dirt roads. Elevation: 6,834 feetOne of the coolest high-altitude destinations, this high and dry city suffers none of the squelching heat that has caused Arizona to pass on an extra hour of sunshine during Daylight Savings Time. Elevation: 7,034 feetPark City is world-famous for its three ski resorts (Deer Valley, Park City, and the Canyons), but the mountain town also has more than 350 miles of scenic, well-maintained mountain tracks close to town and in the surrounding Wasatch Range. The bars and street performers on the pedestrian mall's red bricks keep the after-dark scene thriving. The elevation of Queen Creek, AZ is 1,403 feet, measured at the Town Hall. Ultrarunners should consider the San Diego 100-Mile Endurance Run, which—like the marathon—takes you to the top of the mountain and then some (last year's finishers took between 17 and 31 hours to finish the race). The flagship facility of the U.S. Olympic Committee boasts two Olympic size swimming pools, six gymnasiums, and the largest indoor shooting facilities in the Western Hemisphere, but these amenities don't always appeal to runners. Want to train at altitude? Desi Linden trained in Iten, Kenya (elevation 7,900), for the same race. When comparing winters between cities, do you judge the high temp or low temp? "I can just get lost in my runs out here and focus on my training.". Global Warming update! The less intense Albuquerque Road Runners offer training runs and races throughout the year. Elevation: 5,272 feetIn Boulder, runners can get their Rocky Mountain highs without being sequestered in the wilderness like a monk. Although some trails have double-black diamond ratings, a beginner-friendly place to start exploring is Round Valley, 694 acres of contiguous open space that boasts more than 30 miles of high-desert trails. But there are plenty of high altitude destinations stateside. Loaded with trails—the Big Laguna, Noble Canyon, Indian Creek, Pine Mountain, and Pacific Crest, to name a few—the area offers miles of rolling singletrack through classic California chaparrel, streamside meadows, and forests overlooking the Anza-Borrego Desert.,, (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Gerardo). Head for the red. Then you'll need to spend some time huffing and puffing in thin mountain air. Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today. Runners will enjoy easy access to Carmichael Training Systems and/or the 260 miles of multisport trails available within a ten-mile radius. Elevation: 4,816 feetUltrarunner Nikki Kimball is one of the few elite runners who trains in this southwest Montana college town, which boasts 67 miles of trails in its Main Street to Mountains trail system. Want to breathe with unconstrained lungs, cruise over hills as if they were pesky speed bumps, and shave down your PR? After all, the town is home to Bolder Boulder, the largest 10K in the country with more than 50,000 runners crossing the finish line each May. Roadies can wave to the polar bears at Run for the Zoo each May, and trail runners can climb to the top of 10,678-foot Sandia Peak each August during the infamous nine-mile La Luz Trail Run.

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