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DENVER — Saturday marked the official start of fall and Coloradans couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day with sunny skies, and temperatures in the upper 70s.

It was the perfect day for more than 15,000 runners from 50 states that were expected to participate in Denver’s 3rd annual Sports Authority Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Saturday morning. The event was held to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and live bands and cheerleaders entertained runners along every mile of the course that started near Denver’s State Capitol and ended at Civic Center Park.

These images from photojournalist David Harpe along Guanella Pass from Sept. 15 show some of fall’s splendor.

Meteorologist Chris Tomer expects the southern mountains’ fall color to peak at the end of September.

Exceptional drought conditions across Colorado are stressing the state’s aspen population and causing the early colors. Here are some other great places to see shifting of the seasons.

Fall color viewing:
Guanella Pass
Rocky Mountain National Park
Cameron Pass
The Maroon Bells
Rabbit Ears Pass
Kenosha Pass
Crested Butte
The Grand Mesa
Cottonwood Pass
Hanging Lake