Colorado > Aspen Valley Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K
Aspen, CO • Saturday, July 20, 2013 • Course Map
More than 7,000 feet up in the Rockies, one of Colorado's newest half marathon race events offers some attractive features, especially for the first-time half-marathoner -- a course that takes runners off the highways and onto a converted rail corridor trail, along gorgeous scenery thanks to the mountain peaks all around and the Roaring Fork River alongside the trail, and an almost all downhill course from the start to the finish.
Those features and more brought out the nearly 400 runners who crossed the finish line at last year's summertime running of the Aspen Valley Half Marathon, to which the event organizers added in 2011 both the 5K and the 26.2-mile full marathon race distance, the latter of which is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.
Runners taking part in the 13.1-mile distance will follow a route that starts at Wilton Jaffee Park in Woody Creek, a small town in the Roaring Fork River valley that lies just a few miles northwest of Aspen. From there, runners head onto the Rio Grande Trail via the Woody Creek trailhead and start making their way northwest toward Basalt, where the finish line lies in that town's Lions Park, along Midland Spur Road.
Along the race route between the two towns, the beauty of the Colorado Rockies is on full display. Beautiful homes and large barns out in farm fields alternate between pastures dotted with grazing horses and even a couple of abandoned rail cars still out on the trail. Though there are a few shady spots along this part of the trail -- which will consist of soft dirt and gravel surfaces for most of the race -- much of the course is out in the wide-open sun, so sunscreen and a baseball cap or visor is recommended.
Three water stations will be provided along the half marathon route -- first at Gerbatz Way, around the mile 4 marker; a second time at the Arciero Trailhead near the mile 9 marker; and a third station will be located at about the mile 11 marker, near the intersection of Kelli Court and Holland Hills Drive. Those running the full marathon will be the first to start, followed by the half marathoners from Woody Creek. The finish line festivities will follow the races in Lions Park, starting at 12 noon.
In past years, organizers have limited the number of entrants for all races combined to 500, so runners thinking of signing up for the race are encouraged to do so as early as possible.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled high in the Rocky Mountains of western Colorado, roughly 160 miles west of Denver, Aspen typically sees some of its mildest (read: warmest) weather of the year in July, when the resort city's average monthly temperatures range between 46°F and 77°F and rainfall totals average just over 1.7 inches for the month.
On the day of the race (July 20), the average low is 47°F and the average high is 78°F.
View the race route map for the Aspen Valley Half Marathon
$85 for the half marathon, if registered by April 1, 2013
$90 between April 2 - May 13
$105 after May 13
To reserve your spot in the summer 2013 running of the Aspen Valley Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at Active.com.
Official Race Website
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