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Colorado > 4th of July Half Marathon & 5K
Gateway, CO



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Event Details

Runners get a chance to trek through the hilly and gorgeously scenic Dolores River Valley in westernmost Colorado at the annual Fourth of July Half Marathon & 5K, which unfolds along a course bordered by the towering red rock canyon walls of Colorado's Uncompahgre Plateau and the La Sal Mountains off in the distance. Challenging and run on dirt roads for most of the race's 13.1 miles, this unique half marathon run also features a river crossing -- it's usually knee- to waist-deep at the time of the race -- at the half-way point in the course.

From the starting line at the Gateway Canyons resort, which lies at the confluence of the Dolores River and West Creek just a few miles from the border with Utah, runners follow an out-and-back loop route up through the canyons along the river, through Lumsden Canyon and in the shadow of the nearby peak known as The Palisade. The course skirts along the edges of the canyon along the river all the way to the half-way point, where runners cross the Dolores River and head to the southern side of the riverbanks for the return course back to the resort.

A rope will be present at the river crossing to guide runners across the flowing water, and participants may elect to have dry clothes and running shoes dropped off at this point so they can change out of their now-wet garments. (Race organizers note that if the water is too high, runners will not be required to cross the river -- which happened at the race's 2008 running.) Once across the river, runners head back along the opposite side of the canyon back to the resort, and the last half-mile of the race is run on a paved surface into the finish line at the resort.

While in the Gateway area, runners and visitors will no doubt want to take advantage of the resort's scenic attractions, which include the "Grand Loop," a 387-mile-long mountain biking trail that features the famed Kokopelli’s Trail and the remote Paradox Trail. For those who want a less strenuous way to enjoy the canyons, there's the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway, which features views of the area's spectacular mesas and the sandstone cliffs of the Dolores River Valley, along with drives along the San Juan Skyway and the Grand Mesa Byways.

Race Weather & Climate

Located among the plateaus, mesas and mountains along the western edge of Colorado, about two hours by car from Grand Junction, the resort area known as Gateway experiences very cold winters and summer seasons that can get quite hot, and relatively low precipitation throughout the year. In July, average monthly temperatures range between 92°F and 62°F, while rainfall amounts average just over an inch for the month.


$25 if registered by June 21, 2009
$30 after June 21


To reserve your spot in the summer 2009 running of Gateway Canyon's 4th of July Half Marathon & 5K, register online at Active.com.



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