Aspen Valley Marathon wins travel honor | AspenTimes.com

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Aspen Valley Marathon wins travel honor

Gary Krugger of Flagstaff, Ariz., wins the 2013 Aspen Valley Marathon as he heads for the finish line in Basalt. He is the two-time defending champion in the marathon, that is a cerfified qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

The Aspen Valley Marathon is a virtual backyard marathon.

But it's worth the trip for runners everywhere, according to travel industry source Trip Advisor.

The Aspen Valley Marathon, set to mark its fourth anniversary in July, has been listed among the 2014 Top Marathons and Races Worth Traveling For.

The selection was announced by FlipKey.com, the vacation rental company of Trip Advisor.

One event per state was honored with the Aspen Valley Marathon earning the Colorado nod.

"Marathons and road races allow all runners to challenge themselves to run farther, faster, and longer than they ever have," according to the article on FlipKey.com. "Whether there is a trophy waiting for you at the end, or just an ice cold beer, running a race delivers a personal satisfaction that is hard to find anywhere else."

The travel source said events were considered nationwide.

"We've searched through every state to find the 50 top races and marathons worth traveling for. Charity races, full marathons, half marathons, local road races and many more were considered," FlipKey.com said. "Some wowed us with their tireless devotion to charity, others with their gorgeous landscapes, and even more with their popularity and strong reviews from those who have participated."

The Aspen Valley Marathon, set for Saturday, July 19, will go from Aspen to Basalt via the Rio Grande Trail.

A half-marathon and 5K also will be held in conjunction with the full marathon.

The half marathon and 5K will start and finish in Basalt at Lions Park, race headquarters.

Last year, the event attracted a wheelchair racing contingent. Grant Berthiaume of Tucson, Ariz., rolled downhill to Basalt and won in 1 hour, 50 minutes.

Berthiaume and two wheelchair racing colleagues participated in the Aspen Valley Marathon last year as part of a national campaign to promote research and treatment for those with spinal-cord injuries.

The trio completed 50 marathons in 50 states to raise money for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the leading force in spinal-cord research.

Defending champion Gary Krugger of Flagstaff, Ariz., won the running portion of the 2013 Aspen Valley Marathon in 2:48 — his second consecutive win in the event.

Dominika Sosna won the women's marathon last year in 3:22.

Randy Work, of Aspen and London, won the Aspen Valley Half-Marathon last year.

Mary Cote of Aspen was the women's winner.

Joseph Horen and Samantha Hecht were the winners of the 2013 5K race.

For more on the races, visit aspenvalleymarathon.com.

Other races listed by FlipKey.com include:

Moose's Tooth Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska;

San Diego Half-Marathon;

Kauai Marathon;

University of Iowa River Run in Iowa City, Iowa;

Bay of Fundy International Marathon in Lubec, Maine;

Princeton Half-Marathon in New Jersey;

Outer Banks Marathon and Southern Fried Half-Marathon in Nags Head, N.C.;

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon in South Carolina;

Race to the Top of Vermont in Stowe, Vt.;

Crazy Horse Marathon in Hill City, S.D.;

Duke City Marathon in Albuquerque;

Boston Marathon.

dstrode@aspentimes.com