Aspen Valley Marathon returns Saturday |

Aspen Valley Marathon returns Saturday

Marathon season is here.

The Aspen Valley Marathon on Saturday marks the return of the Boston-qualifier race that starts in Aspen and finishes in Basalt after a downvalley tour of the Rio Grande Trail.

The event was launched in 2010 by Katherine Fitzgerald, a longtime valley resident and runner. She and Sean Solon produce the annual Aspen Valley Marathon, a fully sanctioned Boston Marathon qualifying event.

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

The full marathon will start at 6 a.m. at Wagner Park in downtown Aspen. It will finish at Basalt Lions Park in downtown Basalt.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

The half-marathon will start at 7:30 a.m. at the W/J Ranch at Woody Creek. It also finishes at Basalt Lions Park.

The 5K will start at 10 a.m. It will start and finish at the park in Basalt.

Registration information is available at

The course is rated as a fast one in marathon circles with a drop of 1,418 vertical feet from start to finish.

The 2015 Aspen Valley Marathon featured a number of Boston Marathon qualifiers, putting the race among the top 30 Boston qualifying events.

As per usual, finishers will have a chance to celebrate with a champagne toast at the finish.

Last year, Matthew Drake of Fort Collins won the men’s marathon in 2:49:57.

Krista Sidwell, also of Fort Collins and a mother of three, won the women’s marathon.

Albuquerque’s Lisa Brunacini led the field in the women’s half-marathon. And Brad Seng of Boulder won the men’s half.

Some 400 participated in the Aspen Valley Marathon last year with another 500 in the half-marathon.

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