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Mile run, half-marathon this weekend

Aspen Times Staff Report

Summer is officially here, and in Aspen that means it’s time to start running. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities for area runners to strut there stuff starting this very weekend.

On Saturday, June 24, the seventh annual Aspen Downtown Mile kicks off a busy summer of races when it returns to the streets of Aspen’s historic West End, and on Sunday, June 25, the U.S. Fila Half SkyMarathon will hit the mountain trails near Ashcroft.

The Aspen Downtown Mile, the first race in the sixth annual Aspen Summer Race Series, will start at 8 a.m. at the Aspen Institute tennis courts on Meadows Road. The course will wind through Aspen’s West End to a finish at Paepcke Park.

The start will be in age-group waves to ensure congestion-free running. There will also be a separate wave for walkers, along with a 400-meter run for children 7 and under.

Last year’s men’s race was won by Rees Buck of Gunnison, who crossed the line in 4:40, just one second off the men’s course record established in 1997 by Glenwood’s Luther Kopf, a former All-American in track at the University of Arizona.

The women’s race was won by Dana Boyle of Carbondale. Boyle, an NAIA All-American runner for the University of Puget Sound and a graduate of Roaring Fork High School, finished in 5:20, breaking by nine seconds the course record she established in 1998.

Pre-registration will take place at the Ute Mountaineer in Aspen, or by calling Chris Keleher, Aspen High School cross country coach, at 927-0265. Race-day registration will take place at the start and finish lines beginning at 7 a.m. on June 24.

Entry fee for the race is $10 ($25 for all three events in the series), and the Downtown Mile, along with the other events in the Aspen Summer Race Series, will benefit the Aspen High School cross country team.

The U.S. Fila Half SkyMarathon, a 14.4-mile run that reaches elevations over 13,000 feet, returns to Ashcroft for a sixth consecutive year, but in a slightly different form. In past years, the event also included a SkyMarathon, but that race has been dropped.

Matt Carpenter of Manitou Springs, Colo., successfully defended his 1998 title in the SkyMarathon last year, covering the 24.5-mile course in a record time of 3:17:19. The women’s winner of the SkyMarathon was Corinne Favre of France in a time of 4:15:47.

The 1999 Half SkyMarathon was won by Jeremy Wright of Beaver Creek, who completed the course in 1:56:48. The female winner of the Half SkyMarathon was Wendy Harris-Shomion of Golden with a time of 2:16:20

The Half SkyMarathon is limited to 150 participants and will count as a qualifier for the World SkyGames 2000. The $25 entry fee includes a T-shirt, goody bag and refreshments. For more information, call Nancy Hobbs at (719) 570-9795 or go on line at http://www.trailrunner.com. Other upcoming races July will also be a busy month for area runners. First up will be the very popular Boogie’s Diner Aspen Buddy Five, a five-mile race to benefit the Buddy Program, on Tuesday, July 4.

The race will start at Boogie’s Diner in downtown Aspen at 8 a.m. for top runners and follow a course through town back to the finish line at Boogie’s. Slower runners will start at 8:20 a.m. There will also be a one-mile family and canine fun walk.

Registration costs $25 ($35 on race day) and will begin June 30 at Boogie’s. For more information, call Beverly at 920-2130, or visit http://www.aspen.com/buddy.

On Saturday, July 15, the Race for the Cure will make its return to Aspen. The benefit race for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is a 5K that starts and ends at Rio Grande Park in Aspen. The men’s race will start at 8 a.m. with the women’s race to follow at 8:45 a.m. In addition, there will be a one-mile family walk at 10 a.m.

The fee for the race is $25 ($35 on race day), and registration forms may be picked up at numerous locations throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. For more information, call 920-0250 or visit http://www.komen.org.

Looking farther ahead, the Mt. Sopris Run-off, a 17-mile race, will run between Basalt and Carbondale on July 29.

The Aspen Daily News Aspen Youth Center 5K will be held Aug. 12 in conjunction with the annual Aspen Rotary Club Ducky Derby. The Basalt Half-Marathon will run 13.1 miles on Aug. 19 from Ruedi Reservoir to downtown Basalt, and the Aspen High Country Triathlon/Duathlon is set for Aug. 26.

The second event of the Aspen Summer Race Series, the Aspen Mountain Hill Climb, is also slated for Aug. 26.

September events include the Tri-Glenwood Triathlon, the Ute Mountaineer Golden Leaf Mini-Marathon and the Glenwood Canyon Shuffle. October will see the Roaring Fork Sunday Marathon/Half Marathon, the Potato Trot 5K and the Chuck Severy Memorial 5K, the final event in the Aspen Summer Race Series.

More information on any of this summer’s races is available at the Ute Mountaineer.


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