What a glorious, crisp, sunny day for the Golden Leaf Half Marathon on Sunday! Too bad the race had little else going for it.
Being an experienced technical trail runner I realize there are inherent dangers in trail racing such as falls and sprains. But I also expect race management to do what they can to make all other aspects of a race enjoyable and safe. You didn’t.
The photographer (where runners can get distracted and traffic often backs up) was located on one of the narrowest and rockiest single tracks of the race. The on-course race “medics” had no ice, no Ace bandages and no means to get injured runners to where they could be treated – unless they were willing to wait for the last runner to come through the “aid” station. No course monitors – only little yellow arrow signs (two of which I’d seen kicked over), and I know of at least one gentlemen who ran 200 yards off course before being redirected; and a slower runner friend encountered a water station that had run out of water! (They only had Cytomax left.)
C’mon! Just what exactly does the $40 early entry fee ($50 regular, $60 race day) pay for? Do your sponsors (Ute Mountaineer and Vasque footwear) know how poorly the race is managed?
Stop taking advantage of runners who want to experience Aspen’s spectacular fall foliage, and put on a real race – with course monitors, sufficiently supplied aid stations and medics who can actually help if/when an accident happens. Until you do, my friends and I will be boycotting the Golden Leaf Half Marathon (and perhaps your sponsors as well) and enjoying the natural glories of the season by running on our own.