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Running calendar filling up

Aspen Times Staff Report

To folks in the northern reaches of the Roaring Fork Valley, it may seem like the summer running season has been going on for months now. The Redstone Spring Runoff is but a distant memory, and the premier running event of the summer in Glenwood Springs, the Strawberry Shortcut, sent some 850 runners through the streets of that town just last weekend.

But upvalley residents might just be wondering if the summer running season will ever get under way. Already, Aspen has played host to a number of bike races, of the mountain and road varieties, but so far only the Compass Hoedown Adventure 5K Trail Run, a community event run June 4 in Woody Creek, has provided local running enthusiasts with a competitive outlet.

All that is set to change next week when the Aspen Downtown Mile kicks off a full slate of summer races when it returns to the streets of Aspen on Saturday, June 24. After that, runners may just run themselves ragged trying to enter all the races in the area.

The 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.

Preregistration will take place at the Ute Mountaineer in Aspen, or by calling Chris Keleher, Aspen High School assistant track 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.

One day after the Downtown Mile, on Sunday, June 25, the US Fila Half SkyMarathon will hit the trails near Ashcroft for a 14.4-mile run that reaches elevations over 13,000 feet. The event 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.

July will also be a busy month for area runners. First up will be the very popular Boogie’s Diner 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 Tater 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 at 308 S. Mill Street in Aspen, 925-2849.


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