Footraces step into the Aspen summer schedule |

Footraces step into the Aspen summer schedule

The race is on.

And we’re not talking about the Aspen City Council.

The running race will step into the forefront of the Aspen summer in the coming weeks.

There are events scheduled virtually every weekend for the running community — road races and trail races and extreme trail races.

“The race (Basalt Half-Marathon) has a very intimate, hometown feel.”
Ron Lund, race director

The running resumption takes off Saturday with the 23rd annual Komen Aspen Race for the Cure, a traditional summer fundraiser for the fight against breast cancer. Funds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Saturday morning’s 5K and 10K races will follow the same course as the Aspen Food & Wine 5K, held last month. The race start and finish will be at Rio Grande Park.

The 10K runners will make an extra loop through Aspen’s West End with the same finish at Rio Grande Park.

The 10K will begin at 9 a.m. The 5K will follow.

Registration and race information are available at

A dog walk and a family fun walk also are scheduled as part of the Komen Aspen Race for the Cure.

For the serious backcountry runner, there’s another big run Saturday.

The second trail run in the Train and Trail Summer Series, sponsored by Independence Run and Hike, will take off at 7:45 a.m. Saturday from Aspen Valley Hospital. Runners also can meet at the trailhead for the Conundrum Hot Springs Trail at 8 a.m.

“This is truly an epic run. I hope you can join us,” said Brion After, of Independence Run and Hike.

He said the unsupported training run is open to interested runners for free.

The series includes instruction from Aspen backcountry runner Zeke Tiernan, a former high school state champion and former All-American at the University of Colorado.

Next week, on July 20, Tiernan will lead a session on VO2 max training with intervals.

For more information on Saturday’s Conundrum training run or the summer series, contact After at 970-704-0909.

Aspen Valley Marathon

The Aspen Valley Marathon and Half-Marathon will be held Saturday, July 20.

The downvalley route is a fast one with the start at Wagner Park. Runners will head down the Rio Grande Trail.

The finish will be at Lions Park in Basalt.

The marathon is an official qualifier for te Boston Maerathon.

Information is available at

Mount Sopris Runoff

The annual Mount Sopris Runoff, held in conjunction with the Carbondale Mountain Fair, will be held Saturday, July 27.

The race start now is at the Emma School. The finish is at Sopris Park in Carbondale after a cruise up Sopris Creek.

The race will begin at 7:30 a.m.

The 14-mile race features 1,500 feet of climbing and 1,700 feet of descending.

There also will be a downhill 4-mile run in connection with the Sopris Runoff.

The 4-Mile to the Fair Run will involve a run from Prince Creek Road into Carbondale.

Registration for the Mount Sopris Runoff is available at Independence Run and Hike at 586 Highway 133 in Carbondale. Registration also is available at

Basalt Half-Marathon

One of the longest-running races in the Roaring Fork Valley will return Saturday, Aug. 3, with the annual Basalt Half-Marathon.

The event is the annual fundraiser for the Basalt High School cross country program.

This year will mark the 37th annual Basalt Half-Marathon, second only to the Strawberry Shortcut in Glenwood Springs in continuous longevity.

The fast course starts at Ruedi Reservoir, then goes down the Frying Pan Road to the finish in downtown Basalt.

“It’s a good tuneup if you are looking for a fall marathon,” said longtime race director Ron Lund, also the Basalt High School cross country coach.

“It’s a fast half. It drops about 1,000 feet from start to finish,” said Lund, a running fixture in the valley for decades.

He said the event is a low-key race.

“And we want to keep it that way. It’s very popular with out-of-town runners. Half the people in the race are usually from the Front Range,” Lund said.

He said Boulder runners in particular enjoy the low-key atmosphere of the Basalt Half-Marathon.

“It’s very simple. A couple of buses take the runners to the start. There are three aid stations, manned by the Basalt High School cross country runners. It’s very straightforward,” Lund said.

The event was first organized by Jim Jensen, who still lives in Basalt.

The Basalt Library sponsored the race for several years.

“That’s when I first got involved. I helped with the course marking and timing,” Lund said.

The Basalt Lions Club ghen took over the race.

“After awhile, the opportunity arose for the race to be the sole fundraiser for the Basalt High School cross country team,” Lund said. “I’ve been running it for the last eight to 10 years.”

Registration information for the Basalt Half-Marathon is available by calling Lund at 970-618-2063.

“The race has a very intimate, hometown feel,” Lund said. “We want to keep it safe and enjoyable for the people,” Lund said.

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