Golden Leaf offers unique reflection
One of Aspen’s oldest athletic events, the Ute Mountaineer Golden Leaf Half Marathon, returns for a 24th year Sunday without one of its longtime supporters.
Robbie Wade, who died in a skateboarding accident Aug. 4 at age 19, was the son of Ginny Myers and Ute Mountaineer owner Bob Wade. This year’s event is dedicated to his memory.
“Not because Robbie was a frequent volunteer for the Golden Leaf or because he was a runner (he was more apt to be experimenting with adrenaline-related activities and adventures), but because he embodied the Aspen community spirit that the Golden Leaf has embraced for the last 24 years,” a written statement from the Ute Mountaineer said.
“Even in such a short life he touched and changed many lives. Robbie was a gregarious soul, always ready with a quick smile and interested in everyone he met. … If the Golden Leaf can help connect people to their passions and the Aspen community spirit as well as Robbie did, then the race can be deemed a success.”
Like all 23 races before (the Golden Leaf is a regular fixture on Trail Runner magazine’s top-10 list for trail races in North America), Sunday’s race follows the scenic Government Trail from the Snowmass Village mall to the finish at Koch Park in Aspen.
Racing starts at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.
Two-time defending champion Scott Elliott of Boulder is expected to return. Elliot won last year’s race in 1 hour, 31 minutes and 5 seconds. The women’s defending champion is Anthea Schmid of Crested Butte, with a time of 1:43:36 in 2001.
Preregister at the Ute Mountaineer in Aspen through Saturday at 5 p.m., or online at http://www.utemountaineer.com through 2 p.m. today for $30. Race-day registration costs $40 from 7 to 8 a.m. at the start. Food, drink and awards will be available for racers at the finish area. Additionally, a Robbie Wade Memorial Fund has been established at Community Banks of Aspen to aid the Prineville Smoke Jumpers as well as disadvantaged youth in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Racers are encouraged to use public transportation to get to or from the start. Racer’s gear bags will be transported to the finish.
For more information, call the Ute Mountaineer at 925-2849.
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Katelyn Maley was the first across the finish line on Saturday at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, winning the Class 3A girls state championship in 18 minutes, 39 seconds. She came in more than 34 seconds ahead of second place.