Half-marathon series kicks off Saturday | AspenTimes.com

Half-marathon series kicks off Saturday

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
A new series of downhill half-marathons in the Roaring Fork Valley will begin Saturday with the Mountain-to-Valley Half-Marathon in Glenwood Springs.
Dale Strode / Aspen Times file photo |

Let’s run.

A new series of valley running races will make its debut Saturday.

Actually, the series includes four previously held footraces in the Roaring Fork Valley.

This year, they’re packaged together for half-marathon runners, beginning with Saturday’s Mountain-to-Valley Half-Marathon in Glenwood Springs.

“We wanted to group the half-marathons together to help the runners and to help all of the races,” said Ron Lund of Basalt, longtime organizer of the Basalt Half-Marathon. The Basalt Half, a popular downhill half-marathon down the Fryingpan Road from Ruedi Reservoir to Basalt, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15, this year.

Also in the series will be the Aspen Valley Half-Marathon on July 18, held in conjunction with the Aspen Valley Marathon (July 18), and the Glenwood Canyon Shuffle for Literacy (Oct. 3).

“Runners will earn points for each race they complete and points for finishing in the top 10 in his or her age group,” Lund said.

The top three in point standings at the end of the series will receive prizes. Runners completing at least two races will receive a series tech shirt.

Any runner competing all four races will receive a commemorative jacket.

Lund said the races are all held on fast courses. Plus, he said, they all benefit local nonprofits.

Saturday’s event in Glenwood Springs is a benefit for Mountain Valley Developmental Services, providing services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and delays. Mountain Valley Developmental serves Pitkin, Garfield, Eagle and Lake counties.

Saturday’s Mountain-to-Valley Half-Marathon course is a point-to-point race that will finish at Mountain Valley Developmental Services in Glenwood Park.

The race will start near the Spring Gulch Cross Country Ski Area outside Carbondale, elevation 7,810 feet.

The first 3.63 miles are on pavement. Then the course turns onto the Dry Park Road, a hard-packed dirt surface. Runners will follow Dry Park to the Four Mile Road, where the course again will turn downhill on pavement for the finish at Glenwood Park.

Buses will leave the finish area at 7 a.m. to take runners to the half-marathon start, which is set for 8 a.m.

A Four-Mile Walk/Run also will be held Saturday in connection with the Mountain-to-Valley Half-Marathon.

Buses and vans will take the four-mile participants to their starting line at 7:30 a.m.

Registration for the Saturday half-marathon is $45 before race day and $50 on race day.

A free concert will be held for participants at the end of the races Saturday.

For registration information, visit mountaintovalleyrace.com.

For information on the series of half-marathons, visit http://www.downhillhalfmarathon.com.