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Runners staying busy with full schedule

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

This week, runners will head to Mount Sopris.

Actually, this week’s feature race in the Roaring Fork Valley is the annual Mount Sopris Run-off. That’s a 14-miler from Basalt (Emma) to Carbondale with views of Sopris and a finish at Sopris Park and the Carbondale Mountain Fair.

The race will begin at 7:30 a.m. It will feature 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 Run-off.

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 active.com.

Basalt Half-Marathon

Next week, one of the longest running races in the valley will return with the 37th annual Basalt Half-Marathon on Saturday, Aug. 3.

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

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

Longtime race director Ron Lund, also the Basalt High School cross country coach, said the Basalt half is a good tuneup for runners looking for a fall marathon.

“It’s a fast half. It drops about 1,000 feet from start to finish,” Lund said.

“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.

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

Power of Four 50K

One day after the Basalt Half-Marathon, the Aspen Skiing Co. will present the Power of Four 50K trail race, using a course that will cover all four Skico mountains.

The Power of Four Mountain Bike Race will be held a day earlier, on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Course maps and registration information is available online at the http://www.aspensnowmass.com for the bike race and the 31-mile trail run. GPS tracking also is available for the events.

The Power of Four trail race will start at the base of Aspen Mountain, climb to the Sundeck and follow trails through Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass.

The finish is in at the Snowmass Base Village.

There will be a combined 10,000 feet of climbing over the 50-kilometer course.

The bike race will follow the route of previous years with a start in Snowmass and finish at the Gondola Plaza in Aspen.

Solo and relay options are available in the Power of Four events.

Each race will feature a $2,500 purse with the top three men and women cashing checks.

Online registration is available at http://www.aspensnowmass.com/poweroffour.

The early registration pricing ends Sunday.

Online registration will close Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. with on-site registration available Aug. 2. No race day registration is available.

Registration will be at the Aspen Mountain ticket office from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 2 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 3.

Among the early entries for the 2013 race is defending champion Keegan Swirbul, of Aspen, the teenager who beat Lance Armstrong to win the 2012 race.

John Gaston, winner of the last two Power of Four Ski Mountaineering races, will ride this year along with mountaineering partner Max Taam, also of Aspen.

Taam is entered in the mountain bike race and the 50K trail race the next day.

Other trail running early entries include noted endurance athlete Helen Cospolich, of Breckenridge. She’s a former winner of the Leadville 100.

Brandon Stapanowich, who’s completed the Western State 100, also is entered in the Power of Four 50K. He’s from Manitou Springs; he finished third in the Desert RATS 50-mile race.

Also entered is local distance ace Michael Barlow, who recently finished second in the Aspen Backcountry Marathon.

Early notice

There’s more: The Aspen Uphill will be Aug. 18 this year. It’s the annual climb up Aspen Mountain. The 4.6-mile uphill raises money for the Aspen High School cross country program.

The defending champion in that race is Lance Armstrong.

The Ring the Bell at the Bridge 5K, a benefit for suicide awareness, is scheduled for Sept. 28.

The race will benefit the Aspen Hope Center and Foiundation.

The race will be held at Canyon Creek, west of Glenwood Springs.

For information, to to ring5k.org. or contact Erin Alfstad at redbirdsky7@yahoo.com

dstrode@aspentime.com


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