Event Date:

Saturday, August 07, 2021

End Location:

Rio Grande Park

Registration Opens April 19th

April 19th

Presented By:

Aspen Parks & Recreation

2019 Race Results Click Here

2018 Race Results are in, click here.

BACKCOUNTRY MARATHON | SATURDAY, AUGUST 07, 2021 Aspen's most scenic running race...not to be missed.

Aspen Backcountry Marathon

Registration is open Click here 

Full Marathon Start 6:30am Aspen Pedestrian Mall $70 ($80 after July 1st)

Half Marathon Start 7:30am Rio Grande Park $60 ($70 after July 1st)


Sponsored by The City of Aspen

Updated March 2021——precautions may be updated closer to the event

COVID Safety Precautions – PLEASE READ
In order to ensure a safe race and the continuation of the series, the following must be adhered to:

1. Social Distancing

-Please do NOT invite spectators to the event – unfortunately we need to limit the number of people at the venue.
-Interval Starts: Interval/wave starts will be assigned according to your bib number. You should be prepared to enter the start area when your number is called. Please do not move up to the next position until the person in front of you has done so. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and the racer in front of you.
-Before & After Race: Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and other persons unless that person is a member of your household. We ask that you clear the race finish area when you complete your race.

2. Mask Wearing
-Face coverings
– should be double layer masks or double layer “buff” like garment.
– Masks should be worn at all times until 1 min prior to your race start time. You must put your mask on after you finish the race and stay well away from other people until you do so.
– Masks should be worn at all times in the City of Aspen, Rio Grande park and at the start and finish of the race.– unless it is during your race.

3. Sick Racers – any racers who are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms should not attend the race.

  1.  Traveler Responsibility Code
    • Any traveler spending ONE or more nights in Pitkin County that does not meet any exemptions (as outlined in the exemption section below).
      • This applies to ALL visits to Pitkin County if they are 10 days or more apart.
      • This includes all residents, full or part-time, and second homeowners.
      • This does not apply to those visiting Pitkin County for the day.

The Traveler Responsibility Code simply asks travelers to acknowledge CDC’s travel recommendations and local requirements that includes:

  • Current public health orders, including wearing a mask in public
  • Limit personal gatherings to no more than 10 individuals from 2 households
  • If exposed to COVID-19, quarantine even if it prolongs your stay
  • Self-isolate and get tested if experiencing symptoms
  • Wash hands often
  • Social distance
  • Follow CDC travel guidance

CDC guidance suggests testing can improve traveler safety. You may feel well and not have any symptoms while traveling, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others, including to other family, friends, and the community. CDC recommends getting tested 1-3 days before your trip and to reduce non-essential activities for a full 7 days after your travel. Read more.

Pitkin County has made progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our businesses and ski areas open. Our entire community, our residents and our guests have a responsibility to help us keep transmission levels as low as possible and our community open. All travelers should follow CDC guidance and seek testing prior to traveling.  Travel Responsibility code Click Here

Race Details

-Start Time: 6:30am (Full Marathon)  with 30 second intervals 10 racers at a time 7:30 am (Heavy Half) with 30 second intervals, 10 racers at a time

-Self Supported Race:
This race requires you to be self-supported due to COVID-19 safety concerns. There will be: limited aid stations, no gear shuttle, and limited finish line recovery food or drink. You are required to bring your own food, hydration, clothes and equipment to provide for your own safety in summer conditions and travel.
-Bathrooms: A Porta Potty will be available at the start and at the finish. Please do not linger in the facilities as other may need to use them also.
-Wave Starts: To accommodate social distancing, there will be intervals wave starts to start the race. Each wave will be at 30 second intervals. Participants will receive a start list (via email) prior to the race letting them know which their wave (1-15), start line (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, or J) and start time. The wave starts will also be posted on this website and at the start of the race. There will also be volunteers at the start of the race to help you with your race start position. You will be emailed a start list on the Thursday night before the race and one will be posted on this website.

-Spectators: Spectators are not allowed at the event
-Results & Awards: Results will by age group, gender and overall.

Registration / Bibs

-Participation Limit: 175 per race

(this may increase closer to the event date if COVID restrictions in Pitkin County allow)

-Bib/Timing Chip Pick-up: TBD

Please make sure your bib is visible at the finish and start.

Click Here  To Check out the Short Mini Film from Tom Evans on the Western States “Zero to 100”

Utilizing the beautiful trails that surround Aspen, offering two options, a full or heavy half-marathon, both run almost exclusively on dirt trails. The diversity of terrain, challenging ascents & descents and overall elevation gain will challenge even the most well-trained athletes. With spectacular views of the Elk Mountains above and the city of Aspen below, this is one race you’ll be sure to remember!

This race will be a limited support race. There will be aid stations, portable toilets at the start/finish, volunteer crews, and timers.  There is volunteer medical personnel along the course and at aid stations, but there is no guarantee of rescue or medical attention. Each participant is ultimately responsible for their own rescue and preparation for course and weather conditions.

Registration Info

Details to follow
Full Marathon $70 ($80 after July 1st)

  • Registration Opens April 19th

Heavy 1/2 Marathon (14.6m) $60 ($70 after July 1st)

  • Registration Opens April 19th 


Cash Purse and Prize distribution is TBD for 2021.

The Aspen Backcountry Marathon and Half Marathon will be CUPLESS COURSES!  We recommend that participants use their own hydration system on this backcountry course. 

FAQ's Commonly Asked Questions.

Here are the overall results Aspen Backcountry Marathon Results by Age Group  

Keep the environment in mind as you start your training and on race-day, and we together will abide by the Leave No Trace outdoor ethics to help maintain the pristine conditions of our backcountry and forests. A No Cup policy on the race course is in place, so there will be no paper cups at the aid stations, so please carry your own reusable cup or use your own hydration system that can be refilled at the aid stations. 

The Backcountry Marathon was a huge success. We had over 301 participants and you an view the running results below. 2016 Results
The course has changed over the years, additionally we will also reverse the race direction on alternating years to keep it interesting!

The race committee is happy to share that the courses are both now almost entirely on single track and dirt trails.

Please note that Pitkin County requires that all participants obtain a valid CORSAR card for the day of the event. These are available at the Ute Mountaineer and the Tenth Mountain Hut Association. Save yourself some time and purchase online. Click here to purchase online. Cost: $3.00 for a one year card; $12.00 for five years

Yes, if you are local you can join the training group, sponsored by Aspen Alpine, additionally for those not local sign up to be part of the mail list on training for high altitude and more great tips. More info: marathontraining@aspenalpine.com | (970) 925-6618

This year the Cash Purse for the marathon totals $2400. Marathon: 1st place Male and Female = $600 2nd place Male and Female = $400 3rd place Male and Female = $200

Prizes for top finishers are equal for Male and Female racers as well as the King of the Mountain. Thank you to our sponsor Adidas for these great prize donation.