Aspen Backcountry Marathon
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.
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Participation limit: 250 per race.
Full Marathon Start 6:30am NEW START LOCATION RIO GRANDE PARK $70 ($80 after July 1st)
Half Marathon Start 7:30am Rio Grande Park $60 ($70 after July 1st)
Race Details Click here for race guide MarathonRaceGuide_2022
Racer letter 2022
-Start Time: 6:30am (Full Marathon) mass start 7:30 am (Heavy Half) mass start
limited aid stations 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.
Marathon aid station locations and cut off times.
|3||Smuggler Mountain Rd||Water, Skratch||7:30am|
|8||Hunter Creek Senior Lot||Water, Skratch||10:10am|
|11.5||Top of Lower Plunge||Water, Skratch||11:25am|
|15.5||4 Corners||Water, Skratch||12:45pm|
|23.4||Stein Park||Water, Skratch||2:25pm|
|26.2!||Finish Line||Water, Skratch|
Half Marathon Aid station locations and cut off times
|2.2||Smugger Mountain Rd||Water, Skratch||8:30|
|5||Top of Lower Plunge||Water, Skratch||10:50|
|14 ish||Finish Line|
If you approach an aid station after the cut off time, your race bib will be removed by the course sweep and you will be directed to walk to a location to receive a ride back to the start/finish line.
-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.
-Bib/Timing Chip Pick-up: Rio Grande Park, Friday July 29th 4-6pm. Race morning Saturday July 30th, 1 hour prior to race start at the start line.
Please make sure your bib is visible at the finish and start
Severe Weather Alert: The safety of our athletes, spectators and volunteers is of utmost importance. The race will not be canceled due to rain alone, however heavy rain may delay or shorten the race. If severe lightning is detected in the area, racers may be held at aid stations and the race will be neutral until the race is deemed safe to continue. If trail conditions become unsafe racers will be asked to walk and timing of the event will end. If there is persistent severe weather Race officials reserve the right to neutralize, suspend or cancel the race entirely.
Every effort will be made to hold the race, but the director reserves the right to delay, shorten or even cancel the event. There will be no refunds in the event of race cancellation.
Aspen Backcountry Marathon Safety Plan. This race will be a limited support race. There will be water stations, volunteer crews with EMT and First Responder experience. Please do not expect a high level of runner support like other marathons can offer. The logistics of a backcountry race makes additional support very difficult. In addition, we have to be careful about impacting the environment since it is at a high altitude, remote, and on National Forest Service land.
The Aspen Backcountry Marathon and Half Marathon is a CUPLESS COURSES! We recommend participants to carry their own hydration system.
Overall winner awards will be presented once results are verified. Top finisher awards by age group will be handed out as the winners come in.
The Start/Finish of the Marathon and Half Marathon is at Rio Grande Park, located on Rio Grande Place in Aspen. To get there (from Glenwood Springs), follow Highway 82 into Aspen where it becomes Main Street. Turn left on N. Mill St, the make the first right on to Rio Grande Place. The race start/finish is at Rio Grande Park on the left.
From Snowmass: Follow Brush Creek Road from Snowmass to Hwy 82. Turn right at the light to merge onto Hwy 82 into Aspen and follow it into where it becomes Main Street. Same as above.
*Note: There is no on-street parking next to the finish. Covered parking is available near the start at the Rio Grande Parking Garage: 427 Rio Grande Place off Mill Street. Free parking is located in the west end starting at Bleeker Street and Monarch St. going west
The air quality outdoor event guidance document will help you prepare for wildfire smoke and provides possible action steps based on the level of pollution in the air measured by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI). We recommend you also sign up for Pitkin Alerts as a way to be alerted when the air quality if forecasted to be bad. www.airnow.gov and www.aspenairquality.com are two websites that provide local air quality information. For questions and additional resources contact Jannette Whitcomb with the Aspen Environmental Health Department at 970-920-5069 or Jannette.firstname.lastname@example.org”
I-70 Travel Alert: Due to the Grizzly Creek burn scar, storms may cause flash flooding and mud slides in Glenwood Canyon. Therefore, CDOT may close I-70 in Glenwood Canyon at any time for safety concerns. For those racers traveling to Aspen, please plan accordingly for potential delays or reroutes.
To view travel alerts, road closures, traffic conditions and more go to COTRIP.org (https://www.cotrip.org/travelAlerts.htm#?roadId=). In addition, you can sign up for Pitkin County Alerts, which would alert you to local highway closures and severe weather, click here https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612656#/signup or to view current Pitkin Alert notifications, click here (https://member.everbridge.net/453003085612656/weather/h_SSS7YkQ)