Aspen Parks & Recreation presents the annual Aspen Backcountry Marathon and Heavy Half Marathon. This event has two options available on race day. You can choose to run on dirt trails through the beauty of Aspen in a Full Marathon or Half Marathon. Both runs start at Rio Grande Park. The full marathon covers challenging trails with significant ascents and descents. Trails include Hunter Creek Trail, Lani White Trail, and BTS Trail. Many other trails and dirt roads across bridges lead to the single-track Rio Grande Trail to finish where it started, Rio Grande Park. There are five aid stations along the way with designated cut-off times for continued participation. The half marathon is about 14 miles and begins an hour later than full marathon runners. Taking off from the same location in Rio Grande Park, then turning onto Oklahoma Flats trail. Other trails on this route include Iowas Shaft, Lower Plunge Trail, and Rio Grande Trail to the finish line at the park. There are three aid stations along the way with cut-off times. The aid stations in this event are limited; the event prides itself on being cupless, so racers need to provide their own hydrations resources and food to stay fueled for the length of their course.
The two races limit participation, so trail runners need to register as soon as possible! Registration includes Race Participation Cap and Timing Chips, with final food and drink celebration at the finish line where Awards are presented.
Aspen, Colorado, is a beautiful mountain resort town with many events annually. Aspen Parks & Registration site summarizes all events and provides lodging suggestions with discounts for this backcountry event; Limelight Hotel and The Gant. In addition to hotels and resorts, participants can go camping or stay at RV Park nearby Coulter Creek, Willows on Coulter Creek, and RV Camp Site. To celebrate a successful trial run, participants and supporters can try out several local restaurants in the area. Bosq and Betula are fine dining options in the heart of Aspen’s downtown area. Hickory House is known to have an excellent BBQ, local to Colorado, and is a few blocks from downtown.