The inaugural Aspen Back Country Marathon was held this past Saturday. A capacity field of 240 runners stomped 26.2 grueling miles up and down the trails of Aspen. While the race started in the dark at 6 a.m. after a heavy storm the night before, the day evolved into one of those beautiful, crisp, crystal clear Colorado bluebirds. The top finishers came in at just over 3 1/2 hours around 9.45 a.m. Several dedicated trail runners stuck with it and completed the super-sick course in about 9 hours.
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Aspen's first-ever backcountry marathon was a rousing success based on the reaction of the participants and their supporters. The race started and finished in Wagner Park in the center of town...and in the shadow of Ajax. Approximately 3/4 of the field came from outside Aspen. Serious trail runners came from all over Colorado, and several from out of state. Both the male and female winners hail from that little town over the hill... Crested Butte. AspenSpin got the impression that Champs J. Marshall Thompson (M, age 32, 3:43:27) and Stevie Kremer (F, age 27, 3:55:21) had trained together. They admitted to being "just friends"...and we all know what that means.
Kudos go out to local pals Michael Barlow (M age 26 3:59:07) Chase Edgerton (27, 3:58:08) Ted Mahon (M age 39 4:25:46) and Rob Bordan (M age 40, 4:57:04) for finishing so strong. More kudos to the Aspen Parks and Rec and Special Events teams who staged an excellent event. Several runners were already talking about next year.
To paraphrase, The Aspen Backcountry Marathon, it's more than a race... it's a lifestyle.