Overall Rating
Overall Rating (6 Reviews)
3.8
(6 Ratings)(6 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.8
SCENERY
4.7
PRODUCTION
3.8
SWAG
3.3
The Aspen Valley Marathon is a beautiful and scenic run along the Rio Grande Trail. Throughout the marathon, the runners travel 1,418 ft downhill. Top 5 reasons to run the Aspen Valley Marathon: The Aspen Valley Marathon is a Boston Marathon Qualifier Fast! Times in the top 50 fastest marathons … MORE
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Recent reviews

    kat303 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This is a BEAUTIFUL race! It’s mostly shaded, at a slight downhill, and is small enough you can get lost in the beautiful scenery around you. The finish line champagne … MORE

    This is a BEAUTIFUL race! It’s mostly shaded, at a slight downhill, and is small enough you can get lost in the beautiful scenery around you. The finish line champagne toast was great!
    However, the race directors poorly plan the restroom situation and for the cost of the race, it’s not acceptable. There is only one potty stop on the course (right past mile 9). Huge issue! That’s a long way to hold your bladder. I saw several male runners relieving themselves off course. As a female, this wasn’t a comfortable option. Please figure this out for next year! I’d love to run it again, but 9 miles without a restroom is insane. As well, it’s gross to see men peeing on the side of the course!
    My second issue is the post race salad bar. WTF. I just ran 13.1 miles, my jostled stomach does not want hearty and fibrous foods added to it. Give me carbs!!! Didn’t see one banana, bagel, or anything similar post race. Who the heck wants to eat lettuce after running their a$$ off? As a nutritionist, I am all for healthy meals, but be smart. Glycogen stores are diminished and need replenished post run. Salads, champagne, and beer are not great post race nutrition.
    Last, the bus situation is a joke. You bussed us around the corner and said spectators could not park or drop us off. We saw spectators doing both.
    Otherwise, it was a great race. The post race party was fun, enjoyed the champagne and music. Enjoyed the course.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    iank FIRST-TIMER '18

    This is a fast downhill race in the beautiful Aspen Valley. Although the full marathon starts in Aspen, the half starts about 6 miles down the valley in the middle … MORE

    This is a fast downhill race in the beautiful Aspen Valley. Although the full marathon starts in Aspen, the half starts about 6 miles down the valley in the middle of a field (shuttle buses run from a parking lot off the main road, so you either need to drive or take a local bus to that parking lot. The race is 99% paved on the Rio Grande recreation trail with lots of river (Roaring Fork) and mountain views and ends in the town of Basalt, CO.
    There’s literally only one hill, at the 10 mile mark. It’s not that big a hill, but you want to be mentally prepared for it because it kicks your butt at that altitude after nothing but downhill.
    Starting altitude is close to 8,000ft and you drop approx 1,400ft over the 13 miles. Provided you’re okay with that elevation and a long gentle downhill you’ll post a good time. Soak in the hot springs in Glenwood afterwards if you want to avoid an angry conversation with your quads the next day.
    Amazing post-race lunch buffet of very fresh salad. I highly recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Joerobe FIRST-TIMER '17

    Overall Rating: Average run. Bling wasn't great, but scenery was outstanding. Cost was high. Course Difficulty: This was a pretty tough course for me, mostly because of the elevation, but … MORE

    Overall Rating: Average run. Bling wasn’t great, but scenery was outstanding. Cost was high.

    Course Difficulty: This was a pretty tough course for me, mostly because of the elevation, but the consistent downhill was hard on the knees and ankles too (never thought I would say that). It was as advertised, a net downhill, and I had no surprises. I actually thought about taking a few pics of the signage directing half and full runners…this RD did an outstanding job letting us know where to go and I never once questioned if I was on the right path.

    Course Scenery: Outstanding. Constant views of rivers, mountains, and beautiful mountain homes. Plenty of shade on the first half, pretty hot and sunny on the second.

    Race Production: It was pretty good. No frills expo packet pick up with several freebies. Volunteers were excellent. races went off without any issues. Bus transportation was great. My one complaint would be trying to access packet pickup; we didn’t stay in Aspen, and it was a pain to get to when we rolled in at 4:30 Friday afternoon. Small issue, but an issue.

    Race Swag: Meh. The t-shirt was standard dri-fit, and the medal was ok, but not great. For the $160 entry fee, I expected more.

    My Performance: Ok. Got to visit with a friend for the first 8 or ten miles, and walk ran the rest simply due to the altitude. Overall I was ok with my 5hr finish at this race…

    This is a small race, and the scenery was very good. After looking for almost a year, I just don’t think you’re going to find an inexpensive marathon in Colorado. For the value, I would probably look for a different race, for the scenery, it doesn’t get much better.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2
    My Media

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    RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '16

    Running all 50 states, I chose Aspen Valley for my CO marathon. I didn't choose it because it's a Boston Qualifier or downhill, only because I read good things and … MORE

    Running all 50 states, I chose Aspen Valley for my CO marathon. I didn’t choose it because it’s a Boston Qualifier or downhill, only because I read good things and it seemed to be one of those scenic courses that I can’t resist. It didn’t disappoint.

    The good: basically no expo; I picked up my packet in Basalt on my way up to Snowmass Village where I stayed. Quick stop, very simple. It’s a beautiful area and the course is very scenic, especially in the first half, but also in the last half, just a little less so towards the end. The path itself is mostly paved or very small grain dirt/gravel, so good running surfaces. Not many water stops in the first few miles, so be aware. I wore a lightweight hydration pack which was perfect.

    The shirt is pretty good, technical short-sleeve, and the medal is pretty – a shiny silver aspen leaf on a white ribbon. The volunteers were great as well, and it’s a peaceful course, with a few spectators and nice vistas.

    The not-quite-as-good: I don’t want to say “bad” because there wasn’t anything bad about the race, just observations. You are at a significant elevation to start and even at the end. Aspen is around 8000 ft or so, and even Basalt is around 6000ish. I didn’t feel sick or anything but I think it affected me regardless; my legs felt leaden by halfway and that’s not usually a problem. It was ultimately the heat that got me though. My running buddy and I were cruisin’ for the first 13 miles then hit a heat wall. I think the temps were in the high 80s as we got lower into the valley, and there was little shade. Granted, it wasn’t humid which was a huge plus, and the race started at 6am which helped a lot. I just don’t do well in the heat, so what may be a super fast course and BQ for lots of people was more of a slog for me. I got my slowest time of the year (except for the double I did in KY and OH). I don’t really care about that, just funny to see the differences in peoples’ performance.

    Also of note, it can be expensive to stay in the area but worth it for the beauty in my opinion. Parking wasn’t bad; if you aren’t in Aspen, drive to the intercept lot down the hill from Snowmass and take the bus up to the start. That worked perfectly. It’s bit more of a pain to get back, as the finish is about 12 miles past Snowmass. Luckily my friend’s mom was there and we were able to drive straight back. The bus system does operate for runners for free but I was glad to not have to wait around for it in the sun.

    Post race food – I didn’t hang around long but I know salad was the main offering (seemed weird), plus champagne. It was a festive area with other things to do – listen to music, etc.

    Photos are great – you can download them for free or purchase prints. I love free race photos; I wish every race would factor that into the registration fee somehow.

    Bottom line – there are some logistical issues to getting to the race (about 3.5-4 hrs from Denver) and it’s not cheap to visit, but I’m glad I ran it. The beauty in the area, even just on the drive to and from Denver, was breathtaking, and the weather was great (despite the heat later in the day). The marathon is wonderfully organized and I definitely think it can be a fast course, just wasn’t in the cards for me that day.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    MadelynMarino FIRST-TIMER '13

    I completed this race in 2013. This race was one of the smaller races that I’ve participated in. With only 200+ people in the half marathon it lacked some of … MORE

    I completed this race in 2013.

    This race was one of the smaller races that I’ve participated in. With only 200+ people in the half marathon it lacked some of the organization that I am used to. For example, on the printed material they showed different times for pick-up for the half marathon. Even on the day of the race I was directed to the wrong location. Thank goodness for one of the volunteers who offered to drive me directly to the start line.

    The course itself was relatively flat with a slight downhill incline. It combined beautiful scenic portions followed by running through a neighborhood. Overall, it was a smooth course.

    Because it was so small there were limited spectators. There were portions of the race where I didn’t see a single person (including runners) for a good span. But what it lacked in spectators it made up for at the finish line. There was a great crowd cheering everyone on at the end.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    I ran this for the first time in 2014 and loved it! I'm from Colorado, but live at a lower altitude than Aspen, but had no difficulty with the elevation. … MORE

    I ran this for the first time in 2014 and loved it! I’m from Colorado, but live at a lower altitude than Aspen, but had no difficulty with the elevation. The slight downhill on the course is very gentle and works nicely for a PR. The last 6 miles do become very hot and exposed though as the day gets later. Overall, this race is very well organized, and the small size keeps the course very run-able from the get-go. Lots of awesome food at the finish line and the Aspen Leaf medals were great!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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