Western Slope

Dropped Ro at Divine Canine & vehicle-loaded Thursday after work – weekend destination: Utah.  Monday, Colorado Springs; Saturday, Salt Lake City – count it, 5 days between marathons.  FAAANNNTASTIC!

8 hour drive to Salt Lake.  Well that’s no fun – breaking it up over 2 days however, no problemo 🙂

Lived B-I-G and slept Thursday nite at the historic Hotel Colorado (scored with mid-week, off-season pricing).  Presidents Teddy Roosevelt & William Howard Taft plus multiple governors & early-20th century celebrities adorned hotel walls in black-n-white photographs – super cool…unfortunately, little time to browse.  Quick ‘express’ hike planned.

Hanging Lake.

Crystal clear water, emerald green hue, and a mountain waterfall.  SPECTACULAR view!

That’s the way I described the hike in June 2012.  4 years later – same SPECTACULAR view.

Quick UP & down trek – returned coated in a thick layer of human salt.  No wish I woulda.  Absolutely no regrets.

 

Lunch, 3 hours of desert, then north an hour – greeted by the backside of the Colorado Rockies. “Welcome to Cottonwood Heights” and the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.  City slogan: “City Between the Canyons”, flanked by Big Cottonwood Canyon to the North and Little Cottonwood Canyon on the South.

Tomorrow a.m. – marathon #70, my third in 13 days.

 

 

Hanging Lake (Glenwood Springs CO) 

 

Early a.m. start – marathon morning.  Hadn’t actually run 26.2 miles since my race in New Brunswick, 3 weeks ago.  Cut things kinda close this morn.  Heard the anthem play while in the porta-john.  Made it to the Start as runners were just on their way.  Yikes!

Tight first couple miles.  Race wound on pedestrian paths thru Aspen downtown & John Denver Sanctuary, allowing little room to pass – super congested.  Crossed 2 footbridges.  Water rushed wildly below; crazy scenic.

July temps remained cool-to-moderate for 9 miles.  Followed the bike path just outside of town, thru Snowmass Village.

The Aspen Valley Marathon is primarily on the Rio Grande Trail…this mostly paved trail follows the Roaring Fork River and is closed to motorized vehicles.

Struggled a bit with elevation, breathing bit more labored at 7900ft (versus my Louisville home, 5500ft) – however, a super forgiving course.  Gradual decline for long stretches, ultimately finishing in Basalt Colorado 6600ft.

Tree cover loss near [town of] Snowmass.  Sun cooked the last 10 miles.  Ya’ll know how much I love the heat…argh.

Eventually slogged my way to the Finish, just under 5 hours.  I’ll take it.  67th marathon done – & my streak of monthly marathoning continues…32nd consecutive month.  FAAANNNTASTIC!

No post-race shower but gotta kick my feet up while Stephen drove us 4 hours back to Louisville.  Capped off the weekend with a little dinner theatre – Ash & I love our seasonal shows in Boulder.  everybody get Footloose! 🙂

 

Aspen Valley Marathon

July 16, 2016 in Aspen, CO

K R Haga

bib number:  138

time:  4:52:07

 

 

crossing the Divide

crossing the Divide

Half-day work day, picked up Stephen at DIA, then hit the road Friday noon – destination: Aspen.  Saturday marathon plans – running point-to-point on bike trail, Aspen to Basalt.

Stopped in Georgetown (hour west of Denver) for a late lunch, veered south off I-70 thru Leadville, then west to Aspen ‘cross Independence Pass (snow-closed during winter & spring seasons).

UP, UP, UP winding roads, landscape lined with pine & patches of glacial snow remnant.  Nothing like a little July snow to center/provide balance.  Big grin.

Parked at the Divide.  Enjoyed a short walkabout in thin air, elevation 12,000ft+.

Mountain descending, only 45 minutes further to Aspen.  Bib pick-up, followed by a short half-mile trek to John Denver Sanctuary.

Been to Aspen once before (Fall 2013) – Sanctuary return, top of my list 🙂

John Denver Sanctuary is a scenic, highly desirable venue located in the heart of downtown Aspen next to the Roaring Fork River. Within the sanctuary is the largest perennial flower garden around, which attracts visitors from around the globe. Amidst the gardens you will find an environmentally sound wetlands filter system. Artistically placed engraved landscape rocks add to the overall ambiance and story behind the sanctuary. This location is also the home to Theater Aspen in the summer, providing live stage entertainment to hundreds.

Booked ski lodge digs in neighboring Snowmass Village (20 minutes west, not crazy pricey in the summer).  Bratwurst & German fare for dinner.  FAAANNNNTASTIC!

Tomorrow morning, I work to keep the streak alive – my 32nd consecutive month marathoning.  AND at 7900ft elevation…will be my 3rd highest altitude-run after Angel Fire (NM) & Steamboat Springs.

 

 

Aspen road trippin’ (via Independence Pass)

 

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