Mount Sopris Run-off takes on a new look |

Mount Sopris Run-off takes on a new look

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Brion After ran a good time at the Mount Sopris Run-off four or five years ago and, wanting to go out on a high note, made it his last Run-off.

Now he has a good excuse not to run the annual foot race. He’s organizing it.

After, the owner of Independence Run and Hike in Carbondale, is taking the reins from Bruce Gabow in the Run-off’s 32nd year.

And he’s already changed things up a bit.

This year’s Run-off will be split into two events: a 14-mile jaunt from Emma Schoolhouse into Sopris Park and a four-mile, mostly downhill run along Prince Creek Road and into Sopris Park. Previously, runners only had only one option: a 16.5-mile race.

After hopes the shorter course option increases participation by drawing out more recreational runners. That could mean more money for the race’s beneficiary: the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities.

Given his connection to the running community, After had been seeking out a race to organize. He’s always thought highly of the Run-off, a staple of Carbondale’s Mountain Fair weekend.

“I’ve always thought it was a really good race,” he said. “It had been around a long, long time. It’ll be cool to continue to build it from here. Bruce Gabow had done it for a while with his kids and they moved away. They were looking for someone to take it over.”

After hopes his changes are for the better.

“Emma Schoolhouse is more of a natural starting point, and it takes away a few dangerous intersections,” he said. “And I wanted it to end in the fair instead of on the side road. In the fair, we’ll actually be able to announce the people who finish. I think it’s a hard enough race that people should get a hand.”

Hard is right. The 14-mile course features some 1,700 in elevation gain and about 1,500 feet down. Roughly half the terrain is dirt.

“It’s perfect for people training for marathons,” After said. “It’s harder than a half marathon.”

There is still time to register for either of Saturday’s Run-off races.

Runners can sign up at Independence Run and Hike or race-day registration begins at 6:15 a.m.

Call Independence at 704-0909 for more information.

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