Basalt Half-Marathon a downhill runner’s delight |

Basalt Half-Marathon a downhill runner’s delight

The phrase “it’s all downhill from here” is often reserved for the final stretch of a long journey – the easy part. In Saturday’s 26th Annual Basalt Half-Marathon, competitors can mutter the phrase at the starting line. However, as anyone knows who has been on a long run or hike up a mountain – all the while looking forward to the return trip down – the downhill can hurt more than the uphill.”For me, I love running downhill,” race organizer Ron Lund said. “Some people don’t like it as much and after about 10 miles it can come back to bite you.”And, whether it’s downhill or uphill, the runners still have to span the 13.1 miles. Saturday’s run begins below Ruedi Dam at 7:45 a.m. (participants will be bussed to the starting line from the Basalt Middle School). The course follows the Frying Pan River down to Basalt where it turns off into neighborhood streets and eventually back to the Middle School track.Lund expects 125 to 150 runners in the event and the top finishers will likely arrive in town sometime after 9 a.m. Awaiting the runners will be the Basalt River Days festival, which runs through the weekend.Raceday registration for the Basalt Half-Marathon is from 6 to 7 a.m. and costs $30. Division’s ranging from 19-and-under to 70-and-over for both men and women are offered.The bus to the starting line leaves at 7 a.m. Proceeds benefit the Basalt Lions Club which uses the money for their college scholarship program and to help support area youth athletics.-In other area sports, local high school golf teams are on the road, but there are three other tournaments going in the area over the weekend. The Glenwood Springs Elks Lodge Golf Tournament tees off today at the Glenwood Springs Golf Club at 8 a.m.Rifle Creek hosts a pair of tournaments this weekend in the two-day Jim LeDonne Senior Tournament on Saturday and Sunday, and the Jack Smith Scholarship Benefit Tournament on Saturday.For those who want a little warmup for the Motherlode Volleyball Classic volleyball tournament in Aspen on Labor Day weekend, Carbondale is hosting the Sand Volleyball Extravaganza Saturday at 1 p.m. at Miners Park. The cost is $20 per four-person team, and includes a barbecue.

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