Ready to run the rim

Rim Rock draws 165

Little will be different during Saturday’s US Bank Rim Rock Marathon, now in its fourth year after succeeding the shorter Rim Rock Run, except one rather glaring item.

There will be no two-person relay teams allowed in Saturday’s race, a restriction made by Colorado National Monument and the National Park Service. And that change hit the race where it will feel it most — participation.

Last year, 205 runners started the marathon. This year, 165 runners signed up before registration closed.

Race coordinator Chris Reed of Ascent Productions said he believes the number of runners would have been much higher this year if it had been allowed to continue the two-person relays.

“We would’ve been well over 200 people,” he said.

Of the 165 who intend to run this year, provided Saturday’s forecast of cold and snow doesn’t make some of them change their minds, about 25 are from Grand Junction proper, and about 70 are from the Front Range, Reed said.

New men’s and women’s champions will be crowned this year as neither of last year’s champions — Zachary Martin of Boulder and Nikki Arcieri of Breckenridge — are running the race, Reed said.

If it appears more people are helping out this year, they are. The number of volunteers climbed to 50, Reed said, adding they come from local businesses and organizations such as Mesa Mountain Striders, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, REI, US Bank, Colorado Mesa University’s Alpha Phi Omega, Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Associates and The Bike Shop.

The race starts at 8 a.m. on Monument Road near the intersection with South Camp Road, and there will be a rolling closure of the westbound lane of Rim Rock Drive during the race. The eastbound lane will be open during the race. The finish line of the point-to-point race is in James M. Robb Colorado River State Park.


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