Course Information


It is a privilege to conduct this race on National Park Service land at the Colorado National Monument, however, it does result in some operational constraints. The course distances are as close to full and half distances as the course and logistics allow. The relay and half marathon may not be exactly 13.1. As this is understandably important to runners, course organizers have made adjustments to make the course as close to the correct distances as possible. Please be aware that these courses are not certified.

Course Profile

The course winds up Monument Road and into the Colorado National Monument through the east entrance where Monument Road becomes Rim Rock Drive. It continues 23 miles over Rim Rock Drive until it descends down to the west entrance of the Colorado National Monument.

Start line and relay exchange point locations

The marathon and relay start at the Grand Junction Gem and Mineral Club (2328 Monument Road, Grand Junction, CO 81507).

The half marathon start and relay exchange point is at Highland View in the Colorado National Monument. See course profile for the half marathon below.

Finish line location

The finish line is in Circle Park in downtown Fruita (W. Aspen Ave, Fruita, CO 81521).

Aid Stations

There will be a total of nine aid stations along the course. Aid Stations will be approximately every 2.5 miles thereafter including the following pull-offs:

  1. Dog's Tooth
  2. Cold Shivers Point
  3. Red Canyon
  4. Fallen Rock Overlook
  5. Highland View*
  6. Artists Point
  7. Grand View Overlook
  8. Fruita Canyon View
  9. West Entrance to the Colorado National Monument

*Highland View is the closest aid station (and restroom) to the Relay exchange point and Half Marathon starting point.
Please help us keep the park clean so that we can continue to have this event by disposing of trash and gel packets at aid stations. Dispose of cups at/near the aid stations.
Water, Gatorade, pretzels, bananas and orange slices will be available at each aid station.

Race Rules

1. Cut-off times - If you do not reach these locations by the designated times you will be asked to stop running and transportation will be provided to the Finish Line.

  • 9:30am - Second aid station at Cold Shivers overlook at the top of the first climb, approximately mile 4.5.
  • 1pm - Visitors Center above the West Entrance of the Colorado National Monument, approximately mile 19.6.
  • Please note: If a runner is not through the tunnels on the west hill by 1:30pm, traffic will re-open in the eastbound lane and runner(s) will be asked to run against traffic in the eastbound lane to the west entrance.

2. Running lane - All runners must run in the closed westbound (right) lane over the Monument. Please stay to the right as you run.
3. Race Numbers - All participants must wear their number on front of body.
4. No baby strollers/joggers.
5. No dogs.
6. No bikes.

 

Relay Racers

The exchange point is at the Highland View pull-off. The exchange point allows us to get closer on distances of each relay runner, but drastically limits staging. Therefore it is mandatory to take the shuttle to the exchange point. We will have multiple shuttles this year, so wait times will not be as long. A bus will shuttle racers from the Fruita Community Center to the Highland View exchange point. All racers must exchange places through a physical touch, i.e. High Five. There will be a shuttle at Highland View to bring first-leg relay runners down. The shuttle will stay at Highland View until the follow patrol vehicle passes, then return to Circle Park for the finish line activities.

Please coordinate with your relay partner on exchanging goods/clothing items at the relay exchange point. We recommend the first leg relayer have the second leg relayer take their extra layers/etc. on the bus to the exchange point. Then have the first leg relayer take the second leg relayer's extra stuff back to the finish line.

Half Marathoners

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to the difficulty in logistics and runner safety, the half marathon start has been moved to the Saddlehorn Road parking lot next to the amphitheater. Runners will run east on Rim Rock Drive approximately three miles, to the turn-around point at Monument Canyon View, then proceed back west on Rim Rock Drive all the way to downtown Fruita’s Circle park. The revised course allows for an exact half marathon distance, better staging area, more room for portable restrooms and buses, a dedicated warm-up loop and the same exceptional scenery. Read more.

The Half Marathon will be starting at the Saddlehorn Road parking lot to the amphitheater. The half marathon will begin at 8:30am, the marathon and relay will start at 8am. A bus will shuttle racers from the Fruita Community Center to the Saddlehorn Road amphitheater parking lot. It is mandatory to take the shuttle to the starting line. We will have multiple shuttles this year, so wait times will not be as long.