Possibly one of the most scenic marathons in the country, winding through geologic canyons and formations for which this area was preserved, the Rim Rock Marathon will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017 in Colorado National Monument. This activity is under the authority of a special use permit issued to Colorado Mesa University (CMU). Proceeds from the event benefit the CMU Track & Cross Country scholarship program.
The event will start at 8:00 a.m. east of the intersection of South Camp Road and Monument Road, 0.8 miles outside the monument’s east entrance. Runners will enter the monument through the Grand Junction entrance and exit at the Fruita (west) entrance. The finish will be in downtown Fruita.
Rim Rock Drive will be open during the hours of the marathon, 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., with limitations to provide for the safety of the 500 expected runners and other road users such as motorists and bicyclists:
• The eastbound Rim Rock Drive traffic lane will remain open. East bound traffic exiting the monument through the Grand Junction entrance may experience a delay of approximately 20 minutes starting about 7:45 a.m.
• The westbound traffic lane will closed to vehicle and bicycle traffic during the event. The westbound lane will be reserved for marathon runners. As the marathon progresses, the westbound lane will reopen for vehicle use by stages starting from the eastside.
• All facilities will remain open to the public including all scenic overlooks. Although, there will be limited access to the trail head parking areas near the east entrance from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., the trails will remain open to hikers.
Traffic to/from Glade Park:
• Grand Junction to Glade Park traffic should plan to use Little Park Road between the hours of 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. This alternative is paved and only slightly longer.
• Glade Park to Grand Junction can use either Little Park Road or Rim Rock Drive eastbound. Traffic traveling eastbound on Rim Rock Drive and exiting the monument through the Grand Junction entrance may encounter a delay during the start of the marathon at about 8:00am.
• Two-way travel along Rim Rock Drive between the Grand Junction entrance and the Glade park turnoff (DS Road) will be restored at approximately 9:30 a.m.
Returning this year is the half marathon which will start at the Highland Overlook at 9:00am. The 300 athletes participating in the half marathon will be bussed to the overlook. Parking will not be available to spectators and visitors until after the marathon runners have passed this point. Due to limited parking throughout the monument and the one-way traffic, spectators are encouraged cheer the all the athletes on at the finish line in Fruita.
For additional information regarding the Rim Rock Marathon, please visit www.rimrockmarathon.com.
Fall hours are now in effect at Colorado National Monument. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. For additional information please visit www.nps.gov/colm or call 970-858-3617, ext. 360.