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Rim Rock Marathon returns with new features

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One of the most scenic marathons in Colorado returns on Nov. 5, and this year, there's something for every runner.

The US Bank Rim Rock Marathon, which returns to the Colorado National Monument (a unit of the National Park Service) on Nov. 5, has twice been voted Most Scenic Marathon by "Colorado Runner." Runners will start at Grand Junction Gem and Mineral Club, wind up and over the monument and descend to the finish line at Circle Park in downtown Fruita. The course highlights the beauty and magnitude of the Colorado National Monument's monoliths, canyons and plateaus.

For the first time, the event will feature a downhill half-marathon in the monument. The event's organizers, led by the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission (GGJSC) and Colorado Mesa University (CMU), added the half-marathon by popular demand.

"The half-marathon is a great addition to the day's lineup," said Jennifer Stoll, executive director of the GGJSC. "It's going to give more runners the opportunity to experience this beautiful race and the local communities."

The event will also feature a marathon relay, and the Fruita Parks and Recreation Department has brought back the popular Fruita 0.038 Marathon, a one-mile run for the community. Participants in the shorter races are invited to stay and cheer on the marathon winners as they cross the finish line, then enjoy live entertainment, vendors and a beer garden in Circle Park.

"The City of Fruita is pleased to host the Rim Rock Marathon in our community," said Fruita Mayor Lori Buck. "With the race finishing downtown, our community and the runners are able to experience Fruita's great atmosphere."

Proceeds from the race go toward scholarships for student-athletes in CMU's cross country and track and field programs, as well as the operations of the nonprofit GGJSC.

"The Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission continues to look for opportunities to own and/or operate events that aid in the growth of the commission while supporting partners around the community," commented Stoll. "The US Bank Rim Rock Marathon has evolved to become a wonderful example of that collaboration."

Runners may register for the race at rimrockmarathon.com. Registration costs are $75 through July 31, when they begin to rise until the day of the event.

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