Stay tuned for Challenge Aspen’s 2021 Trail Marathon Team plans and information!
For 17 years the Challenge Aspen marathon teams fundraised for Challenge Aspen, motivated by fitness goals and a target race event in an exotic destination. Each year’s team grew our family of CA supporters.
This year, due to the COVID-19 situation, travel was uncertain. Domestic races cancelled and went virtual. Organizers thought, “Do we train? Do we try to look for that race? What will happen in five months?” Epiphany! The time to give back to our runners and donors who had supported us all these years was NOW. So we introduced the Sole Mates training team, our focus on community: get out, get fit, and stay healthy. No fundraising or commitments (other than to ourselves) were required.
From May to October, the Sole Mates ran/hiked 27 different trails throughout the Roaring Fork Valley ranging from 5–27 miles. We summited Mt Sopris and Mt Elbert, crushed the 4 Pass Loop, introducing ultra-mileage routes to new teammates. We witnessed personal “bests” from longest distance ever to simply reestablishing hiking/running routines into our lives. Sometimes simply showing up was a victory. We were each other’s cheerleaders, coaches, photographers, and therapists. Our adventures were an anticipated escape each weekend. This Sole Mates team represents strength, unity, and friendship. Like the Challenge Aspen participants do each day, we took a challenging situation and sprinkled it with glitter. Once again our CA family has grown.
”Hiking begins with searching for physical fitness and ends up being spiritual fitness. I love to run on the trails with music, it takes me to places I did not believe I could reach.”
“The trails and significance of nature disconnect us from our status. We are all equal, each of us navigating our way—knowing if we are not aware and respectful, we will not achieve the ultimate victory of being lost in its beauty.”