GRAND JUNCTION, COLO., NOV. 1, 2017 — Kara Roper, 36, is looking for her fifth consecutive victory in the U.S. Bank Rim Rock Run, which returns to the Colorado National Monument on November 4.
Roper is the defending champion in the women’s division. She won the title in last year’s race with a time of 3:17:58, and placed fifth overall.
“Compared to other marathons I have run this is my favorite because of the scenery and terrain,” said Roper, who has competed in races around the U.S. and as far away as Colombia. “It is beautiful, spectacular and inspiring!”
The Rim Rock Run, twice named “Most Scenic Marathon” by “Colorado Runner” magazine, boasts a course with towering monoliths, huge plateaus and breathtaking panoramas. That’s not to mention the abundant wildlife on the course, including bighorn sheep. The course gains 2,500 feet in its first five miles, reaching a height of nearly 7,000 feet above sea level.
Roper will be competing against runners from around the country, as well as athletes from Britain and Romania. The varied attendance reflects the growing popularity of the race, organized by the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission (GGJSC).
The mother of two said her strategy is to start strong on the course’s initial uphill climb, then to enjoy the downhill portion that leads to the finish line in Fruita, Colorado.
Riley Murray, 20, won the men’s division of the 2016 Rim Rock Run. Murray is a competitor on the U.S. Air Force Academy’s marathon team.
Proceeds from the U.S. Bank Rim Rock Run support scholarships for student-athletes in Colorado Mesa University’s cross country and track and field programs, as well as the GGJSC. Learn more about the race at www.rimrockmarathon.com.