Vallecito Lake Heavy Half

Vallecito Lake Heavy Half 

Race Date:  Saturday, 05.13.2023

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Back again in 2023, the Vallecito Lake Heavy Half Marathon has now been taken over by the Durango Running Club!  This course is a beautiful and scenic course around Vallecito Lake. The route takes runners completely around the lake with a special section that runs right across Vallecito Dam. Grab a few friends and spend the weekend in the beautiful Vallecito Valley.  Last years race sold out early, so be sure to grab your spot once registration opens!  More than just a great race, this event is also a fundraiser for the Vallecito Community Event Center and their Scholarship Fund.  This fund provides scholarship for high school seniors in the Vallecito area who are pursuing post-secondary education. 

Packet Pickup

Weminuche Woodfire Grill

18044 CR 501 

Bayfield, CO 81122

Friday, May 12th, 2023 


Race Morning


All event parking (staff, volunteers, runners, spectators) will park in PRID open space behind Rocky Mountain General Store. There should be NO parking in the Fur Trappers or the Rocky Mountain General Store.

Packet Pickup

Day of race packet pickup and registration will happen at the start line on the morning of the event from 6:30-7:30 AM. There will be a strict cutoff at this time. Please make sure you give yourselves enough time to register and/or pick up your packet. In designated race parking in the PRID open space.  There should be NO parking in the Fur Trappers or the Rocky Mountain General Store parking lot as those businesses will still be operating. Please tell your spectators where they should park. 

Race Start

The heavy half will start at 8:00 AM. Please make sure you use the bathrooms and provide plenty of time for parking.  The start line is located behind the Fur Trappers Steakhouse and Bar in the PRID open space. 

The Route

This extremely scenic course feature beautiful view of both the lake and mountains as you traverse around Vallecito Lake.  The race Start / Finish will be located behind the Rocky Mountain General Store.  Runners will follow the marked course and exit onto CR 501 travelling south.  Runners must stay on the left shoulder of the road, outside of all traffic cones for the entire race.  The race route will continue to follow CR501for over 4 miles until exiting to the left to run across the Vallecito Dam.  On the east side of the dam, runners will follow 603 around the east side of Vallecito Reservoir.  On the North East side of the reservoir runners will rejoin CR 501 and remain on that road until turning left to enter the finish area, back at Fur Trappers Restaurant.  The full race loop is about 13.7 miles.

Aid Stations

You will find six aid stations approximately every two miles starting at mile 2.4.  Aid stations will provide water and Tailwind.  They will also have first-aid bags and cell phones for emergencies.

The aid station near mile 8 will have bananas and other snacks.

Time Limits

We welcome runners of all abilities, and we offer a generous time limit of 4 hours.  This is roughly a 17 minute/mile pace.  If you anticipate being slower, you must carry your own water and a cell phone for emergencies as the aid stations will close before you arrive.

Course Safety

The race course uses roads that have minimal vehicle traffic, especially on a Saturday morning.  The course will also be marked with cones for safety.  However, runners must remain alert throughout the race, stay on the left shoulder of the road, and obey instructions from course marshals. Runners should not wear headphones in both ears and no dogs allowed in the race. Strollers are permitted, but the road does get rough. 


County Sheriffs will be located at the intersection of CR501 and 603 at the south end of Vallecito Reservoir.  This is where oncoming traffic will first intersect the course.  Mile markers will be at each mile of the course and signage will be prominent at each turn for runners.  We will also have “Race in Progress” signs in various locations along the course to alert vehicles to the race in progress.

Spectator Locations

There are several great spots along the course to watch the runners go by.  We recommend at the Vallecito Marina (mile 2.5) where there is ample off street parking, either side of the dam (mile ~5), and where runners get back to the pavement (mile 11.5).  All of these spots have pull-outs where you can park.


Runner Perks

All runners will receive a unique finisher’s medal, custom printed race shirt or custom socks, a post race lunch and a beer garden ticket. The post race party is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain General Store and Meats. 


The Vallecito Lake Heavy Half Marathon will be professionally timed by Rocky Mountain Timing. Your RFID chip will be on the back of your race bib. Please make sure you do not bend your chip. Runners should wear their race bib on the front of their body. 


Results will be posted on at the conclusion of the event. There will be a live results kiosk at the race venue. 

Travel Information and Lodging

The Vallecito area offers many campgrounds and VRBO options.  Alternatively to the local race area, Durango is a 40 minute drive away with ample hotels available.


Average temperature at 8am in mid May is 45 degrees.  Expect temperatures to start out cool and steadily increase as the morning progresses, potentially reaching into the 60’s.  Use the aid stations and stay hydrated.

Refunds & Transfers

As with most races, we are unable to offer refunds, transfers, or deferrals.  However, if we have to cancel or adjust due to COVID we will provide runners a fair option.