The sun is drying everything out and the Gunnison Valley is getting warmer. Please see a recent article on running events in Gunnison County below. Enjoy our warmer weather and the beautiful Crested Butte spring!

Corey Dwan

2011 Running Events on the Fast Track in Gunnison County, Colorado

from Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado blogs by ekelleher

Fun runs, relays and races on tap for April – December
The trails that have made Gunnison County, Colorado, world renowned for mountain bikers also are a haven for runners. From mid-May, when snows gradually begins receding to reveal a carpet of wildflowers, to early October, when the aspen have concluded their stunning fall show, trails in the area always astound with their beauty and variety. Yet, the running season stretches even further with the new Sage-Grouse 5k and 10k on April 9, new Living Journeys Half-Marathon on July 30 and a New Year’s Eve resolution run on Dec. 31.
This may be why many runners who train at the high altitudes of the Gunnison-Crested Butte valley have a strong presence in high-profile endurance races in Colorado and around the world at all levels, from prep, college and beyond.  While Gunnison-Crested Butte athletes tend to take their sports seriously, there also is a sense of camaraderie in welcoming all levels of participants for running events and a desire to keep it fun.
Sage-Grouse 5k & 10k – Gunnison, April 9
Crested Butte Mountain Runners Fun Runs – Gunnison County, May – Sept.
4th Annual Sage Burner Trail Race (50k/25k) – Gunnison, May 28
Gothic to Cr. Butte Run, Walk or Crawl 1/3 Marathon – Gothic to Crested Butte, July 4
Epic Rocky Mountain Relay – Woodland Park to Mt. Crested Butte, July 22 – 23
Living Journeys Half-Marathon – Mt. Crested Butte, July 30
Lead King Loop (25k) & Quarry Climb (12.5k) – Marble & Crystal, Sept. 18
Crested Butte Fall Colors Classic (1/2 marathon) – Crested Butte, Sept. 24
Frozen Buns Resolution Run (5k) – Crested Butte, Dec. 31
Sage-Grouse 5K/10K, April 9, Gunnison
Gunnison Trails’ new Sage-Grouse 5k Run/Walk and 10k Race on April 9 are part of the Sage-Grouse Festival and Summit taking place in Gunnison on April 9 – 13.  Both the 5k and 10k start at the Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center at 11 a.m., and the routes will include off-road sections in addition to pavement.  The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the Gunnison sage-grouse among recreational and fitness-based trail users and the importance of honoring seasonal closures and restrictions (primarily in the spring) on lands important to the various life stages of this endangered bird. All proceeds benefit Gunnison Trails’ Sage-Grouse Conservation Initiative.
The cost is $25 and includes a t-shirt and lunch. Kids 12 and under are free with a registered adult.  To register and for more information including a tentative course map (will depend on conditions), visit  For details about the festival, visit
Crested Butte Mountain Runners Fun Run Series, May – September
Crested Butte Mountain Runners typically organizes 13 morning and evening fun runs annually, from May through September, that are open to any level of runner.  These are fun runs, not competitive races, and feature refreshments and socializing after each event.  Most of the runs have distances for walkers and less serious runners.  A full schedule will be available in April or May.
One of the local favorites is the “Grin and Bear It” run that happens in July and traverses a 9-mile course from Crested Butte to Green Lake and back, gaining approximately 1,500 feet in elevation.  Another favorite is the “Cart to Cart” run in June that goes from Crested Butte to Crested Butte South, covering 15 miles mostly on trails.  A $25 annual membership in the Crested Butte Mountain Runners includes entry into all runs, with a few exceptions such as “Grin and Bear It.”  Non-members pay $5 per fun run.  For details, visit
Sage Burner Trail Race, Gunnison, May 28
The fourth annual Sage Burner Trail Race is set for May 28 and features 50K and 25K races at Hartman Rocks Multi-Use Recreation Area, both starting at 7:30 a.m. The number of racers is limited to 350. For information and registration (including costs), visit  Proceeds Gunnison Trails, a not-for-profit trail advocacy organization.
The race is part of Rage in the Sage Weekend in Gunnison, which also includes the Original Growler mountain bike race, 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory rock climbing and the Pedal to Paradise Gran Fondo road ride from Gunnison to Mt. Crested Butte and back.  All events take place at Hartman Rocks except for the Gran Fondo.
43rd Annual Gothic to Crested Butte Run, Walk or Crawl 1/3 Marathon, July 4
This longtime Independence Day favorite is a fund-raiser that benefits the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL).  The race begins at 8 a.m. in Gothic, winds through the aspen woods and meadows to Mt. Crested Butte and ends in downtown Crested Butte.  Shuttle buses from Crested Butte will transport all participants to the starting line in Gothic.
Online registration is available at go to a registration form.  Register online before July 1 and save $5 on the registration cost for adults.  Pre-registration will be held on July 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Crested Butte Visitor Center, located at Elk Avenue & Sixth Street.  On the day of event, registrations will be accepted from 6 to 7 a.m. at the Visitor Center, only if the cap of 500 runners has not been met.  Day-of-race registration is $35 for ages 12 and up and $10 for children ages 11 and under.  For more information, contact RMBL at (970) 349-7420 or visit
Epic Rocky Mountain Relay, Woodland Park to Mt. Crested Butte, July 22 – 23
Imagine yourself and 11 friends starting from Woodland Park and running past four 14,000-foot mountains, over three alpine passes and through four national forests to finish in the official “Wildflower Capital of Colorado” and “Last Great Ski Town,” Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. This 190-mile epic adventure is billed as a “Running party with friends. You might sleep, you might not.” For registration information and more, visit
Living Journeys Half-Marathon, Mt. Crested Butte, July 30
In conjunction with the 12th Annual Living Journeys Summit Hike, a half-marathon will be offered for the first time this year. The race begins at 8 a.m. at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Mt. Crested Butte and winds up the mountain on a combination of dirt roads and single track trails, featuring steady uphill, downhill and rolling cross-country terrain.  The field is limited to 75 runners, and prizes will be presented to the top male and female runners in general and masters categories as well as the top runner fund-raiser.
Living Journeys provides local men, women and children living with cancer with direct financial grants, emotional support via counseling as well as education and awareness.  Pre-registration is $40 or $50 the day of the race, which includes a t-shirt and barbecue celebration after the run and hike.  Register online at
Lead King Loop & Quarry Climb, Marble & Crystal, Sept. 18
The 25k Lead King Loop course starts in Marble, rounding Beaver Lake, climbing 2,900 vertical feet in about 4 miles into the backcountry Lead King Basin, and switch backing down past waterfalls to the old mining town of Crystal.  The race passes the famous 110-year-old Crystal Mill and climbs out of the river valley before a fast downhill finish at Beaver Lake Lodge. The 12.5k Quarry Climb course starts at the Beaver Lake Lodge, winds through Marble until crossing the Crystal River and climbs approximately 1,200 feet in 3 miles through an aspen grove to the base of the marble quarry. Return downhill to the finish with amazing vistas of the valley and Yule Creek.
There’s also the Lake Kids Loop, a scenic and relatively flat 1.25 mile run around Beaver Lake for kids and their parents.  The races benefit Marble Charter School.  For more information, visit call (970) 704-1275.  Register online at
Crested Butte Fall Colors Classic, Crested Butte, Sept. 24
The Crested Butte Fall Color Classic is a beautiful half marathon from Kebler Pass down Ohio Pass during the peak of the changing aspen leaves.  This race is almost entirely on dirt road with only about 100 feet of pavement.  The descent offers breathtaking views of the Ohio Creek Valley, but don’t be fooled as it’s not all downhill!  Registration is available starting April 1 on  Cost to be announced.  Shuttles will be provided to the start and from the finish, with the race beginning at 9 a.m.  Please call (970) 642-8406 with questions.
Frozen Buns Resolution Run, Crested Butte, Dec. 31
The annual Frozen Buns Resolution Run, a 5K organized by the Gunnison Valley Health Foundation to kick off New Year’s on the right foot, starts at the Crested Butte Visitor Center at 5 p.m. and makes its way toward Peanut Lake with tiki torches, glow sticks, flashlights and alpenglow lighting the way.  The resolution part of the run comes when each participant carries their personal resolution for the new year on a piece of paper to the halfway point and places it into a small cauldron of fire, where hot chocolate and cider await.  Kids can take part, too, with the “Are We There Yet?” one-mile run, also at 5 p.m.  The cost is $25 for adults – $10 for kids. Registration is available the day of the race. Dress warm!