Comparable in difficulty to the Imogene Pass Run between Ouray and Telluride, the Ouray Trail Run circumnavigates the City of Ouray using the Silvershield, Ice Park and Portland trails. With the unsurpassed views of Ouray and the surrounding fall foliage, this year’s run will no doubt prove to be one of Colorado’s most beautiful fall events.
“The course is unbelievably beautiful,” race Director Erin Eddy said in an interview on Tuesday. “This has to be one of the most scenic runs in the state because of its timing. The course is just awesome and it is a great race.”
Participants are reminded that the course follows steep and rugged, single-track trails in the high altitude terrain, with a base elevation of 7,700 feet. The course gains over 3,600 vertical feet and includes many steep and loose sections. Another factor participants should keep in mind is the unpredictable fall weather of the San Juan Mountains, which can range from mild and sunny to cold and snowy in a matter of minutes. Ultimately, runners are responsible for their own safety and are expected to use good judgment with regards to their ability to complete the race.
The course will be marked with flagging, cones and signs, and a number of volunteer course marshals will be strategically located to keep runners headed in the right direction.
Eddy said that last year’s inaugural event raised approximately $2,000 for local outdoor education programs, including the San Juan Riding Program, the Ouray Cross County Team, and the Ridgway and Ouray schools’ outdoor education programs. He hopes to raise even more for those programs this year.
“This race is all about getting kids outdoors,” Eddy said.
The $50 race entry fee includes an official race T-shirt, aid-station refreshments, and a post-race barbecue. Prizes, custom made by Ouray glassblower Sam Rushing, will be awarded for overall male and female winners as well as male and female age group winners. Door prizes at the post-race awards ceremony will include Osprey packs, arm warmers, socks and shirts from Sugoi, a sport band for an iPod, and gaiters by JoeTrailMan. Race participants will automatically be entered to win prizes, but they must be present at the ceremony to win.
Race registration will occur on Friday at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool between 5 and 7 p.m., or on race day, between 8 and 9:30 a.m. The race starts and ends at the pool, and has a 10 a.m. start time.
Stick around town after the race for some much-deserved relaxation and revelry at the Ouray Oktoberfest and 45th Annual Jeep Raffle. Popular Bavarian band, The Austrian Connection, will perform, and there will be kids’ activities and costume contests with cash prizes. Traditional German food such as brats, potato cakes, apple sauce and German chocolate cake are on the menu, as well as Colorado Boy brews and wine. Call the Ouray Chamber for additional information at 800/228-1876.
The Ouray Trail Run is a 501(c)4 corporation and all race proceeds go directly to local outdoor youth recreational programs and local youth recreational clubs. For more information, go to www.ouraytrailrun.com.