Maybe it's the scenic beauty of running through the high country of the San Juans. Or maybe it's the danger of erratic weather that could include, snow, lightning and strong winds. Whatever the reasons, nearly 50 percent of all runners who take on the Imogene Pass Run, return to do it again.
The race began in 1974, when Rick Trujillo ran from Ouray over the pass to Telluride as training for the Pike's Peak Marathon. Since then, the race has grown into a favorite for mountain runners around the country and around the world. Trujillo still competes in the race today.
Traditionally held on the first Saturday after Labor Day, this year's race falls on Sept. 10. Runners will leave Ouray at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and race to the finish line in Telluride at the intersection of North Oak and Columbia Street. All participants must meet cut-off times at locations along the race to continue. Runners must reach Upper Camp Bird (7.6 miles from start) by 10:30 a.m., or three hours after the start of the race. They must reach the summit of Imogene Pass (10 miles from start) by noon, and the finish line by 2:30 p.m. An awards presentation will be held in Elks Park at 1:30 p.m.
Six aid stations with support personnel will be located at critical junctions along the racecourse, including one at the summit, but ultimately participants are responsible for preparing themselves for the many challenges presented by the race.
All runners are required to carry adequate clothing, including a hat, jacket and gloves to help alleviate the threat of hypothermia, which several runners have suffered from in the past. In addition, the wearing of wicking and waterproof type materials is strongly recommended.
Locals (residents of Telluride, Ridgway, Ouray, Silverton, and Rico) who have not yet registered are still eligible to enter the race.
Volunteers are still needed to help at aid stations and with registration before the race.
For more information on the race, registration or to volunteer, visit www.imogenerun.com or call race director John Jett at 728-0251.