At a meeting on Monday, March 31, Trujillo told the Ouray County Commissioners that a greater degree of supervised temporary closure of the roads is now necessary.
Trujillo, president of Imogene Pass Run, Inc., explained that the emergence in recent years of more recreational and off-highway vehicles on the mountainous route during the race is interfering with the runners and threatening their personal safety. In particular, good weather in 2007 led to higher numbers of drivers on the route than in previous years, Trujillo said.
Motorized traffic enters the road from both the Telluride and Ouray sides, and voluntary measures that local businesses have undertaken in the past to control motorized traffic on an informal basis are no longer effective. Previously, Trujillo said, owners of jeep rental businesses, motels and other businesses advised their customers of the temporarily runner-congested roads during the race, and visitors voluntarily limited their use of the road. “But last year…there were lots of irate runners,” Trujillo said.
Trujillo asked the commissioners to provide at least two deputy sheriff personnel, posted signs and more pre-race publicity and notices so that the public will be made aware of the scheduled closures of Camp Bird Road (County Road 361) and Imogene Pass Road (Forest Service Road 869) to all but non-resident and race-related vehicle traffic during this season’s Imogene Pass Run, which this year will be held Sept. 6.
The county commissioners offered to do what they can, including coordinating the effort with the San Miguel County Sheriff’s office. A meeting will be scheduled with Ouray County Emergency Medical Services Chief Medic Norm Rooker and Sheriff Dominic Mattivi, as well as the Mountain Rescue Team to plan a temporary closure.
The Imogene Pass Run has grown in size from six participants in 1974 to over 1,250 runners and walkers from all over the country, according to Trujillo.