World’s Best Trail Runners Converge on Big Sky Resort for the 5th Annual The Rut Mountain Runs
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
The Rut Mountain Runs, in its fifth year, is bigger than ever.
The Rut Mountain Runs named ‘One of the Toughest Races in the World' by Outside Magazine last year, brings about 2,500 racers to Big Sky Resort during Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1- 3. Registration is up by about 500 racers from last year and the top Rut races filled up in record time. The 28K - with its 650 racing slots - filled up in only a couple of hours.
The North Face is the events title sponsor this year. Both race co-founders, Mike Wolfe of Bozeman and Mike Foote of Missoula, are North Face sponsored athletes. Other members of The North Face racing team attending: ultrarunners Timothy Olson, Rob Krar and Seth Swanson of Missoula, and climber Cedar Wright.
The Rut is the only race stop in North America on the International Skyrunner Federation Series. It's why the races attract some of the biggest names in trail running.
The Rut consists of four main races and a kid's race, The Rut Runt Run. Most of the race courses summit Lone Mountain at 11,166 feet. The 50K racers will gain 10,500 feet of elevation during the course of the race and the 28K race will gain 7,800 feet. The VK is a race straight to the top of the mountain. Racers gain 3,600 feet in about 3 miles and don't descend.
The terrain is steep and highly technical, which is part of the attraction for the world-class racers.
In the VK, Laura Orgue of Spain, the female champion the last two consecutive years, is back again, as well as the male first-place finisher in 2016, Kiril Nokolov of Bulgaria. Rut Race director Foote is scheduled to race the VK as he did last year.
The men's second and third place finishers in last year's 28K are both back again. Ragna Debats of Spain, and the overall leader right now in the Skyrunning World Series rankings, is scheduled to run the 50K.