EBS STAFF

On Sep. 2-4, three second-place finishers from last year’s Rut Mountain Runs will make another attempt at a championship during the fourth-annual event at Big Sky Resort.

Racers to watch in the 50K include Hillary Allen of Colorado, who ran a 6:30:16 race in 2015 and finished less than five minutes behind Swede Emilie Forsberg; and Spaniard Cristofer Clemente Mora, who finished 2.5 minutes behind Franco Collé last year.

Neither Forbserg, who’s consistently dominated Skyrunning events she’s entered in the U.S., nor Collé, who in 2015 entered his first ultramarathon not held in Italy, are competing in the 2016 Rut. Laura Orgué, winner of last year’s “Vertical K” and second-place finisher in the 28K, will be another competitor to watch.

Chelsi Moy, Big Sky Resort’s public relations manager, said the 28K is rivaling the 50K in the level of competition racers have demonstrated in both men’s and women’s events. The 50K covers much of the same ground as the April 9 Shedhorn ski mountaineering race.

Registration for adult Rut races is full; approximately 1,800 men and women will run, scramble, climb and claw up and around Lone Mountain the first weekend of September.

More than 1,000 competitors hail from the Last Best Place. Other Western states represented include Washington, California, Colorado and Idaho. An international contingent from countries including Italy, France, Spain, Bulgaria and Turkey will also be out in force.

The Rut is the only International Skyrunning Federation event held in North America, which is part of the reason it draws a sizable crowd from far afield. There are four races open to adults—a 50K, 28K, 11K, and straight-to-the-top “Vertical K”—and a 1-kilometer Rut Runts Race for the younger set that will cruise through the Big Sky Resort Base Area.

Moy said race directors Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe of Missoula estimate racers will down 1,000 gallons of water, 50 pounds of gummy bears and 50 bags of potato chips during the weekend.

A medical team of approximately 50 individuals, including a contingent of Big Sky ski patrollers and four ER physicians, will be on hand to treat illnesses and injuries. Approximately 100 volunteers will staff aid stations and assist with other logistics.

Scenic day passes for the Ramcharger and Swiftcurrent chairlifts will be available for spectators and there will be a post-event shindig open to the public at Montana Jacks starting at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Visit runtherut.com for more information about the race.