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Big Sky ultra to draw elite runners



Race entries for The Rut 50K nearly full

By Emily Wolfe Explore Big Sky Managing Editor

BIG SKY – Some of the world’s most elite ultramarathon runners are set to pound up the slopes of Lone Mountain this September. The Rut 50K, a race hosted at Big Sky Resort now slated as the Skyrunner World Series Ultra Final, is the draw.

In only its second year, the race has attracted some of the biggest names in mountain running, perhaps the most significant of which is the 26-year-old Basque runner Kilian Jornet. A Team Salomon athlete, Jornet was named 2014 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and is the reigning Skyrunner World Series Champion.

Also among the heavy hitters coming to Big Sky for the Sept. 13 event is Daniel Kraft, who holds the second fastest time on the Bridger Ridge Run; last year’s Rut 50K winner Paul Hamilton; 2012 female ultrarunner of the year Ellie Greenwood; and reigning Skyrunner women’s champion Emelie Forsberg.

Having a field like that will give Big Sky Resort international exposure in a way it’s never had, said Lyndsey Owens, the resort’s marketing director. “We’re really excited that all these elite athletes are coming to our venue,” she said. “It’s going to be rad to watch those people compete.”

In addition to the 50K and 12K on Sept. 13, there will also be a Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer on Sept. 12, in which athletes will run approximately four kilometers straight from the base area to the summit. Some of the top guys and gals will even do both the Vertical Kilometer and the 50K, according to Mike Foote, who organizes the race through the Missoula shop, the Runners Edge.

As of March 27, registration for the 50K was more than 90 percent full, as 455 runners were signed up with a cap of 500. More slots were open for the 12K – with 182 entrants and a cap of 500 – as well as the Vertical Kilometer, with 67 entrants and a cap of 100.

Salomon has signed on as the event’s title sponsor this year, and presenting sponsors will include Omnibar and Suunto.

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