Overall Rating
Overall Rating (3 Reviews)
4.7
(3 Ratings)(3 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
5
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4
The Run Rabbit Run courses are spectacular 50 and 100 mile runs through the beautiful mountains and fall colors of the Routt National Forest of northern Colorado. The 100 mile run will also run through lovely Emerald Mountain. The 50 mile race starts bright and early at 6 am at … MORE
Local Weather (Sep 14)
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H (°F) 71 67 72 74 58
L (°F) 46 44 41 41 48
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    M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '17

    BOTTOM LINE: Looking for an epic adventure in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, one that’s (literally) above and beyond the usual ultramarathon? You’ve found it in Run Rabbit Run. … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: Looking for an epic adventure in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, one that’s (literally) above and beyond the usual ultramarathon? You’ve found it in Run Rabbit Run. Steamboat Springs is a charming, low-key destination town and especially in early September, which is the calm before the storm of ski season. Case in point the weather, which was perfect on race day and which made our 13 hours of essentially fast hiking (with a 15-hour time limit) a lot more pleasant than it otherwise might have been.

    Trying to get up and down the mountain before my body wised up to the altitude, I flew into Colorado and arrived in Steamboat Springs the day before the race. Surprisingly I had no difficulty with my breathing at any point during the race — not even on the initial 3,600 foot climb to the summit of Mount Werner. No, the real manifestation of the high altitude was that I moved at a much slower clip than I do at sea level, even taking into account the steady diet of rocks and roots. And having my eyes take turns fogging over certainly didn’t help my progress.

    (On that note, a word of warning if you’re considering this race: beware the unlikely possibility of altitude-induced vision problems such as corneal edema, which nearly blinded the eventual winner of the women’s 100-mile race).

    Run Rabbit Run is a challenging course, yes. And at times I became frustrated with the seemingly endless climbing and my glacial rate of progress. But Mother Nature offers her rabbits plenty of rewards for all their hard work — this may well be the most picturesque course you’ll ever run. And if a sea-level sissy like me can get ‘er done, so can you.

    PRODUCTION: Well done, for the most part. Packet pickup doubled as a pre-race pep talk and an opportunity for the race director to share guidelines, warnings and cautionary tales for race day. We arrived late as he was relating a joke about runners wearing bear bells on the course, the punchline being that bear scat can be distinguished from other animal scat by the fact it has bear bells in it. Comedic interludes aside, the RD also raffled off a bunch of sponsor swag to hold the audience’s interest, which was cool — and my friend Ken and I each scored a lightweight Ultimate Direction running vest, a nice take-home prize.

    Race day logistics were smooth overall with a couple of annoying hitches. This year, apparently for the first time, the organizers decided to make runners retrieve a playing card from a volunteer stationed at the top of Rabbit Ears, to confirm they’d made it all the way to the top (mile 25). I wouldn’t have realized this, though, if I hadn’t happened to notice the playing cards sitting on a chair at the Dumont Lake aid station and asked Katie. Nor were there any signs or indicators up on Rabbit Ears as to where the turnaround point was, much less a warning about the cards. So I’m not sure how everyone else learned of the cards, and I wonder if anyone failed to retrieve one. Maybe I missed those instructions at the pre-race meeting, but on race day they should be clearly communicated to any exhausted runner who may be 10,000+ feet above his comfort zone and not thinking straight. And it was oddly unnecessary, at the top of Rabbit Ears, to make each runner scamper up the last 20 feet of loose dirt to where the volunteer sat precariously handing out cards — she could just as easily have waited below to enable a more agile turnaround.

    A huge shout-out to the amazing volunteers who all day long were friendly, attentive and competent. And rumor has it there was a nice post-race spread; unfortunately the sun was setting and a chill was descending by the time we finished, so we were eager to get back to our friends’ place, get cleaned up and grab dinner.

    SWAG: Aside from my vision failing me at times, the swag was my only real disappointment of the day. Yes, I understand this is a trail race and trail runners are supposed to eschew medals and material possessions. But for a race of this length and difficulty — and one that boasts the “highest purse of any trail ultra marathon in the world” — I’d expect a finisher’s buckle (apparently the 100-milers received one) or at least a medal, something I can proudly display on my wall alongside my other blingy shiny souvenirs. Instead, our reward for 13+ hours of running, hiking and stumbling was a ceramic beer mug to accompany the short-sleeve cotton race tee we’d received at registration (no more shirts, please…). What non-college age adult needs another f#*@ing mug? I felt like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” sitting in his bathroom frantically decoding with his Little Orphan Annie secret decoder pin, only to discover he’s been duped by corporate America. “A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!”

    For a (much) more detailed narrative of the race, see my blog post at http://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2017/12/20/run-rabbit-run-50-miler-race-report

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2
    My Media

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    kenspruell FIRST-TIMER '17

    Oh my, now this is a race! 1. The race directors (who are great) include a "Runners Beware" section on the race homepage, perhaps worth reading but wow is the … MORE

    Oh my, now this is a race!
    1. The race directors (who are great) include a “Runners Beware” section on the race homepage, perhaps worth reading but wow is the course unbelievably beautiful.
    2. After climbing up 6.4 miles from the base of the ski mountain, the majority of the race is spent at 9,500′ to 10,500′ elevation with regular rolling uphill and downhill sections. Garmin says it was 50.62 miles, max elevation 10,575′ and total elevation gain of 7,963′
    3. The mountain landscape has nonstop breathtaking views. The initial climb and return descent on the front side of the ski mountain pass through massive aspen groves, then single track trail up top through evergreen forest and alpine lakes (four of them I counted), and one final climb on forest service road to the high point atop Rabbit Ears for panoramic views.
    4. Most of the run in national forest land along the Continental Divide. Pleasant surprise was how much shade and time out of direct sun that the forest provided for the run
    5. Footing has some sections to watch out for but overall good: first 6.4 miles is mostly graded service road and is the easiest section to run on, then 12 miles of single track trails (packed dirt with varying degrees of rock and tree roots that need some regular, ongoing attention), then a mix of service road and single track for 6.8 miles to the high point which is the halfway point. Then you turn around and return the same route. Final 1/4 mile is a brutal scramble up to the turnaround point.
    6. The online race manual is great and all I needed. Race directors and super local volunteers are out in force and make the logistics and support a breeze. All the aid stations are stocked with fuel and enthusiastic happy people there supporting you. Pre-race meeting has some impressive raffle swag too.
    7. Not something, ahem, I need to concern myself with but the prize money for a podium finish is large.

    I highly recommend and one to add to the list.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    wonderjess FIRST-TIMER '16

    I'm not sure why I picked Run Rabbit Run as my first 50 miler, but I did, and I ran it, and I'm here to tell you about it. Don't … MORE

    I’m not sure why I picked Run Rabbit Run as my first 50 miler, but I did, and I ran it, and I’m here to tell you about it. Don’t be intimidated, do it!
    Website/Registration/Communication: I found most stuff that I needed on the website. Registration was easy, and the RC communicated a lot leading up to the race.
    Location: Steamboat Springs is gorgeous. We were able to rent a pretty affordable condo close to the start. We took the free bus downtown. I had never been to the Boat before, and it was a great experience.
    Course Difficulty: Difficult!! Very Difficult. The course is between 6500 and 10500 elevation. It starts with a 6 mile 4000 foot climb, and at the midpoint, is the steepest climb of all. And then all the running in between is up and down, and up and down. With all that being said, you mostly run on great single track, not too technical, and about 2 feet wide. Some areas more rocky or rooty than others, but mostly good.
    Course Scenery: SPECTACULAR. Seriously, it was so gorgeous. When I was just there the leaves were starting to change, there were greens and yellows, and just a touch of red. Running in the Colorado Mountains is breath-taking.
    Race Production: GREAT! Run Rabbit Run builds a loyal fan base, and they’ve earned it. Race production went off without a snag. The volunteers were great! No hitches with production at all.
    Race Swag: Also great. There were gender specific shirts. We also got an off brand buff with the RRR logo, some smartwool socks, and there was limited additional gear for purchase (mostly previous years shirts, and a visor). Note: everything is branded as the 50 and the 100, and I don’t think the 100 gets anything more than the 50 gets.
    Overall: loved it! Do it!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    M_Sohaskey Sep 21, 2016 at 9:50pm

    Congrats, bad-ass ultrarunner! Sounds like you couldn't have chosen more wisely for your first 50. Your RRR experience sounds very similar to mine at the Ice Age Trail 50, +/- 10,000ft of altitude (now that's a runner's high!). Maybe we should swap 50's next year and try each other's? :)

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    wonderjess Oct 22, 2016 at 7:37pm

    I never saw this comment! Yes, let's switch! =)

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