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- 10,004 cups of coffee.
- 78 years of Netflix subscriptions.
- 88 pairs of Hoka Speedgoat 5s.
- 10,563 Clif Bars.
- A brand-new 2018 Kia Rio.
These are just a few things you might do with your $15,000 prize money after winning this weekend’s 10th annual Run Rabbit 100, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Started in 2007 by Fred Abramowitz as a benefit 50-mile run, the 100-mile distance was added five years later and has now become the marquee event.
“When we started this [50-mile] race 15 years ago, the goal was first to raise money for local charities, and second, to bring world-class athletes in the summer to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a town already known for producing more winter Olympians than any other town in America,” said Abramowitz. “To date, we’ve contributed over $250,000 to local charities, mostly those serving the kids of northern Colorado. We also offer the highest prize money of any trail ultra in the world, with a total purse for our 100-miler of over $80,000, the male and female winners getting $15,000.”
“The reason we offer prize money is because we need to promote the sport in the U.S. with races that have competitive fields,” said Abramowitz. “Competitive fields attract interest and competitive fields allow people to start relating to the athletes, and when they start following those athletes, the athletes wind up getting better sponsorship deals and there is more interest in the sport.”
Both the 50-miler and the 100-mile courses start and finish at the Steamboat Springs Ski Area, three hours northwest of Denver, at about 7,000 feet. Located in the Routt National Forest, the course rests on the traditional lands of the Indigenous Ute people.
The 50-mile course travels up to Mount Werner (10,372 feet) and takes a right to Rabbit Ears, before turning back to the start, while the 100-mile course includes Mount Werner and much more, up and through the Routt National Forest, the Continental Divide, Buffalo Pass, and Emerald Mountain. In all, there is 21,000 feet of climbing and 80% singletrack, with only four miles of paved road.
Another unique component of the Run Rabbit Run 100 is that there are two separate starts: one for the “Hares” and one for “Tortoises,” which starts four hours ahead.
Canadian elite ultrarunner Alissa St. Laurent–securely in the Hare category–will be toeing the line this weekend, and she’s prepared to fight it out.
“I’m so excited to be back for the race, it is one of my all-time favorite events,” Laurent told the race organizers. “I have two second-place finishes at Run Rabbit Run, and I’m hoping to improve on that. I live in Alberta, Canada, but have been based in Mammoth Lakes, California for the past few summers now, so I spend a lot of my time here off-trail and up on peaks.”
Laurent will be teaming up with Arlen Glick for the team challenge, a new addition to the race this year. The rules are simple: Each team must have one man and one woman, and both must compete in the 100-mile distance. The fastest combined times win $5,000.
“We’ve been amazed at the level of interest and the fun this has added to our event, with runners emailing and contacting each other, trying to construct the fastest team, and having fun with it,” says Abramowitz. “Just look at some of the names our elite athletes have come up with for their teams – Team Lactic Acid Trip, The Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hot Mess Express.”
Jim Rebenack is a firefighter from Littleton, Colorado, who finished second in 2019 and won Run Rabbit Run 100 in 2017. “Run Rabbit Run holds such a special place in my heart. I have made so many great friends and memories over the years here. As always, I’m humbled to toe the start line with so many incredible athletes in my favorite town.”
Runners to Watch
- Arlen Glick
- David Sinclair
- Nick Elson
- Cory Logsdon
- Nick Lewis
- Mark Hammond
- Bryan Kerl
- Michael Wirth
- Annie Hughes
- Katie Arnold
- Michelle Kent
- Anne George
- Alissa St Laurent
- Maggie Guterl
- Melissa Beury
- Salynda Heinl