Featured Club: Big Sky Wind Drinkers
Montana's Big Sky Wind Drinkers trail-running club is much more than a name
Photo courtesy of Lisa Verwys
- Where: Bozeman, Montana
- Who: A family-friendly running club and community, founded in 1973. They currently have around 250 paid members.
- Motto: “Fitness cannot be borrowed, bought, or bestowed; like honor, it must be earned.”
In 1973, at a restaurant in Bozeman, Montana, three men, Frank Newman, Andy Blank and Ed Anacker, with waitress Shelley Hoyt as witness, drew up a charter on a paper napkin. The paper napkin would hold the beginnings of Bozeman’s first structured running organization, the Big Sky Wind Drinkers—named after the wild horses that once roamed Montana’s plains.
“Although physical fitness is the aim,” the charter stated, “it is recognized that individuals will differ in their prowess and adroitness as runners. Therefore, it is not important how fast one runs but that one runs.”
Newman, Blank, and Anacker were all professors at Montana State University, explains longtime member and Bozeman resident David Summerfield. “Ed Anacker’s wife was in support of the club, so she was recruited to bake chocolate chip cookies for all the events. Stella [Anacker’s wife] never disappointed.”