Lots of races say they are tough. We say it too. Here’s the difference….we mean it! In 14 years we have never had a 50 mile finisher tell us they have finished a more difficult 50 miler. Here’s a comment from a 2018 runner:
This was a truly difficult course… which was refreshing because I’ve done other destination races that talk themselves up to be difficult and technical but don’t actually prove out that way.
We challenge you to find a more difficult 50 mile course anywhere.
All races start and finish at the Willard Creek Trailhead at the end of Forest Service Road 4014. Primitive camping is available. There are no amenities other than porta-potties, which will be delivered sometime the day before the race. Allow 45 minutes driving time from Helena to the race start. See Directions tab for driving directions.
Race start is 5:00 am. The finish cut off time is 10:00 pm (17 hour time limit).
This run is primarily through unforgiving, remote, and spectacular Montana back country. Experience Real Montana…Leave Civilization Behind.
The course is approximately 53 miles long. 72% non-motorized technical trail, 26% rough and rocky jeep/ATV trail, 2% maintained Forest Service Road. Click on image below for a downloadable course map.
Approximately 13,450 feet of elevation gain. Elevation ranges between 5,300 feet and 9,000 feet above sea level. Click on image below for a downloadable course profile.
Absolutely no pavement. Only forests, meadows, rocks, a mountain lake, and cold, clear creeks to splash through.
Run through the historic ghost town of Elkhorn and past the historic Elkhorn cemetery.
Chase Deer, Elk, Moose, Bear, Coyote, Mountain Goats, and Badgers…maybe get chased by them.
Low key, friendly, laid back Montana atmosphere. If you want a big production, this event is probably not for you. Once you finish, we invite you to hang out in the finish area, enjoy post-race food and drinks, and share your race experience. Here’s a comment from a 2018 runner:
The thing that I find so nice is how laid back the race is. I ran some races in California last year and it was so different – such a scene. Elkhorn seems like the opposite and for me that was a big draw.
I enjoyed the race SO MUCH; I seriously unplugged – no watch, no nothing – just enjoyed….. it was fabulous. I hadn’t done ultras for over 15 years, and then did my first one several years ago…and hated it. The energy was so amplified, it wasn’t anything like the ultras I remembered…. It was such a pleasure to bring people into an event hosted old-school styled.
Aid Station Splits prior to 2015 are for previous versions of the course.
For GPS track of the current 50 mile course, click on the link below:
Questions? Comments? Email the Race Director: hurlelkhorn@gmail.