The first running of the Elkhorn Endurance Runs, founded by Jim and Bobbie Pomery, took place as a 100K out of Clancy, MT, in 1989. Helena Ultra Runners League began organizing the event in 2005, when the format changed distances and routes to accomodate more trail and less road.
The current courses run throughout the Elkhorn Wildlife Management Area in the Elkhorn Mountains. U.S. Forest Service land is generally managed under a multiple use philosophy. The Elkhorn Wildlife Management Area, designated in 1981, is uniquely outside this management strategy. It’s coveted elk population is the core focus, and it is the only Wildlife Management Unit within the National Forest system.
The Elkhorn Mountains are inactive volcanos, and this uplifting geologic past is responsible the mining history that began in 1868. The 50 mile course runs through the Town of Elkhorn, a historic ghost town that used to home 2,500 residents and is now home to Montana’s smallest state park. Despite a dipthera epidemic (peep the cemetery) and sputtering mining industry in the late 1890s/early 1900s, Elkhorn Town never fully depopulated. All buildings but Fraternity Hall and Gillian Hall (the State Park) are privately owned and some occupied.