Half marathon in Granby ‘most beautiful’ on ERS circuit, organizers say | SkyHiNews.com

Half marathon in Granby ‘most beautiful’ on ERS circuit, organizers say

Runners tackle one of the events during the Snow Mountain Ranch Trail Running Festival. The festival returns to the YMCA of the Rockies in Granby on Sept. 21-22.
Courtesy of Endurance Race Series

The Snow Mountain Ranch Trail Running Festival will put on six different runs Sept. 21-22 in Granby during an event billed as the “most beautiful” on the Endurance Race Series schedule.

“That’s a direct quote from a couple runners we’ve had over the years,” said Jeff Stoner, owner and race director.

He explained the Endurance Race Series sends out surveys to its runners every year, and that’s what consistently comes back in the surveys year after year.

Stoner hypothesized it could be the timing of the two-day festival, which coincides nicely with fall’s changing colors and often provides a great escape from the high heat on the Front Range for a cool run in the mountains.

The superbly maintained soft-track trails at the YMCA of the Rockies also might play a role, he said, adding the trail courses take runners away from civilization for an intimate experience in nature, oftentimes highlighted by encounters with local wildlife such as moose.

“That’s what we’ve taken in for the last seven years of the race,” Stoner said of the festival in Granby, one of 10 in Colorado put on by the Endurance Race Series.

The Snow Mountain Ranch Trail Running Festival’s main event is its half marathon, but the festival begins Sept. 21 with a 50K, 10K and Twilight 5K runs before its Saturday party with live music, a barbecue dinner, beer garden and raffles.

The festival returns the next day with its half marathon, a full marathon and then another 5K run to round out the weekend’s events.

The Twilight 5K is more of a fun run than anything else, Stoner said, adding they do it right before the Saturday party and it’s a non-timed event.

Meanwhile, the 50K run is a three-loop course that can be done individually or in teams of three with each runner completing one loop of the course. After that, Sunday’s full marathon is two loops of the half marathon course. 

Last year, the entire festival drew just under 600 people with the 50K and half marathon runs being the two most popular events, Stoner said.

The festival is open anyone who wants to do an individual race or those willing to compete in multiple events. Any runners who finish both the 50K and half marathon will walk away with the festival’s Moosehead Challenge Medal.

“It’s a full schedule of events,” Stoner said of the lineup. “It’s crazy, but we love it.”

Additionally, Stoner said they are reaching out to local schools in hopes of getting the community more involved with the festival. He hopes to generate volunteers and support for the races, while in turn looking to support the schools as well.

“We’re trying to connect as many dots as we can up there,” Stoner said.

Registration is available online. For more, http://www.EnduranceRaceSeries.com.

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