The Course

RACE LOCATION: just outside West Yellowstone, MT

Course Maps

The race will start and end at the Old Airport on the west edge of West Yellowstone. There is a ton of parking there and it is easy walking distance from many hotels on the south side of town. The the majority of the race takes place on a dirt road and trail in Gallatin National Forest immediately southwest of West Yellowstone, MT. The course starts flat but has a major and a minor hill that you need to train for. You can see a map and elevation profile below. The best part of the course is that you will be less than a mile from the west park entrance. That is 32 miles from Old Faithful and 24 miles from the Grand Prismatic Spring.

YSHM elevation

The whole race is on a dirt road (depending on weather, there may be puddles). The first three miles will be a loop, partially through town, and partially on trail just outside of town. Miles 3-4 are pretty flat and straight as you head towards the hills. At mile 5 is where it really starts to get pretty, and challenging. You run over a beautiful bridge that crosses the South Fork Madison River and really start to enter the forest. Mile 6 is the most challenging section. You will start running uphill and in the 6th mile you will gain about 200 feet in elevation. Thick forest on either side. If you have to use bear spray it will be in this section (just kidding, but not really). You then start to flatten out and then enter a downhill. The course gets more technical around mile 7 with some rocks and a less defined path. The course will be clearly marked, but those in the front will feel like you are running through some weeds. Mile 8 is real fast down hill. Continues to be technical and weedy. Mile 9-10 is downhill for bit an then starts to flatten out a bit as you enter some really beautiful area. At mile 11 there is a slight hill that will feel big if you are not ready for it. Its only a 40-50 foot gain, but its later in the race. Mile 12 to the finish will be slightly downhill or flat.
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Training for the course

AAA_CMYK_300-2Our official training partner is Active at Altitude based in Estes Park, CO!

Whether you are a beginner or a more serious runner Terry at Active at Altitude has a training plan that will help you prepare for the race. Find the right training schedule here to help you be ready.

Terry is a Lydiard Certified Running Coach, and lives at 8,200 feet in Estes Park, CO. He has a blog post on tips for running and racing at altitude. Thanks Terry!

Start & Finish Times

The race starts at 7:00am sharp! Our cutoff for the race is at 11 am, which gives runners 4 hours to finish. That’s an 18.5 minute mile- plenty of time for even slowish walkers.