GRIN & BEAR IT TRAIL RUN
25K & 15K TRAIL RUN COMPETITIONS
AT THE HEIGHT OF CRESTED BUTTE’S JULY WILDFLOWER SEASON!
For three decades The Grin & Bear It has stood as Crested Butte’s oldest trail challenge,
historically run as a sprint from Town to Green Lake and back.
In 2020, this classic event is evolving to offer a 25k Loop course option, while still maintaining the traditional 15k Classic event.
The race Starts and Finishes at the Crested Butte Nordic Center – 620 2nd. Street, in downtown Crested Butte.
A mass start commences from the Nordic Center, climbing directly up to Journey’s End road, where racers turn LEFT continuing downhill to the junction with Highway-135. Racers proceed south paralleling the highway for a 1/4 mile, before arriving the Baxter Gulch trailhead. Here runners are routed onto single track, starting a series of sharp switchbacks climbing 600 feet through shaded aspens. This climb eventually opens up, transitioning to a climbing traverse. (Don’t forget to look over your left shoulder to view Mt. Crested Butte’s imposing presence over the valley!)
This initial climb tops out at 9,431 ft, before providing competitors a momentary 200 ft. downhill respite. Upon crossing a bridge across Baxter Creek, steady switchback climbing again commences for the next mile. After making a second crossing of Baxter Creek, elevation gain levels off, climbing more moderately through open meadows and surprise views of Mt. Whetstone. Moderate climbing continues until around mile 5.25, where 450 feet is more steeply gained in less then 1 mile. This push delivers runners to a high saddle at 10,700 ft, and a sneak peek view into the adjacent Ohio Creek valley drainage.
Here the course embarks on a brief .5 mile descent, intersecting the Carbon Trail #436 where runners make a RIGHT turn and begin their final 545 feet of climbing to the course high point at 10,983 ft. Here runners are treated to panoramic views of the high peaks spanning the Elk Mountain Range to the east, in addition to the expansive valley bottoms of the upper Gunnison laid out below. The trail becomes consistently rougher throughout the next 2.5 mile portion of course. This section of trail is either traversing or descending, but is utterly rock strewn throughout all the way until meeting the Green Lake Trail intersection.
At this juncture, racers are routed up a .3 mile spur to the Green Lake checkpoint and an opportunity for a refreshing alpine lake dunk. After tapping the towering ponderosa pine standing at the bank of the lake, racers make an about-face, setting themselves on a 4.5 mile melee, descending 2,100 feet back into the Town of Crested Butte. Downhill running is shaded and very enjoyable, as technical trail is only sparsely punctuated. At mile 12.5, Green Lake Trail intersects a private subdivision road, runners make a right hand turn, running the road for .4 miles, then making a left hand turn to reconnect with the Green Lake Trail single track. From this juncture, 2 miles and 623 feet of elevation loss remain, returning racers to the finish line back at the Crested Butte Nordic Center.
The following aid will be distributed at miles – 7.1 & 13.1
Hydration – Water & Tailwind Nutrition Electrolyte
Nutrition – Energy Gels & Chews
25k – LOOP
DECEMBER >>> MAY – $55
JUNE >>> JULY 4TH – $65
AFTER JULY 4TH – $75
15k *CLASSIC* – Out & Back
DECEMBER >>> JULY 4TH – $45
AFTER JULY 4TH – $55
BIB PICK-UP – JULY 18TH
Crested Butte Nordic Center – 7:00 AM to 8:45 AM
RACE START TIMES
Crested Butte Nordic Center
25k Loop – 8:00 AM
15k *Classic* – 9:00 AM
POST RACE MEAL
Crested Butte Nordic Center
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM