The Barr Trail Mountain Race (BTMR) debuted in 2000 and has been challenging competitors with its rugged terrain ever since (save 2012 when the Waldo Canyon Fire caused the race to be cancelled). The course is 12.6 miles long and boasts more than 3600 feet of climbing as it ascends from the Cog Railway in Manitou Springs, Colorado (6,570 feet), along the Barr Trail to the turnaround at Barr Camp (10,200 feet). Then it’s back down to the finish line at the Barr Trail parking lot.
A primary goal of the inaugural event was to raise funds for non-profit organizations. That tradition has continued over the years, and this past year’s race committee designated the American Trail Running Association as one of the recipients with proceeds earmarked for the US Mountain Running Team.
“In 2017, we had both the men’s and women’s US Mountain Running champions – Addie Bracy and Joseph Gray – racing,” said BTMR race director Peter Maksimow. “Over the years, we have had the best mountain runners in the US on the start line. They have supported us (the race), so we wanted to support them. Through this donation we achieve this goal.”
The US Mountain Running Team is a partially funded USA Track & Field (USATF) team, which competes annually in the World Mountain Running Championships. The USMRT relies on donations to fill in the funding gap. Events to include the Mt. Washington Road Race, Loon Mountain Race, Cranmore Mountain Race, and the Vail Mountain Winter Uphill have made donations to the team in the past.
“Every dollar donated to the team is so appreciated and truly makes a difference,” said ATRA executive director Nancy Hobbs. “We are delighted to share the news of this $500 donation from the Barr Trail Mountain Race with the ATRA board and US Mountain Running Team staff.”
The BTMR is a race for everyone, but it’s also a race for the highest caliber athletes – both national and international. The race also has a commitment to grow women’s participation in the sport. Piggy backing on the increased prize purse that was offered in 2017 for women, this year’s committee will be offering training groups for women. “We wanted to do something again specifically to encourage and support women,” said Maksimow.
This year’s race will be held on July 15, and is sponsored by Carson Footwear with support from Manitou Brewing and Front Range Barbecue. Race registration opens in March.