Saturday, July 18, 2015 • Silverton, CO • Course Map
One of Colorado’s oldest running events, Silverton’s Kendall Mountain Run is also one of its most challenging, described as a “leg-busting” race by one observer. To begin with, runners start an elevation of just over 9,300 feet above sea level, high up in a valley in this small, onetime mining town in the San Juan Mountains. And it only gets tougher from there.
The climb to the top of Kendall Mountain, which rises high above Silverton here in Colorado’s southwestern corner, takes runners up more than 3,700 feet from the starting line in town to the summit of the mountain, at just over 13,000 feet above sea level. (This is a 12-mile race, so it’s not technically a half marathon.)
Along the way, runners will be trekking their way up the mountain on Jeep roads, which one past runner described as full lane road with a hard-packed dirt and gravel surface, most of which winds up the mountain and doesn’t include many dramatically steep sections.
That’s left for when runners are nearly reaching the mountain’s peak, as there is a scramble stretch for about 250 feet between the last section of the Jeep road and the summit.
Once there, however, the views are spectacular, looking out all around on the mountains of the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests. Once those running the half marathon reach the summit, they then run downhill back to Silverton to complete the race in Memorial Park.
Just over 210 runners crossed the finish line at the race’s 2014 running. (And that group included some of the widest age ranges you’ll find at any race — the youngest finisher was just 9 years old, while the oldest was 73.)
And, as this is a race that takes place in what was once the Old West, there are some unique local touches to the event — the organizers start the race not with a whistle or an ordinary starting pistol, but with an actual six-shooter pistol.
The race’s summer 2015 running will mark its 38th anniversary, and organizers note that they’ve re-measured the route distance for this year and that the race will be a 12-mile run up and down the mountain.
Race Weather & Climate
Located up in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, just over 120 miles southeast of Grand Junction, Silverton typically sees its warmest weather of the year in July, though it’s still sometimes quite chilly — record lows for the month have reached a low of 20 degrees (in 1931) and a high of 93 degrees (in 1929).
On race day (July 18), the average low is 40ºF and the average high is 74ºF.
- $40 for the 12-mile, if registered before May 22, 2015
- $45 after May 22
To reserve your spot in the 2015 running of Silverton’s Kendall Mountain Run Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at UltraSignUp.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Kendall Mountain Run? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.