Breckenridge trail race takes after its cause |

Breckenridge trail race takes after its cause

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily news
Summit Daily file photo/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE – You don’t go building 58 schools in poor, remote, but beautiful regions of the globe by taking the easy way out.So it makes sense that Sunday’s inaugural Race for the Mountains – a fundraiser that organizers hope could raise more than $10,000 for Greg Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute – is as challenging (and beautiful) as trail running races come.The unique Breckenridge event features two races, a 5K and a 10-miler, with the latter distance being one of just a few competitions in Summit County to travel that far.The longer loop begins by climbing from the Miner’s Lot in downtown Breckenridge to the Vista Haus on Peak 8, then winding back down to town on a mix of singletrack and service roads. In all, the 10-miler will climb more than 2,000 vertical feet, said local athlete Monique Merrill, who is aiding in setting the course.

“It’s long and hard,” she said. “It’s beefy.”Race director Shannon Galpin, who founded Mountain to Mountain, a local organization committed to assisting Mortenson and CAI raise money for future schools in Asia, said this event is intended to attract people who like to earn their sweat.She said she’s accepted registrations from a large number of notable Front Range runners, as well as plenty from out of state – all of whom seek high-altitude, uphill-heavy courses.Galpin said she expects between 200 and 400 participants on Sunday.

The only cash given away will go to the first man and woman to reach the Vista Haus – $100 apiece – “just to make it kind of competitive for the climbers,” she said, calling that part of the race a “hill sprint.”Registration for the 9 a.m. race costs $45 for the 10-miler, $35 for the 5K and $10 for the 1K kids run. You can sign up until Friday evening at; on race day, you can register from 7-8:30 a.m. at the start/finish line in the Miner’s Lot, with $10 added to each fee. Every cent of registration fees goes to the Central Asia Institute.After the race, Galpin said, runners can enjoy a “party atmosphere,” complete with live music, free food and beer and a raffle. She said the event has attracted a surprising wealth of sponsorships and prizes, given that it’s a first-time competition.

The reason is obvious.”I’m doing it because I love the concept,” Merrill said. “It’s just a more affluent community helping a less affluent community.”For more information, go to O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at

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