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We Love the Mountain Marmot!

group of three trail runners running uphill during the fall
A woman runs over fall leaves in the Mountain Marmot

We are getting excited for our favorite run of the year! We love the Mountain Marmot! Fall colors, sweeping views, fresh mountain air, a leg-crushing ascent and a long glorious downhill. Plus lots of friends and snacks along the way! What more could you want?

We definitely have a few team members here who like to take on the challenge ever year. Among them is Stacey Glaser, local Durangoan and member of the Mountain Capital Partners team (our parent company). Stacey has been tackling the Marmot every year since we first started hosting it back in 2016, and this year she is back for more!

We took a moment to chat with Stacey about why she loves this run so much, and to ask her why she keeps coming back every year.

Why do you run the Mountain Marmot every year?

The Marmot is the perfect combination of so many things I love: friends, running (a lot of hiking), and beautiful mountain scenery. It’s just a really happy place for me. This is my favorite race and I hope I can do it, always.

group of three trail runners running uphill during the fall
PC: Grady James

What’s your favorite part of the run and of the event in general?

This event is spectacular! It’s the only race that takes you from the welcome plaza and traverses you all the way to the top of Lift 8. Every year, the autumn trees are incredible—my run times would probably improve if I didn’t stop so much to take pictures!

The aid stations are well stocked and the volunteers are wonderful. Race sponsor Durango Running Company designed the course, and it was definitely created with runners in mind. The other runners are friendly and – like me – out to have a fun running adventure together. There’s such a great vibe. This event has become a Durango classic, and I’m always proud to be a part of it.

Who is the Mountain Marmot for?

This one is for anyone who loves a challenge and thinks the best way to spend a crisp autumn morning is by running (or hiking!) in the mountains.

How do you train for running up a mountain?

Full disclosure: I’m not an elite runner. From a solid “middle of the pack” perspective, the best way to train for this is to find trails to climb.

The first half-ish of the race has a gain of 2,375 feet—you’re topping out at the summit of Lift 8 around 11,000 feet. Anyone looking to do this event will want to have some good hill training, ideally at higher elevations. This is a high alpine endurance event, and you should be able to run a half trail marathon to feel comfortable(ish – is it ever really comfortable?) at this event, even though you won’t have to ultimately run that far.

Have you always been a runner?

Not always. I started running 5Ks about 20 years ago and worked my way up to ultras about five years ago. The half marathon distance is where I like to train these days.

What advice would you give a first-timer?

Don’t overthink this one: just do it.

The autumn sun shines on a man running the Mountain Marmot

Check out event details here.

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