50 Mile Race Instructions

Welcome to Our Little 50 Mile Event

Well, little bunnies, race day is Saturday, September 14, 2019! And please read our Runner’s Manual for everything you and your friends, family, and crew need to know about this year’s race. Just about everything you need to know is in there or here on our website.

Check-in and Packet Pick-Up:

The packet pick-up will be Friday, September 13, from 3-6 PM and 7-8 PM in the Korbel Room in the Grand Hotel (no race day check-in). To get to there, drive up Werner Road to the ski basin, towards Gondola Square. If you’ve parked at the (free) Gondola Square Parking Garage walk across the street.

Assignment of Bib Numbers:

Our race will be closed to all entries and changes on Sunday, September 1, 2019, and bib numbers will be assigned thereafter. Bibs will vary as to color and number depending on the distance.

  • 50-mile runners will be assigned 4 digit numbers (numbers 1000 through 1300)

Bag Drop-off:

Your drop bag MUST be left at the Gondola on Friday, September 13, between 3 and 8 PM! Drop bags will be permitted only at Base Camp (mile 18 and 32) and the finish. Please be sure to affix your bib number, name and designated aid station to each of your drop bags!

We will try to get the drop bags returned as quickly as we can, but they’ll have to be picked up by Sunday 7-10 AM. If not, it goes to charity. Or the circular file. PLEASE NOTE: WE WILL NO LONGER SHIP DROP BAGS BACK TO YOU.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  PLEASE ARRANGE TO HAVE SOMEONE PICK UP YOUR DROP BAG IF YOU CAN'T DO SO.  REPEAT: WE WILL NO LONGER SHIP DROP BAGS BACK TO YOU!

Mandatory Pre-Race Briefing:

There is a mandatory pre-race briefing Friday, September 13 at 6:00 PM in the Korbel Room in the Grand. We will try not to be too verbose but we will issue you the usual warnings about the weather, checking in and out of the aid stations, following the course markings, and absolutely not littering, and of course, there will be a drawing for some awfully decent gifts. But all bunnies have to be there to hear it in person to win them and get your race packet.

Pre-Race Dinner:

Based on popular demand, or lack thereof, there will be no pre-race dinner. There are many restaurants to suit all budgets located within walking distance of the start, as well as in downtown Steamboat Springs, a few minutes drive away or a hop on the free bus. And we do have a terrific post-race party free to all runners, with beer and food. It's $20 for friends and family. You can buy tickets at the briefing.

50 Mile Race Start:

The race will start right in front of the Sheraton at 6:00 AM. We will have coffee, as well as water and Tail Wind, and maybe a bagel, but please fill your water bottles before you get to the start. We can’t carry enough to let everyone fill. There will be a few bathrooms available.

Early Bird Special Start for Men over 60 and Women over 50:

We’re no longer giving everyone the option of an early stay, but if we are giving all good men chelonians over the age of 60 and women over the age of 50 the chance to start early and still finish. So if you're a male over 60 or a woman over 50 and you think you need an extra hour you can start our little hop at 5:00 AM. If you’re going for the early start, just let us know by Sunday, September 1. And remember:

  1. You understand that Mt. Werner and maybe Long Lake aid stations may not be there when you get there. There might not be that great coffee and bagels at the start either, but heck, there probably will be. But Harvey will be there to send you off.
  2. You give us any drop bags the day before. And you promise to remember a flashlight. It will be dark. For over an hour. And we don’t use glow sticks.
  3. If you’re a male over 60, like Harvey, or a female over 50, you get 16 hours for an official finish IF, and only if, you start early.
  4. You really don’t think you can do this in 15 hours.
  5. You appear at the start, race day, no later than 4:45 AM for your final check-in.


There is very limited free two-hour parking right near the start for those with family or friends dropping them off for the race. There is also free all-day public parking at the Knoll parking lot maybe ¼ mile away and there is free parking across from the Grand, right near the finish. The Sheraton and the Grand, very close to the start, have all-day parking for $10 per day and there should be some free (but not overnight) parking across from the Sheraton as well. Those staying at our sponsor the Torian will have free parking in the Torian garage.


The race will start in the dark so you will need a flashlight or headlamp, at least for a little while. If you’re doing the early start it will be dark for over an hour. Please put your race number on your light so you can leave it at Mt. Werner aid station (approximately mile 6.2) or at Long Lake. Or we may have someone a few miles up the trail who’ll bring your flashlight down. If you leave it at Mt. Werner though you can pick it up for the hop down the mountain in the dark, or we will return it to the finish. If you have been really enjoying the views or spending a lot of time munching on the wildflowers so your pace has been more leisurely, you also might want to leave a flashlight at the Long Lake aid station, about 13 miles from the finish.

Aid Stations:

All aid stations will be stocked with at least Tail Wind and water, Honey Stinger waffles and chews, a cola and a non-cola beverage, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, turkey and cheese wraps or sandwiches, potato chips, cookies, some fruit, and carrots. If there are other items runners really want, let us know and if there’s enough demand, we’ll put it there. We won’t put anything there though that might cause a litter problem – like Gu packets. Aid stations will be manned by friendly, smiling volunteers, who will grin and hopefully do whatever they can to help you finish, but beware – those grins may be those that people reserve when they think they are dealing with the seriously deranged. Smile back, say thank you and be kind. They are volunteers.

There will be aid stations at Mt. Werner (mile 6.4 and 43.6), Long Lake (approx. mile 13.2 and 36.8), Base Camp (approx. mile 18 and 32), and Old Rabbit Ears Pass-Dumont (maybe miles 22 and 28). Depending on the weather, we will either have a volunteer who has obviously lost his marbles to check you in or a punch card at the turnaround at Rabbit Ears (mile 25). Drop bags will be permitted only at Base Camp (mile 18 and 32). There is also an easy spectator and crew access at Old Rabbit Ears-Dumont.

You all probably know this, but we’ll say it again: Our insurance makes us promise that before we can shut down an aid station, every single last bunny rabbit be accounted for. Please, please, please check in at every aid station, and in the very unlikely event you can’t finish and are forced to quit, make absolutely sure someone at an aid station knows about it.

Aid Stations, Mileage, Drop Bags, Pacers and Crew Access PDFs:

Bunnies, don’t get wildly exuberant or depressed when you get into an aid station by the miles we will list; they are only approximations, done to make ourselves feel there’s a level of precision when we really know there isn’t. Heck, the course is still probably a bit longer than 50 miles!


Nope. It’s only 50 miles (ok, a little more).

EXCEPTION: Special Gondola-to-Finish-Line Pacers. 50 Milers may have family and friends accompany them from the top of the Gondola down to the finish — approximately the last 4 miles. If the Gondola is not running when your runner is expected, hike up. It will give you some sense of what the runners have done. You are responsible for buying the Gondola ticket.

Crew / Spectator Access:

Only the aid station at Old Rabbit Ears Pass (miles 22 and 28, which we call “Dumont”) will have crew or spectator access. To get there, take Highway 40 east from Steamboat up Rabbit Ears Pass. Before reaching the East Summit you will see a sign on your left for the Dumont Campground. Turn left. Follow this paved road past the turnoff for the campground. You will see a large rock monument on your left (about a mile from HWY 40). Google map directions here.  Please obey aid station personnel instructions regarding parking.

Cut Off Times:

The time limit for the race is 15 hours (which is 9:00 PM), unless you’re 60 or over and take the early start, in which case it’s 16 hours (still 9:00 PM) and we will also have absolute cutoffs at several of the aid stations, as listed here: 50 Mile Aid Stations, Mileage and Cutoffs. Those who’ve run our race before know that we’ve done all we can to allow runners to finish, but making our volunteers stay out too late and miss the post-race fun and festivities is unfair to them and we ask that you consider that. So please don’t argue if we tell you your race is over. Come back next year and show us how wrong we were.


The finish is at The Slopeside, right where you started, with none of you hopefully worse for the wear. As we’ve done the in the past, we’ll have a DH (Designated Hugger) at the finish to give you a hug and point you on your way to the party. We will have a little party at the Slopeside, with plenty of free beer and food for all runners and volunteers. Family and friends and your personal mental health professionals should also certainly come to watch you finish and to join in the post-race festivities, but since this is a charity event (see below), they should bring money. You can get their $20 food & beer tickets Friday at the briefing or buy them at the race. We’ll have our awards ceremony there too, probably around 7:30 PM.

Charitable Contributions:

Little bunnies, we’re all just volunteers and everything in excess of expenses goes to charity, so think about that before you complain about something. We will announce our charities for this year after the race.


All finishers will receive a beautiful technical shirt and a nice mug, plus any other commemoratives we can muster up. Over-all women and men winners will also receive a nice award, and the first three female and male rabbits to cross the finish line will also receive a nice award too, as will the first female and male Master Bunnies.  A few others, whose race performance for one reason or another we deem worthy of an award, might also get whatever nice award we come up with. You all know that sometimes it’s better to be a tortoise than a hare. Only one award per runner, though.


If you have run our race before you know the weather may be unpredictable, with rain or snow not out of the question: please plan ahead. Please be nice to all the volunteers, and if you see Harvey out there, please say hi and give him a big hug: it’s lonely being a pooka. Please be nice to the environment. Please be nice to each other. And please have fun.


You will need to arrange accommodations for yourself and crew for the weekend. There are plenty of hotels, motels, bed and breakfast, and camping accommodations in and around Steamboat Springs, but we strongly urge all runners and crews to support our great sponsor Wyndham Vacation Rentals.

For camping options, there is camping at Dumont, right at the Dumont aid station (50 miler). There is also camping near the Dry Lake aid station, on Buffalo Pass Road, on the 100 mile course. There are other camping options as well.