Fresh snow covered the streets and nearby mountains of Crested Butte on the morning of Saturday, September 24th as the Western Colorado University trail running team gathered outside of Camp 4 Coffee in preparation for the Cart to Cart Race. Nerves were high as runners anticipated the difficult conditions of the trails ahead of them- departing downtown on Elk Avenue to Tony’s trail, connecting to Upper Loop and out to Brush Creek road were they would ascend the Canal Trail into the mountains.
The run would remain mostly on single track, but cover sections of dirt and paved roads as well. Terrain was well varied, ranging from packed out dirt, to rocks, to mud and snow. Despite the challenging terrain, runners were in awe over the beautiful scenery throughout the race.
“Seeing the changed leaves and the snow was super cool,” said Western student Cam Smith, 1st place finisher for the 19mile race. “It’s fun to see the mix of seasons come together”.
Western ran strong as a team and didn’t let the cold and snow hinder their performance.
“When the weather is tough, they get gritty and courageous; they came out to run today” said trail running coach Josh Eberly. “Everyone did an excellent job”.
As the runners rounded the final corner to the finish at Camp 4 Coffee in Crested Butte South they were greeted with shouts of encouragement, congratulations, and piping hot coffee to warm up after a bone-chilling run. Next weekend, their race climate will be slightly warmer for the Flagstaff Sky Race in Arizona.