ANOTHER SIDE OF SCHWEITZER
By Colin Anderson
Most visitors to Schweitzer Mountain enjoy having the lift take them to the top of the mountain. Come summer, there are those who enjoy a hike or mountain bike to the top as well. Few. however, tackle the mountain like those who enter into The GRIT North Idaho Trails Series Race the Wolf.
It’s one thing to go for a trail run, but tackling great distances across one of the Northwest’s most iconic mountains requires a whole new level of commitment. Race the Wolf offers three challenging courses runners can attempt to tackle. Each crisscrosses the mountain, losing and gaining a ton of elevation. Greens, blues and blacks are all utilized as well as the mountain bike single-track lanes, and a few other steep climbs.
For those just wanting a taste, there is an 8k trail race. The course heads out east from the village, and you’ll gain about 710 feet in elevation throughout the run. The next step up is a 26k race—a serious challenge to even elite runners. This course covers a majority of the mountain including the backside. You’ll climb then drop then climb again. By the end you’ll have gained nearly a mile in elevation. This race is jokingly called “the half”—but it is no joke. And the reason it’s the half is because of the featured race, a 52k ultra marathon for those looking for a serious test of strength, will and endurance. If you want to see all of Schweitzer in a day and then some, this is the way to do it. This grueling run takes many hours even for the most accomplished runners. It begins at 7:30am, and participants have 11 hours to complete it.
Registration is now open for all three races. No matter the distance you choose, you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment crossing the finish line. Visit RacetheWolf.com to register and for additional information.Event Website: