Introducing a Montana 100-miler.
With ultra-running becoming more and more popular, Montana is long overdue for a race that reflects the hardiest of our mountain-running culture. At least that’s what Megan DeHaan thinks. DeHaan is a local cattle rancher, ultra-runner, bowhunter, and conservation enthusiast. She is also now the owner and race director of our state’s only 100-mile race.
Coming this summer is the first-ever Crazy Mountain Ultra, a point-to-point course with 25,000 feet of vertical gain, from Wilsall to Lennep. Spanning portions of both the Custer-Gallatin and Lewis & Clark national forests, as well as the private property of several multi-generational family ranches, the route contains primarily singletrack, along with some two-track and Forest Service roads that connect the trails. During some sections, runners will follow only cairns along ridgelines or trees with vague markings.
As runners stride through the mountains, they are encouraged to think about the history and feel the presence of those who came before.
Make no mistake, this is not your average 100-mile course. It is hard, rugged, and not for the faint of heart. It is sure to test your grit down to its core. The Crazies epitomize the wild-and-scenic, yet big-and-harsh landscapes. The race commences on July 29. Registration is open, but the entrant cap is set at 150. Although it’s a new race, it has attracted the attention of many local mountain athletes, along with others from around the country, and even the world.
DeHaan has made it a priority to represent the native Apsáalooke (Crow) people and their history within the Crazies, or “Awaxaawippíia” in their language. Crazy Peak is still used to this day for vision quests, and the range itself is considered sacred. As runners stride through the mountains, they are encouraged to think about the history and feel the presence of those who came before.
All finishers will receive a custom silver belt buckle and the top three male and female finishers will be rewarded with custom-made palm-leaf cowboy hats.
“The local community has really stepped up to help bring this race to life,” DeHaan says. “The area is full of all sorts of outdoor athletes who are excited to lend a hand and help make this race successful, as well as run it themselves.” According to DeHaan, there’s already a long list of Montana athletes signed up and ready to compete. “It’s an exciting time to be an ultra-runner in Montana,” she says. “Let’s get Crazy!”
If you’re looking to sign up or volunteer for the Crazy Mountain Ultra, head to crazymountainultra.com.