Ultramarathon runners headed to the Grand Mesa

By Hank Lohmeyer

The annual Grand Mesa 100 ultramarathon event is scheduled for this weekend.

The event consists of three courses for runners. One is 60 kilometers, a second is 50 miles, and the third is 100 miles. The race begins early on Saturday morning and follows existing Forest Service trails and roads on the mesa.

According to race organizers, 72 runners had signed up to participate as of late last week. Local runners will be joined by others from the region and other states, organizers said.

Local sponsors of the event include Starr's Guitars, Munson's, RJ's Steakhouse, and the Coffee Barn.

The following information provided by the race organizers describes the Grand Mesa 100 course "by the numbers."

The 60k course has 24.75 miles of trail and 12.75 miles of FS road. There are 4,140 feet of climbing and 4,170 feet of descent.

The 50-mile course has 39.25 miles of trail and 12.75 miles of FS road. There are 4,979 feet of climbing and 5,032 feet of descent.

The 100-mile course has 3.5 miles of pavement, 20 miles of FS road and 76.5 miles of trail. There are 14,173 feet of climbing and 14,185 feet of descent.

The average elevation of all three distances is about 9200. All distances and elevations are approximate.

The race begins at 5 a.m. on Saturday and concludes at 3 p.m. the following day.

Grand Mesa Lodge at Island Lake is serving as the staging site for the race.