14erFest is back in Buena Vista after 2020’s Coronavirus cancellation and The Trailhead and CORE (Colorado Off-road Enterprise) have elevated their trail running events – literally and figuratively - with the inclusion of a 50k at 8 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 25 that compliments the existing 5k at 4 p.m., Friday and the 14k at 9:30 a.m., Sunday races.
The inaugural West Line Winder 50k, put on by Kelsey Banaszynski and Caleb Efta, is part of the Sawatch 50/50, which also includes the Sawatch Ascent 50k Sept. 26 in Nathrop.
“We partnered with Freestone Endurance to debut a brand new 50k race called the West Line Winder,” Banaszynski said. “These three races allow us to reach the full spectrum of trail runners and helps accomplish the event mission of bringing all trail users together for good times and recreation.”
Leadville native Courtney Dauwalter, fresh off defending her Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc world title in a record time for women, headlines the already 100-person field, 40% of which are attempting their first ultra.
Laura Cortez, founder of Trailtinos, a front range running group which supports Latino and Hispanic runners, and the Run Wild Trail Camp, is also entered. Dauwalter and husband Kevin Schmidt are planning to complete the 50/50.
Freestone Endurance, hosts of the local High Lonesome 100, are hoping staging of shorter ultras will “grow the running community here in Chaffee County and encourage participation from a diverse field of runners from beginners to veterans,” Banaszynski said.
The loop race, which traverses 22.4 miles of singletrack, 6.9 miles of forest roads and 1.3 miles of paved roads en route to 4,000 feet of elevation gain before concluding at East Main and North Court streets, benefits the Buena Vista Single Track Coalition.
To date runners have raised over $1,200 and donated over 120 hours of trail work, Banaszynski noted.
For more information on 14erFest, the 2019 Elevation Outdoor’s Multi-Sport Event of the Year, visit 14erFest.org