The Rut 50k Race

Big Sky

A genuine mountain race "including jeep roads, forested single track trails, alpine ridge lines," and a scramble up the 11,166' Lone Peak.

Trail Running Severe

Distance
49 km
Ascent
3.2 km
Descent
3.2 km
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
2.2 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
23˚
The Rut 50k Race Map

Considered one of the most coveted trail running events in Montana, The Rut is one of the most difficult 50k courses imaginable. The 31-mile course includes a stifling 10,500' of climbing spread over a mixture of single and doubletrack, plus a bit off off-trail scrambling. As with the 28k, the 50k also traverses "extremely steep & technical" terrain, especially as you approach the 11,166' summit of Lone Peak around mile 19. "This is a true mountain course" according to the race director, and it's strongly encouraged "to become familiar with the course terrain before registering for this event."

Description

In 2020, the entire event sold out in four hours, so if you plan to make this your next big race, keep an eye on the upcoming year's registration day. A $4,500 purse is spread among the top 10 overall men and women, so there are always a handful of elites looking to lay stake to a potential fortune. First overall earns a hefty $1,000!

The 50k begins Sunday morning just before sunrise. Lights are needed for the first hour, and you can drop them at the first aid station as long as you have your name and bib number attached in some manner.

Though elite racers have clocked times well under 6 hours, the median finish time is much closer to 10 hours. Poles are allowed, though neither pacers nor crew are allowed for any distance.

Per the race guide, the 50k includes one water stop and five full aid stations "with water, Skratch Labs goodies, sweet and salty snacks, first aid, and energetic volunteers!" They are spaced as follows:

Moonlight Lodge#1: 5.6 Miles (No Cut Off) Moonlight Lodge#2: 11.5 Miles (10:30 AM Cut off) Swiftcurrent: 18.7 Miles (1:00 PM Cut off) Summit:19.9 Miles (2:30 PM Cut off) Shedhorn Water Only station: Mile 22 (New in 2019) Andesite: 26.5 Miles (5:00 PM Cut off) Finish Line: 31 Miles (6:45 PM Cut off)

Course Details: 60% Singletrack/25% Dirt Road/15% Off Trail

Source

Difficulty

Severe

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area