Emma Coburn’s virtual Elk Run 5k Saturday


By Than Acuff

The Emma Coburn Elk Run 5k is this Saturday, September 21 but you won’t see hundreds of participants lining up in downtown Crested Butte this year. Emma Coburn is in the midst of her track and field world championship title defense and is currently in Switzerland, training for the upcoming track and field world championships in Doha, Qatar. As a result, this year’s Elk Run 5k has gone virtual.

What that means is hundreds of people all over the world will be toeing a line somewhere on Saturday, September 21 to participate in the “Virtual Elk Run 5k” and posting their efforts online for all to share, and possibly compare, in their accomplishments and, most important, raise money for Living Journeys.

In its first year, the Elk Run 5k raised $19,000 for the local cancer support non-profit. Last year, the Elk Run 5k nearly doubled its funding, bringing in $30,000. This year the event sold out completely, with 1,500 participants worldwide raising more than $36,000 for Living Journeys and a grand total of $85,550 over the first three years of the event.

“We are so grateful for everyone in Gunnison Valley for supporting Elk Run 5k and contributing to a group like Living Journeys is so special,” says Coburn. “The work that Living Journeys does in the community is unparalleled. Thank you to those at Living Journeys who have helped us along the way, especially Joel Vosburg. Thanks to my parents for opening their home for the sponsor party this summer and to all the amazing sponsors who helped make the contribution to Living Journeys possible. We will be back in Crested Butte in September 2020 for the in-person race again!”

Meanwhile, Coburn has been racing and training in St. Moritz, Switzerland the past couple of weeks. She has two more weeks there and then heads to Qatar on September 24 to defend her world championship title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

“The best of the best,” says Coburn. “It should be a great race. I’ve been training really well and know I’m in the best shape of my life. The competition is as good as it’s ever been and it will be a fight to be back on the podium, but I’m ready.”

The preliminaries are on Friday, September 27 with the final on Monday, September 30. You can find coverage and program information on the NBC Sports website.

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