Grin & Bear It race to Green Lake set for this Saturday

Running through the woods, French toast and beer

By Than Acuff

For the 41st year, Crested Butte Nordic will host the Grin & Bear It Trail Run on Saturday, July 13. This event has gone from a local, kook event to a mainstay on the trail running circuit for both locals and visitors alike. And if you’re reading this and thinking, “I should do it,” sorry but it’s too late as the race is full with 150 runners expected and there is no “day of race” registration.

The courses are pretty simple, but not easy.

The 25-kilometer race, first run as part of the Grin & Bear It in 2020, starts at 8 a.m. and takes runners from the Crested Butte Nordic Center out Journey’s End Road bound for the Baxter Gulch trail. They will then climb all the way up that and then turn right onto the Carbon Creek trail. Once runners hit the Green Lake trail, they will turn right to run straight down the Green Lake trail finishing back at the Crested Butte Nordic Center.

The 15-kilometer race starts at 9 a.m. and takes runners from the Crested Butte Nordic Center straight up the Green Lake trail to the shores of Green Lake, before turning around and running straight back down also finishing back at the Crested Butte Nordic Center. 

Note to participants, do not retrace the elevated traverse on the ‘Canal Trail’ to complete the course. As you turn off the dirt graded Journey’s End Rd., continue straight down the rocky double track paralleling the Ice Rink building, routing directly to the finish line.

For any heavy hitters looking to set a course record, Cam Smith and Timothy Parr share the 15-kilometer course record time of 1:03:12 set in 2020. Given 2020 was a “virtual” race format, Parr was able to double down and run the 25-kilometer course as well setting the course record time of 1:59:16.

As always, there is an “awkward load” up for grabs to all runners that will be out floating in Green Lake. Jump in, swim out, grab it and bring it to the finish line and you get $100.

“I haven’t decided what it’s going to be yet,” says CB Nordic events director Linsey Bachofer.

The morning of exercise then comes to a close at the Crested Butte Nordic Center with a brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. complete with French toast and libations from Zuni West Brewing. 

Don’t feel like running but want to be a part of this longtime local event? Reach out to to volunteer.

Additional information about the race can be found at

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