Trail Running

Mountain Sports

Western is home to America’s most prolific collegiate Trail Running Team.

Members of the Trail Running Team find organized training, coaching, travel, competition and unparalleled singletrack within the Mountain Sports program at Western Colorado University.

The 750+ miles of singletrack trails that surround Western’s campus within the spectacular Gunnison Valley in the heart of the Rocky Mountains provide the perfect training ground for the approximately 35 members of Western’s Trail Running Team. There’s a trail system literally across the street from campus; it leads to iconic Signal Peak at 9,000 feet. There are 45 miles of singletrack at Hartman Rocks Recreation Area—and another 45 miles of dirt road—just four miles south of campus. Not to mention the myriad trails with breathtaking scenery between Gunnison and Crested Butte, just 28 miles to the north.

“We haven’t found another college or university that is doing this kind of unique trail running program,” said Greg Chase, Western’s Director of Mountain Sports. “We have regular practices. We have a year-round coach. The program cover race entries. We travel en masse by van to races throughout the American West: Moab, Leadville, Phoenix … you name it.”

The team trains year-round. Competitions range from the homespun, such as Crested Butte’s Camp 4 Coffee Cart to Cart Trail Run, to the intense, such as Flagstaff Sky Peaks Mountain Runs or the Moab Marathon.

If you’re a student who enjoys travel, mountain landscapes, camaraderie, dirt and (of course) running, Western’s Trail Running Team is for you.

Western’s Mountain Sports program welcomes all abilities and recognizes that hard work and dedication, both in the classroom and out on the trails, will allow you to grow and to achieve as a person, as a student and as an athlete. As part of Western Mountain Sports, you will meet lifelong friends and have experiences that you’ll never forget.

Western Runners at the Moab Trail Marathon

A group of 37 athletes and 3 coaches from the Western State Colorado University Mountain Sports Trail Running team tackled the Moab Trail Marathon this past weekend. The relentlessly technical course had nearly 4,000 vertical feet of climbing and included some of the most elite trail runners in the country. Edit by Peter Noon.


Dues: $600

Covers: Coaching, travel, lodging, uniforms and entry fees.

Doesn’t Cover: Equipment.

Season: Competition and training take place in the fall and spring with training throughout the winter.

Practice: Five days per week.

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