December 24, 2018
A Bucket List Christmas Gift - Race Signup News for 2019
Bucket List Christmas Presents
From the Last Best Place on Earth (a.k.a. Montana), the GreaterYellowstone Adventure Series (GYAS) wishes everyone a wonderful, beautiful, healthy, and very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season.
Go for a run on Christmas Day. Do so Because You Can. Going for a run or a walk or shredding some slopes is what life is all about.
Over the years, several athletes who have completed a GYAS race have said it's a true Bucket List kind of race series. It's one of those races that you just have to do before you kick the bucket. We're here for you.
As a Native Montanan, I get that Montana is far away from most places. It's hard to get here. Our airports are beautifully designed, but not exactly regional hubs with gobs of shuttle flights coming in and out. It can be hard to find inexpensive tickets and the pricey version is the norm. That said, Yellowstone Bozeman International Airport (BZN) has several connections via Minneapolis, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and other regional cities. It even has direct flights from Atlanta, Newark, and other distance locations. Better yet, BZN is just an hour's drive from Ennis, Montana - the home of the GYAS.
This means a GYAS race entry can be a wonderful Bucket List Christmas gift for someone you truly love, admire, respect, and care for enough to give them a chance to turn some corners in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We're in the business of helping people turn corners.
Refresh your memory about this by checking out this video.
Racing The Madison
Online signup for the GYAS races officially opens on March 1, 2019 at high noon Montana time. This is because it was on March 1, 1872 that President Ulysses Grant signed the bill creating Yellowstone National Park. It was the very first National Park in the world. In more ways than one, Yellowstoneset the bar for the world. We are doing our best to set the bar for a race series with our beautiful, challenging, and unique Bucket List athletic events.
So to kick-start the New Year and to make it easy (and more affordable) to give your loved ones a slightly belated Christmas Bucket List gift, we have a special, very limited deal for everyone. Beginning at the stroke of midnight (Montana time) on January 1, we will open online signup for the GYAS races. This promotion will last just three days. It's a kind of 'On Your Mark' [Jan. 1], Get Set [Jan. 2], and Go [Jan. 3] way to begin what is going to be a fantastic year.
The entries available are limited in number. They are also at early bird prices. The entry fees will increase for the March 1 opening. The signup links will be on the GYAS website. I'll be sending out at least one more newsletter before New Year's Day.
Here is what's on tap for the first three day of 2019:
Double Marathon (12th Annual Madison Marathon and 5th Annual Big Sky Marathon) on July 20 and 21 - 10 entries at $150 per entry.
Double Half Marathon (12th Annual Madison Half Marathon and 5th Annual Big Sky Half Marathon) on July 20 and 21 - 10 entries at $120 per entry.
Madison Trifecta (your ticket to earning a TBA) on July 7, July 20, and August 3 - 10 entries at $180 per entry.
24th Annual Madison River Run - The Water to Whiskey 5K on June 1 - 20 entries at $15 per entry.
8th Annual Madison Duathlon on July 7 - 10 entries at $50 per entry.
12th Annual Madison Marathon on July 20 - 10 entries at $70 per entry.
12th Annual Madison Half Marathon on July 20 - 10 entries at $50 per entry.
5th Annual Big Sky Marathon on July 21 - 10 entries at $70 per entry.
5th Annual Big Sky Half Marathon on July 21 - 10 entries at $50 per entry.
8th Annual Madison Triathlon on August 3 - 10 entries at $50 per entry.
3rd Annual Tour de Gravelly on August 4 - 10 entries at $50 per entry.
Two more announcements.
The route of the Big Sky Marathon will be altered on the lower half. This is in response to runners' reviews and comments about the route. In years' past, runners have run along Varney Bridge Road and then onto Highway 287 before heading into Ennis. I have never been comfortable with this because of the traffic and the difficulty to set up aid stations. It's also very hot from the asphalt road. Thus, the proposed new route, still under review, will take runners across Varney Bridge and out and back on a section of Varney Road. The finish line will be at or near the banks of the Madison River. More details on this route change soon.
The proposed Madison Ultra Up and Madison Ultra Down races have been submitted in proposal format with the US Forest Service. As proposed, these will be 50K ultras. Madison Ultra Up will start at Varney Bridge on the Madison River and finish at the Monument Ridge sign on the Gravelly Range Road. Madison Ultra Down will start at Monument Ridge on the Gravelly Range Road and finish at Varney Bridge on the Madison River. Your choices are: A 50K uphill or a 50K downhill. The elevation gain/loss will be around 4,600 feet. I anticipate a green light (or no green light) at the beginning of the year. As soon as I know, you will know if these races are a go.
For many people, it's been a tough year. There's been a lot of negative vibes to swallow or ignore. But, the beauty of the human spirit is that it always runs forward. Ideally, it's happy and healthy (and really most of the time it is for most of the people), but have faith that our spirit always runs forward.
Let's let it rip in 2019. Either for yourself, for a loved one, or the best case for you and your friends, consider coming out to Montana this summer. Do a GYAS race. Visit Yellowstone. Climb a mountain. Hook a rainbow on a purple haze dry fly. Live life to the fullest. It's how we were made.
Stay Happy, Healthy, and Keep Running Forward in 2019.
The John Colter Club
The John Colter Club is a members-only club for athletes who are or have been:
An inaugural athlete in one of the six GYAS races.
Earned a podium finish (top three) in the overall men and women's category of any GYAS race.
Are a three-time returnee to a GYAS race.
We want to recognize those who went first, those who finished well, and those who just keep coming back. For a membership fee of $30 per year and immense bragging rights for getting in, members receive the following:
A personalized water bottle with the GYAS logo, your name, and the club's name.
Early access. Members get to sign up for the GYAS races before the March 1 opening.
A discount of 15 percent off the entry fee of the race you sign up for.
Do the math and you can figure out that your $30 comes back to you pretty quick. If you qualify and if you want to join an exclusive club of athletes named after Montana's most famous total bad ass, send me an email. Tell me how you qualify. I'll confirm it all and send you the application.