Elephant's Perch Backcountry Run

by Joelle on July 20, 2009

I spent this last weekend in Sun Valley, ID to run the Elephant’s Perch Backcountry run on Saturday. It is one of my favorite “local” races and we were lucky enough to be running in the mountains while it was 106 degrees at home in Boise! The run has a 10 mile and a 16.5 mile option with an awesome course of nearly all single track with great climbs and steep, rocky decents. The event drew about 260 runners, including the Olympic development nordic team. I wasn’t in the front at the start and ended up behind lots of runners when we hit the first single track. I had to wait until we jumped out on a wider road to try to gain some ground. The first long climb was great as I continued to pass runners and make my way up the mountain. On the downhill I let a few of the 10 mile runners pass as they were going all out to get to the finish. After the turn for the 16.5 mile runners the next climb is always tougher after the long downhill but some friends at the summit were cheering and gave me a boost. The next downhill went through a section that was burned 1 1/2 years ago and now was covered in shoulder-high wild flowers, it was breathtaking. I was running alone for the 2nd half of the race until a local, Hank Dart, caught me near the end as I was just catching another runner. I won the women’s 16.5 mile race while the male winner blazed the course, nearing the course record. It was a great day in Sun Valley!


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