Locals show grit in the Nitty Gritty Race

Eleanor Gurrerro
CCN Senior Reporter
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Article Image Alt Text

Photo by Molly Moore
Third place female solo half marathon was taken by participant Rebecca Taggart.

Almost 60 brave participants took on the Nitty Gritty Off Road Race, Saturday, Sept. 8.

Red Lodge resident and Race Director Kristen Hollum said, “The race atmosphere is laid back and fun with a looped course that passes by 'home base' at the Beir Stube at Red Lodge Mountain where participants and spectators congregate.”

Runners can partake in 4 different races: a solo marathon (6 laps), a solo half marathon (3 laps), a hot lap (1 lap) or they can take on the marathon with teams of 2-6 people. Hollum noted, “Four legged friends are allowed on course on or off leash!”

She explained, “The course runs along access road, single track, and a little bush-wacking at the ski area -it's known for changing each year and giving runners a new appreciation of green circle ski trails!”

Each loop is 4.36 miles and features nearly 1500 feet of elevation gain. She said this year the course meandered all the way up to Midway Lodge. “Participants range in experience from their first trail race to a training run for a longer race but everyone comes for [and leaves with] the good people, snacks, beer, and trails!” 

The Nitty Gritty is part of Red Lodge Events which also hosts the annual Beartooth Run (July 14th) that just celebrated it's 50th anniversary. The 5k/10k course is on the Beartooth Pass and all above 10,000 ft of elevation gain. 

Hollum said, “Red Lodge Events' motto is 'low key, high elevation' as each race featured a fun atmosphere paired with some great views!”

Hollum shared, “I have run the race before I took over as race director and it is known for being challenging and fun-true to its namesake as the Nitty Gritty Off Road Race. I would highly encourage others to participate -the atmosphere is laid back and not super competitive which is great for everyone.”