Family Ties: The Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run taps into something deeper in the ultra running world, creating a community unlike any other.

Nikki Kimball and her pacer heading up Little Giant Pass during the final miles of the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run.Brandon Mathis

The Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run is one of the most revered and coveted ultra-trail marathons in the world. One hundred miles with no more than a fraction of that on road surface and almost entirely on rugged and remote trails over challenging terrain though the heart of southwestern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.

Runners ascend and descend more than 66,000 feet in elevation over the course of 100 miles.Terrance Siemon

Runners,  about 150 of them, come from all over the planet to test themselves against a 48 hour clock. No sleep, no whining (it’s in the rules) and no aid outside one of the thirteen aid stations on a course that climbs and descends more than 66,00 feet over mountains, through streams, up and down talus slopes and carries on bravely (and insanely) though wind rain, hail and lightning.

Descending into Cunningham Gulch, two Hardrockers navigate some technical terrain.Brandon Mathis
Durango, Colorado ultrarunner and seven time finisher Drew Gunn at the finish line.Brandon Mathis

Bu more than the grueling terrain, the incredible feats of endurance and besting of hardships, is the the sense of community that is created around the event. Volunteers, friends, family members and others come together every July in Silverton, Colorado to make this astonishing mountain ultra-run come to life.