More than 250 runners turned out for the 38th annual Kendall Mountain Run in Silverton, Colorado – more than ever before. It’s a sign that trail running is gaining ground, and this run gains 3000 feet.

A tough 13-mile out and back race to a summit that blurs running and mountaineering, it’s part of the U.S. Skyrunner race series, an elite collection of rigourous high altitude races. Topping out at 13,066 feet, the view alone is a handsome reward.

Put on by Aravaipa Running of Phoenix, race director Jamil Coury has summered in Silverton for almost ten years while chasing and living his dream of running in the Hardrock 100 Endurance run. He called mountain running a passion.

“You get on top and all you see are mountain peaks and clouds,” he said. But this is no run through the park.

“The scramble to the top is not easy,” Coury said. “Every year we see bloody hands and bloody knees coming off this thing.”

Finishing with a building summer storm, many runners were depleted. Others tended their wounds.

“That’s what trail running is all about,” Coury said. “It’s something that makes you feel alive.”

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