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Hardrock 100 may be cancelled

Between a rock and a hard place: unexpected snow in the San Juan Mountains leaves runners and organizers questioning the 2019 event

This winter, Colorado has experienced more snow than usual. In the San Juan Mountains, home of Hardrock 100, the snow persists. An April 25 Hardrock update stated that the current snow conditions in and around Silverton were still above average. Currently, access roads to the course and aid stations are still impassable. The unexpected snow remaining in the San Juans has left organizers unsure of whether to proceed with the July 19, 2019 event.

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Snow is common in July on the Hardrock 100 course. The course runs at an average of 3,352 metres (11,000 feet) and reaches a high point of 4,281 metres (14,048 feet). However, March 2019 brought almost 230 cm of snow to Silverton, which was 120 per cent higher than historic levels. The snow has remained on the streets of Silverton, where the race starts and finishes. Long-range weather models illustrate warmer than normal, yet wetter conditions through Silverton and the San Juans this spring.

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Elite runner and first time Hardrocker Dylan Bowman tweeted this week, “Is Hardrock even gonna happen this year?” The Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) needs to be measured less than 58.42cm (23 inches) at Red Mountain Pass Snotel Site before June 1 to determine whether Hardrock is a go. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Hardrock 100 run management will make the decision on whether to cancel or reroute the event by June 1.

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