Jeff Browning running Hardrock 100
Jeff Browning on the way to a 2018 Hardrock 100 victory; photo courtesy Altra Running

Hardrock 100 Canceled for 2019

Organizers have canceled the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run, one of the most storied ultramarathons in the world, due to historic snow conditions in the Colorado high country.

For ultramarathon runners, few race entries are more coveted than a bib for the Hardrock 100. Not only is it spectacularly beautiful, but it’s also brutally hard. The specs from the race tell a gnarly story.

The race is 100 miles long. It has a cumulative vertical gain of 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent. Its total elevation change is 66,100 feet. Racers run at an average elevation of about 11,000 feet.

Oh, and the high point is 14,048 feet.

But for 2019, conditions are just too harsh for runners to attempt the event. A massive snowpack and many avalanches have left the route in rough shape. Given the difficulty avalanche debris and snow poses for runners, organizers canceled the event.

Hardrock 100 Canceled

Hosting the race in the current conditions could also have detrimental effects on the land, organizers said.

“Due to historic snowfall, avalanches, avalanche debris, an inability to reach certain aid stations, and uncertain conditions on more than 40 percent of the course, the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run has been canceled,” race organizers said in a press release. “This decision, while difficult, adheres to the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run’s overall commitment to land stewardship and the safety of the Hardrock community.”

“After an extensive process, it became clear that the uncertainty associated with the condition of the course and the issues that the uncertainty caused among our organizational components meant we could not organize and administer a safe and meaningful 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run that was consistent with the standards and values Hardrock has become known for,” said Run Director Dale Garland. “While snow and snow water equivalent levels looked to be dropping to manageable levels, other issues such as unprecedented avalanche debris, unstable snow bridges, and high water levels all contributed to us reaching the tough final decision that we did.”

Hazardous Conditions Force 2019 Hardrock 100 Cancelation

The Hardrock 100 is a very difficult race to enter. Runners must meet prerequisites by completing other tough races. They also must enter a lottery to earn an entry, and the race is limited to 145 people. However, the organization is working to give entrants into this year’s event fair alternatives.

According to a press release GearJunkie received today:

All runners who are entered in the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run as of June 10, 2019 will have the option of either rolling over their entry into the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run or withdrawing their entry slot and receiving a full refund of their entry fee. Entrants must notify the Run Director, Dale Garland, by email ( by July 12, 2019 if they wish to withdraw; otherwise they
will be considered to have elected to roll over their entry into the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run.

Any withdrawals after July 12, 2019 will receive the usual 50 percent refund of their entry fee. The wait lists, as they stand on June 10, 2019 will also roll over to 2020 and any entry slots that open up will be filled from them. There will not be a lottery for the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run, and no additional applications will be taken. Runners will not be required to do another qualifier to run the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run.

Service requirements already satisfied for the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run will apply to the 2020 run. Those individuals who have not yet completed their Service Requirement must do so before July 1, 2020, and we must receive their Service Agreement Form before July 6, 2020, or they will be removed from the entrant list. The waits lists will be purged of any runners who have not yet turned in their Service Requirement Form on July 6, 2020. The Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run understands that many people already have their plans finalized. With that in mind, the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run is looking at alternative activities to undertake for those individuals who are still planning to be in Silverton in July. Both the Hardrock Hundred website and our social media channels will be updated accordingly as those activities become finalized.

Runners looking for more information about the cancelation can find the full press release here.

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.