The following is a race report from Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run by the San Isabel Land Protection Trust. Four of our Raramuri friends were present at the race to run free and represent the Barrancas Del Cobre.

"Repeat after me"!

"If I get lost, hurt, or die, it's my own damn fault. Amen." That was the pre-race oath led by Maria Walton of Norawas de Raramuri, that nearly 270 runners took before taking off during the inaugural Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run this last Sunday, June 2.

Shortly after the runners took their oath, the shot gun went off and a sea of people including four Raramuri (Tarahumara) runners from Mexico, Ultramarathoner Dave James, Nancy Hobbs of Running USA and American Trail Running Association, took off whooping, cheering, holding up peace signs, and running together for a shared vision: to protect the land we love.

As most would agree, the course was challenging, beautiful and most importantly, inspiring. Sixteen-year-old Corey Lewenkamp, Westcliffe, was the overall winner in the 10K with a time of 43:39, while the women’s winner was Kristy Falcon, 34, Salida, CO, with a time of 53:54. In the 5K, Erik Rocha, 14, Rocky Ford, CO, won in a time of 23:03, with Kayli Short, 14, Cotopaxi, CO, winning for the women in 29:13. Thank you to Southern Colorado Runners for doing an excellent job on our timing. For more detailed information on the race results head on over to Southern Colorado Runners website by clicking here.

We are astounded and honored by the outpouring of support we have received from all of you. It's hard to believe this was our first year and we nearly sold out. Net proceeds will be divided up between San Isabel Land Protection Trust (the organizers of the race), Palmer Land Trust, Norawas de Raramuri, and the Raramuri Runners who joined us from Mexico. Please know that your contribution and support for our race directly enhances our ability to protect land and water in Southern Colorado. We thank each of you for your generosity and kindness.

We are already mulling over the 2014 Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run. We've even whispered the idea of adding a 50k for our ultrarunner friends. Keep your eyes and hearts peeled to our Facebook page and website throughout the year for race date announcements and more!

Our work protecting the land and water of the places we love so much goes on. We invite you to stay connected and involved with our organizations throughout the year and hope to see your beautiful faces soon.

Hal Walter