Elite backpacker and Sierra Designs’ brand ambassador, Andrew Skurka, took bronze at the 2015 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Endurance Race in Steamboat Springs, CO, which occurred in September. Skurka crossed 20,191 feet of vertical gain and loss, in 20 hours and 12 minutes.

Though more widely recognized for his long-distance backpacking than ultra running, this was Skurka’s second time completing a 100-mile race. His last race was the Leadville Trail 100 in 2008, where he placed an impressive 2nd overall.


Andrew Skurka ready to race the 2015 Run Rabbit Run

Based in runner mecca Boulder, CO, Skurka was able to capitalize on his backpacking expertise and summer multi-day hikes to prepare for Run Rabbit Run. Skurka completed his most recent thru-hike, the Kings Canyon High Basin Route, a 204-miler featuring 70,000 vertical feet of gain and 102 miles of off-trail, in 9.5 days.

At this year’s Run Rabbit Run, he attributes his placement and successful race to running smart and being patient.

“It was a very exciting race for me and my wife, who was my lone crew member. I started off relatively slowly and steadily reeled in the field,” said Skurka. “Before the race, I thought that Top 10 and a 20-hour finish was realistic. A third-place seemed way too far-fetched, but it goes to show the value of early patience in a 100-mile race.”

Skurka has been a brand ambassador for Sierra Designs since January 2015. Sierra Designs’ VP and Brand Manager, Michael Glavin, said “We continue to be impressed by Andrew and are proud to have him as a part of the team. Aside from his ridiculous fitness level, Andrew’s strategy for the race, oddly enough, is very similar to SD’s – determining a strategy for success by being patient and paying attention to detail, not following the crowd who is starting off too fast and burning out.”

Next on Skurka’s race schedule is The North Face Endurance Challenge taking place December 5-6 in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California.

Main Image by Paul Nelson.