History of the Rocky Mountain Slam
In the early 2000’s Phil Lowry, Leland Barker, Roch Horton, Hans-Deiter Weisshaar and others had the idea that an additional “Slam” series of races, in addition to the Grand Slam and the Last Great Race, would be a cool thing. At that point, race series were becoming all the rage, but none really focused on the few races that occurred in the Mountain West. So, the idea of a Rocky Mountain Slam (RMS) was born, which would consist of Hardrock, Leadville, Wasatch, and the Bear.
In 2003 the Bighorn 100 was added as one of the potential races that could count toward the Slam. Bighorn was chosen due to the feeling that it was of a similar class to the others and the imposition of lotteries at Leadville and Wasatch. The RMS required that the runners complete two races (Hardrock and The Bear) and then choose 2 more from Bighorn, Leadville, and Wasatch.
The RMS enjoyed seeing as many as 8 finishers a year until 2015 when popularity soared for Hardrock and Leadville. After 2014, there were only 1-2 finishers a year due to the difficulty of getting into Hardrock.
In 2019, Ouray 100 was substituted for Hardrock since Hardrock wasn’t held that year.
In 2020, the RMS was not held due to COVID-19
Rocky Mountain Slam version 2.0
Given the difficulty in obtaining entrance into the original races has become more difficult we have decided to make a few adjustments to the series. An example of this was the 2023 Hardrock 100 Run, the odds of a Male runner to get in on their first try were 0.4% chance and for a female runner the odds were 0.5%. In 2022, we The Bear 100 race committee opted to discontinue the informal series, but upon reflection and feedback from runners we realized that there is continued interest, we plan to continue it in a new format.
We are happy to announce that runners can now choose from the following list of races with the requirement of completing at least 4 total races with the only mandatory race being the Bear 100 since it is the final race of the series.
Bighorn Trail Run 100 (optional) – Held in June
Hardrock 100 (optional) – Held in July
Ouray 100 (optional) – Held in July
Wyoming Range 100 (optional) – Held in Aug
Leadville 100 (optional) – Held in Aug
Wasatch Front 100 (optional) – Held in September
The Bear 100 (mandatory) – Held in September
We hope that since Hardrock, Leadville and Wasatch all require lotteries the additional 2 races allow more to experience the Rocky Mountain Slam in all its painful glory. We would like to include EVERY 100 mile race in the Rockies but there are just so many that it dilutes the value of this award. As it is difficult to compare the races to each other there won’t be a (formal) overall time record kept. There will be an informal summation of a runner’s fastest 4 runs (including The Bear 100). Make sure to sign up early for the races and once you are accepted, enter the RMS series.
To cover the costs of organizing the series and to provide a memorable award for finishing the series, we now require the registration of a runner who intends to compete in the series. You can find the sign-up on Ultrasignup. We hope that many can experience this exciting but difficult series.
For reference you can see the full list of Rocky Mountain Slam finishers here