Mont. Running Ranchers complete 190-mile race |

Mont. Running Ranchers complete 190-mile race

L to R: (front) Evelyn Halverson, Heather Fryer, Christy Gerdes, Jessica Lundgren, Billie Jo Holzer. (back) Ian Morse, Cory Jassen, Ryan Goodman, Sarah Nash, Ed Rollins, Robert Majerus, Dustin Ladenburger. Photo courtesy Montana Stockgrowers

190 miles. 29 hours 46 minutes. 12 runners. Two vans. One long night.

Those were the makings of a fun, even if exhausting, weekend for the Montana Running Ranchers. The group, consisting of ranching community members from Montana and surrounding states, recently competed at the Ragnar Relay Colorado and finished competitively among teams from across the region.

The Running Ranchers take part in a Ragnar Relay event each year to showcase beef and ranching to running communities who often have questions about agriculture, beef, and many who may have never met a rancher. Of course, the relay events are great fun with runners of all skill levels from many states across the country.

This year’s Ragnar Relay Colorado took place high in the Rocky Mountains. The start line festivities took place at Copper Mountain, where the course looped around Lake Dillion before going over Vail Pass, to Glenwood Springs and back up to Snowmass Village. There were plenty of miles and hills for the crew on the beautiful course that wound through mountain towns and ranching country.

During the event, conversations are easy to spark with vans covered in ranch brands from supporting ranches and infographics describing the significant role beef has in a healthy diet. The team shares beef jerky with runners along the course and is able to leave a positive impression of ranching and beef.

Each year, the Running Ranchers run and compete in races across Montana representing Team Beef, a program funded by the Montana Beef Council, the team’s primary sponsor, showing how beef is part of a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Many team members have completed half marathon, marathon and even ultramarathon distances of 50 km and 50 miles in 2017.

2017 Montana Running Rancher team members include: Heather Fryer of Hobson; Christy Gerdes of Huntley; Ryan Goodman of Parker, CO; Evelyn Halverson of Big Timber; Billie Jo Holzer of Moccasin; Cory Jassen of Belt; Dustin Ladenburger of Stratton, NE; Jessica Lundgren of Littleton, CO; Robert Majerus of White Sulphur Springs; Ian Morse of Spokane, WA; Sarah Nash of Harlowton; and Ed Rollins of Lone, OR.

The Montana Running Ranchers would like to thank area ranches and agriculture businesses who made this year’s event possible: B Bar M Ranch, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Lincoln County (NE) Feedyard, Meagher County Cattlewomen, Nash Land and Livestock, Ladenburger Farms, Indreland Angus, Bank of Eastern Oregon, Indian Creek Ranch, Follmer Ranch, Earl and Glenna Stucky, Thomas Sparks, Jim and Heather Fryer, Samuel Berg, Gilbert Majerus, Bohleen Cattle Co, Linda Grosskopf, Martin-Morse Livestock, Rance Gerdes, David Dover, Keon and Billie Jo Holzer, Mick and Earline Goettle.

To show your support for the Montana Running Ranchers, follow their running adventures on Facebook by joining the group “Montana Running Ranchers/ Team Beef Montana” or email

If you are interested in joining Team Beef Montana, contact the Montana Beef Council.

–Montana Stockgrowers


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