Running and Drinking at 14,000 Feet

On the summer equinox of 2013, Gociety member Erik Sunde ran to the top of a 14,000 foot peak in Colorado. Now, this isn’t the only time he has run to the top of some of Colorado’s tallest peaks; he makes a practice of it. Also part of the practice—a cold (and presumably fizzy) beer at the summit.

Radical or reasonable? You decide.

BierstadtGociety: So you actually ran up a 14er? Isn’t that crazy?
Erik: To say we ran the full thing might be a little generous, especially towards the top. We definitely took a few breathers on the way up, but for the most part we ran. Our trip was on Mt. Bierstadt (14,065′), which is one of the easier 14ers to run, even though it turns into scrambling once you get towards the peak. The trip has two goals: to make it to the top for sunset (and a beer) and to try to beat the darkness back to the car.

Gociety: What was your inspiration for the trip?
Erik: The inspiration actually comes from my brother Leif, who has historically hiked Bierstadt with another friend every solstice. This year it was just the two of us, which gave us the opportunity to run it (both being avid trail runners). It’s definitely a uniquely Colorado way to experience the solstice.

Gociety: What’s the number one item on your Colorado bucket list?
Erik: That’s tough, especially since I love Colorado year round. For the summer, it would have to be completing the Leadville 100. For the winter, I would say Silverton heli-skiing.

Just a stroll in the par

Gociety: We couldn’t help but notice the Oskar Blues cans on the summit. What other Colorado breweries, brands, shops or locations should our fans check out?
Erik: Glad you caught that, it’s by far the best way to cap off a great run. A few other great Colorado breweries are Upslope Brewing (in Boulder) and Strange Brewing (in Denver). On the running side, I’ll always stop by Runners Roost for whatever I need.

For more about Erik, check out his instagram feed: @ErikSunde

Erik’s original instagram post—complete with traditional summit beers.