Five Rut Questions With: Paul Hamilton

It's that time of year where daylight is fleeting quickly, the air is crisp, and snow is threatening to fall in the high country.  It is Rut season.  On Sept 12th & 13th, hundreds of runners from across the globe will descend on Big Sky Resort to push their physical limits on the scree laden slopes of Lone Peak.  To give you insight into who will be running The Rut 50k and why they're excited to come to Montana, we've asked each elite runners five questions.  Leading up to the race we will post responses daily from world class runners such as Kilian Jornet, Anna Frost, Adam Campbell, Paul Hamilton, Ellie Greenwood, Rickey Gates, Luke Nelson, Sage Canaday, Emelie Forsberg, and others including Montana's finest ultra runners.  It is time for The Rut.
Paul Hamilton

1.Have you ever been to Montana? If so, where?
I toured Glacier National Park with my family as a young boy, and I vividly remember my brother and I daring each other to drink the snow melt run-off. It was a memorable trip, and I hope to return one day. My only other trip to Montana was last summer to run The Rut, and spend a few days after the race visiting friends in Bozeman. Montana is something else...

2.Besides the Rut, what are you looking forward to most about coming to Montana?
It's such beautiful country, and I'll savor being immersed in the open, seemingly endless landscape, as well as spend some time with friends and have them show me around. Last summer, a couple days after The Rut, my friend Emma dropped me off at the Bridger Ridge to run and hitch back into town. The Bridger Ridge is such a cool line .. 

3.What are some of the highlights of your 2014 racing season?
Putting together a solid effort at the San Juan Solstice 50 miler and placing second at the Speedgoat 50k, and just recently, joining The North Face team. Pretty excited about that one.  

4.What is it about the Rut that made you sign up for this event?
Foote and Wolfe had the wild idea to incorporate the more technical and demanding features of the landscape at Big Sky Resort to create a style of race that lives up to the mountain running ethos. Utilizing the ridge lines, faces, and summits of the mountains makes for a more engaging and challenging  course, a style that ultimately lacks here in the U.S. The mountain is more than just the trail we've etched into the surface, so it's really neat to see a race embraces the alternative.  
5. On a scale from 1-10 how much would you say you enjoy running off trail on slabs of talus the size of dinner plates that constantly slip and slide out from under your feet, or better yet, flip up and hit you really hard in the ankle bones and shin?
10 if the talus is relatively stable and dry and 2 if the talus is slick and I slip and cut my shin open. 


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