Trail Chat with Casey Jermyn

5 time Big Sky Conference Champion, Casey Jermyn. Photo: unknown
Casey Jermyn, owner of Bozeman Running Company since 2010, incumbent Bozeman High School cross country head coach, 3 time Class B state high school cross country champion, 5 time Big Sky Conference Champion, and leader of guiding the Bozeman area running scene is the feature of this month’s MTC trail chat.

What led you to open Bozeman Running Company?  What created the idea in your mind?

I remember years ago I was working with Anders, and we were cleaning out a rental property of Tim’s.  After that fun filled day, I knew I would never be a professional mover!  That was the was first thought of opening a running store.  We were more having fun and dreaming big.  I didn’t put much more thought into it as I was focused on running in high school and into college.  Anders was a little quicker to pull the trigger, and RE was born not much later J.   I worked at the Runners Edge over the years, and had always really enjoyed it.  I knew if something ever would become possible, I would try and make it work.  A few years after college I was working in the industry as a Brooks Sales Representative and an opportunity was available with the sale of the old Fleet Feet Bozeman store.  It was really a circumstance of being in the right place at the right time, really. 

Casey on right in blue shirt enjoying time with running friends. Photo: Unknown
Bozeman Running Company stages eight running events including a film festival. Could you describe a few of the events BRC stages?

We just recently finished up the Cross Cut 15K & 25K Trail Race that was hosted at Bridger Bowl Ski Area this past weekend.  It’s a fun trail run that has its fair share of climbing.  It’s mostly single track trails, but not overly technical.  After the race we host a catered pulled pork sandwich lunch with local Bozeman Amber beer.  In Bozeman we have a phenomenal trail community, and we just enjoy bringing them together.  With all of our events we are trying to really focus on more than just putting a race together.  We are trying to create a fun atmosphere that allows our running community to really bond.

Our film night series is hosted two times a year.  The first being in February and the second being in early August.  We look for unique films to show and try and get as much local flavor as possible.  They have been well attended and this next film night scheduled for August 3rd (the night of the Bite of Bozeman), will feature The Hard Way featuring Ultra Runner Bob Hayes.  They are fun nights that we look to use to help build the trail running community here in the Bozeman area.

The Bangtail Divide 38K is a great point to point trail run along the Bangtail Divide Mountain Range.  The majority of the race is run on a single track trail with spectacular views of the Bridger, Crazy, and Absaroka mountain ranges.

The Bozeman Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay, & 5K
This is a road race that we host in early Fall.  The course is a point to point run starting South of town and finishing downtown Bozeman on Main Street.  The views are tremendous along the entire course, and the weather that time of year is really great.  Both courses are fairly fast and produce some nice times as well.

It is kind of in a way a great end of season event for us.  We have grown this Marathon and Half Marathon quite a bit over the past few years and are excited to keeping adding great events around the weekend. 

Casey racing 11 Miles to Paradise near his hometown in Plains. Photo: Myke Hermsmeyer

How do you cultivate passion and enthusiasm for trail running?

Trail running as a sport is currently seeing some great growth, and the same holds true to the Bozeman area.  We have really made an effort in the past couple of years to introduce some exciting events around the sport itself.

The first thing we have done has been introducing some shorter trail races.  With this runners that think they might want to try trail running have options other than the long traditional Ultras.  We have started various trail runs that range from 12K to 25K.  With these races we have worked hard to not just host a race, but put together a fun event that folks really enjoy.

We have also put together film nights that focus on trail running.  We try and feature some of the films that have a more local flavor.  We feel this really connects people with the films they are watching.

We also host many fun trail runs throughout the summer months.  We really use this to introduce people to new trails in our area, and in hope that this will get them to enjoy more trail running beyond our normal group runs.

How could you describe yourself in 5 words?

In five words I would say that I am outgoing, funny, driven, dependable, and a little bit of a workaholic J.  

What’s the next great thing on the horizon for trail runners?

I think if you think about the future of trail running, things seem really bright.  I don’t see the sport slowing down.  I think that people will see more events, explore more trails, and continue to push boundaries.  You see many people who have never even run the marathon distance, but try their hand in an Ultra distance (myself included). 

I feel like once people try trail running, they become hooked and naturally recruit their friends.  I mean if you think about it, what’s not to love?

I think the biggest challenge will be race organizers being able to keep up with the demand of the sport.  Many trail races are limited by permits that only allow so many participants.  I feel this is why we will continue to see more and more events.

As a race director for eight running events and a visionary do you see a role in preserving and protecting the environment? If so, how?

Absolutely. I think preserving and protecting what we have is a major key role that all of us need to participate in.  Supporting organizations like the GVLT (Gallatin Valley Land Trust) is a major focus for us at BRC. 

The Forest Service in a lot of instances limits where you can host events, and limits the number of participants.  I agree with this approach and we have to remember to make sure we are doing our part so people that come long after us have the same trails and open space to enjoy that we have.

One major way that we can help ensure the preservation of trails and open spaces is to first make sure we are leaving the areas that we use exactly the way we found them. 

Also, by giving back to the great organizations that work hard to keep acquiring land and open spaces.

What is your vision for Bozeman Running Company for the next 5 to 10 years?

The first six years for BRC have gone by quickly, and I have a feeling I will be saying the same about the next 5-10 years.  I would hope that in the next 5 years in Bozeman we would become the focal point of all things running.  We would still be working with many different non-profits in the area and giving back to the local community.

What have you done that you are most proud to have achieved?

I would say to date I am most proud of what the BRC staff has accomplished in the running community of Bozeman.  I feel like we have really helped build a strong and connected running community through many races, events, and community outreach.

Thank you, Casey for creating opportunities for runners. Your enthusiasm, hard work and passion for running is connecting and transforming the running community in Montana.



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