Q & A with Thunderbolt Creek RD Brian Wieck

The Thunderbolt Creek 30k is the third race in the 2017 Treasure State Trail Series and is coming up quick! The gun goes off Saturday, July 15th at 8am. Starting near Boulder, MT it runs along the Continental Divide Trail and to the top of Thunderbolt Mountain. Brian puts on multiple trail races in the Helena area as well as in Arizona during the winter. 

Photo courtesy of Brian Wieck

How long has the race been going and how did it get started? 

The race is in its 7th year, I started it to add a fast 50k to the state but because of logistics I changed it to a 30k a few years back. 

Tell us about the course and what runner’s can expect….

The course is breath taking! It climbs about 1000 ft in the first four miles up to a mountain lake and then from there you run to the top of the Continental Divide 500 more feet and then return to the  lake. From there you climb 1300 ft. to the top of Thunderbolt Mountain (360 views of the whole area). There are no sustained steep climbs – all gradual – and you finish with a 10k down hill back to the finish. It’s the fastest 30k course in the state. You hit aid station #1- 3 times and aid station #2 twice. There is good beer and pizza at the finish.

Photo courtesy of Brian Wieck

The Thunderbolt Creek 30k is run on the Continental Divide Trail. Is there any connection between the race and the trail?

After doing some great hikes around the world, it’s a treat to put a race on including the CDT. It’s a gem of Montana. The trail only brings value to the state because long distance hiking is really growing in popularity. Truth be told my race is only 1/2 on the CDT, but the feeder trails are super nice and you are running by a creek for a large part of the race. 

What makes the Thunderbolt Creek 30k unique?

My race is unique in many ways. It’s the fastest 30k in the state, it runs by water for half of the race, it’s on the CDT, and in two of our National Forests. In a growing sport my races still have a home town feel, with all the quality things you expect great volunteers, great food, great shirt, and great runners running great courses. As a racer myself I take pride in having courses where you can elevate your running experience by the beauty of the course on which you run.

Thanks Brian, we will see you on Saturday. Online registration closes Wednesday, July 12th! For more information and to register for the Thunderbolt Creek 30k check out bquickrunning.com

Remember that it takes five races to score in the Treasure State Trail Series, and the top five men and top five women in the series earn some great prizes from Altra Running. For current standings click on the Treasure State Trail Series tab above, or here.