Who we are

Highline Running Adventures is an adventure trail running company located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado. We offer scenic single and multi-day trail running tours, in addition to multi-week "trekking style" adventures to popular destinations around the world. Whether you are someone new to trail running looking for the comfort of running with a guide, or an avid ultra-distance racer simply looking for someone to take care of logistics, we invite you to inquire about our adventures.

Why go with us?

Highline Running Adventures offers running adventures with small group sizes for a more personable experience. While many offered trips out there are "stage races" our running adventures are simply that, an adventure. There is no competition, time limits or rush what so ever.  We give you the freedom to run as fast, or slow, as you like and the time to take in the scenery and overall experience.

Why do I need a guide?

All of our running adventures are staffed with guides to ensure that you have an enjoyable experience. Although guides will available on the trail everyday, you are never required to run with them if you do not wish to. Many who join our trips are very experienced and competent runners who do not need the assistance of a guide while on the trail and choose to run as they would at home. The main roles of our guides are to coordinate logistics, provide insight on daily runs, ensure group safety and point you in the right direction. For those who do wish to run with a guide they typically will be spread out along the trail, near the front and back of the group, so that all ability levels will have the opportunity to run with them.

Our Team

At Highline Running Adventures we pride ourselves in staffing our trips with knowledgeable, experienced guides. Not only are our guides avid trail runners, but all come from an extensive background in high altitude guiding in the mountains through mountaineering and trekking. With this experience comes a first hand knowledge of the areas we offer, local resources and weather as well as altitude related concerns. Because many of the places we run are at higher elevations, it is important to know how to acclimatize properly and the effects of altitude on the body. Because we only offer trips with small group sizes, our guides can give you a more personable experience to ensure that you acclimatize properly and have an enjoyable and memorable running adventure.

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Jared Vilhauer

As the owner and director of Highline Running Adventures, Jared is constantly searching for new ways of sharing his love for the mountains with others. He has spent the past 20 years guiding and exploring around the world in search of adventure through climbing, trekking and trail running. These explorations have taken him to the high mountains of the Himalayas, Andes, Alaska and Antarctica several times. Although spending time on the sides of icy peaks has consumed much of his life, these remote travels have also presented many opportunities for him to pursue his other passion of mountain trail running. As a Colorado native, Jared feels most at home on the high trails above Telluride where he has lived for the past 18 years. He has run a handful ultra marathons but enjoys creating his own long distance, endurance outings in the mountains the most.

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Drew Ludwig

Drew has made a life of working in and playing among the highest points of each continent as a seven summits high altitude mountain guide for the past 12 years. During the winter, Drew can be found on a pair of skis as a heli-ski guide and avalanche forecaster in his home town of Telluride, Colorado. Once the snow melts, and even a little before, Drew can be found navigating the single track trails surrounding his home as he trains for a variety of long distance, multi-sport link ups. He has run in a variety of ultra marathons including the Leadville 100, but prefers to keep it casual and amongst friends. Drew is currently working towards an MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University on the east coast, so if you need a running partner somewhere between the Rockies and the Atlantic, he’s your man.

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Gladys Jimenez

Gladys has been a professional guide for more than a decade and has run, explored, and climbed throughout Perú. She was born and raised in Yungay in the shadow of Peru's largest peak, Huascaran. She speaks Spanish, English, and Quechua (an indigenous language of the Peruvian Andes). Gladys' multi-cultural background makes her an ideal bridge between traditional Andean culture and the modern western world. She is also an avid bird watcher and quite knowledgeable about Andean plants. She has also worked on several documentary films. Gladys has run many routes in the Andes and has competed Sierra Ancina Mountain Trail three times as well as the Annapurna 100 in Nepal.

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Sarah Lavender Smith

Sarah is a long-distance runner, coach, and writer with extensive experience running and hiking in the San Juan Mountains and deep family roots there. She is known in the mountain/ultra/trail-running community as a writer for Trail Runner magazine, co-host of UltraRunnerPodcast, and author of the 2017 book, The Trail Runner’s Companion: A Step-by-Step Guide to Trail Running and Racing, from 5Ks to Ultras. A veteran of more than 80 marathons and ultras, Sarah has raced some of North America’s most challenging 100-milers as well as achieved podium finishes in three 250K multi-day, self-supported stage races. She lives half the year near Telluride, the other half in the Bay Area, and has participated in numerous races in the San Juans including the Telluride Mountain Run, Silverton Alpine 50K, Imogene Pass Run, and multiple times has paced different segments of the Hardrock 100. She is the mother of two teens and blogs at TheRunnersTrip.com. She is thrilled to be a coach and guide for this retreat, sharing her love and knowledge of trail running while she also trains for this summer’s Ouray 100 and other mountain ultras.

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Willie McBride

Willie has been fortunate to climb, hike, and run around in the outdoors since age 10 (at a birthday party in 1st grade he tackled a kid who was stomping on a young tree, making quite clear his love of nature and his mother’s influence as a landscape architect.) He headed West as soon as he was able and has since climbed mountains and run trails on numerous continents, having many stunning and life-changing adventures along the way. Since 2005 he has increasingly focused on trail and ultra-marathons, ski mountaineering, "fast"packing adventures, and his greatest passion of all: sharing his infectious enthusiasm for these activities and the outdoors with others.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding one of our trips or would like help deciding which trip is right for you please feel free to give us call or send us a message anytime.

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Name *

Highline Running Adventures

PO Box 72

Ridgway, Colorado