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Support the School, Join the Coalition, and Climb the M!

March 27, 2017

Cross country coach Dylan Zitzer is teaming up with the Beaverhead Trails Coalition to host a “fund run” up the M.

This fundraising race will take place early on Saturday, April 22. There is a 5k course, and for the more experienced athletes, there is also a 15k dash through the desert.

“It’s going to be part of the alumni weekend. My primary hope is that the proceeds will be used for scholarships,” Zitzer said.

The Beaverhead Trails Coalition is a non-profit organization created by Dillon, Mont. community members. Recently, they acquired 781 acres of land which is now available for the public to enjoy.

The coalition actually teamed up with the students of Montana Western in 2014. Volunteers from the school donated their time to maintain the Dillon Town Overlook Trailhead where the race will begin.


Zitzer is a dedicated cross country enthusiast. Just this summer, he participated in a 32-mile run. He said the cognitive aspect of his sport is what separates it from others.

“It’s all about preparing your mind. When you’re running, it’s just you against the clock. The mental aspect of what we do is so important.”

Anyone who has climbed the M knows that it is a steep, rocky trail. This is part of what excites Zitzer most about this event. It’s very different from most other foot-related fundraisers which take place on paved city roads.

“This is a very tough, rugged course which is part of the draw. There’s an awesome view at the top. It really showcases what Dillon has to offer.”

Zitzer hopes the unique appeal of this course will entice people from all over Montana who are addicted to the euphoria of the road.

For anyone up to the challenge, there will be prizes for the overall top three men and women runners.

Sign up early online at, or at Montana Western, to save five dollars on the entry fee, The coalition and the cross country team apologize, but there will be no dogs allowed at the race.