Don’t Fence Me In

2018 DFMI Success!

Another great year of the 18th annual Don't Fence Me In Trail Run 30K, 12K, 5K and 5K Dog-Walk!
Posted On June 21, 2018

How is it that no matter the forecast we still get sunny skies for the annual Don’t Fence Me In Trail Run? We’re still scratching our heads, but are beyond grateful for the best race that Prickly Pear Land Trust has yet seen! Nearly 1,000 participants, including over 200 30K runners and over 100 dogs, headed for the hills on May 12 on behalf of trails and open space. Community is at the core of DFMI, and PPLT owes a HUGE shout-out to those who made it possible.

The tireless efforts of the DFMI volunteer planning committee, the help of over 100 race-day volunteers and the dedication of the participants who laced up their sneakers for a cause they believe in made this fundraising trail run the most successful to date. But there’s always next year…

Here’s to the DFMI overall race winners!

More results can be found on Competitive Timing’s website.

30K Female First Place: Kristina Trygstad-Saari, Bozeman MT, 2:46:58.70
30K Male First Place: Patrick Murphy, Missoula MT, 2:23:25.55
12K Female First Place: Nicole Murray, Whitehall MT, 57:09.00
12K Male First Place: Michael Kaiser, Montana City MT, 48:59.46
5K Female First Place: Julie Ackerlund, Helena MT, 23:02.76
5K Male First Place:Elliot Stimpson, Clancy MT, 22:10.90

We extend a huge thank you to our Trail Run Fundraising Winners!

First Place Fundraising TEAM: $2,574 raised by 30K runners, Malcolm Gilbert and Jake Brodsky

“We use the 75+ miles of South Hills trails on foot, skis, and mountain bike nearly every day. We think it’s paramount that everyone has the option to do the same, and we DO have that option because PPLT has our backs! We’re lucky to have such a strong group to promote active, healthy living, and to make sure our community continues to grow in sustainable and healthy ways” -Malcolm Gilbert

“Being able to run and hike on these trails has been one of the healthiest things for me these last two years, often my best escape – We are so incredibly lucky to live in a place where the community so highly values and supports access to good trails!” – Jake Brodsky





First Place Fundraising INDIVIDUAL: $2,165 raised by 5K runner, Aven Baker

Aven has been a major fundraiser for the Don’t Fence Me In Trail Run since the year she was born. For several of those years, Aven was our top fundraiser! Thank you to everyone who has continued to support Aven and has shown her how big of a difference she can make! “I like the land trust because it makes more trails and open space. Thank you for supporting the land trust so there are still trails for your great-great-great grandchildren to walk on.” – Aven




Special thanks to ALL of our fundraisers who raised a total of $9,404 this year:

Aven Baker, Malcolm Gilbert, Sarah Jaeger, Jake Brodsky, Nikki Odegard, Metta Gilbert, Kristin Drees, Andrew Rivers, Allen Byrd, Baby Josephine Fernandes, McKenzie Homan, Alayna White, Nate Kopp, Evan Kulesa, Alex Street, Clare Clum,Jane Forman, and Jodi Mattson.

Click here to see and download all photos from race day!

Share with everyone on social media using #DontFenceMeInTrailRun


Neither snow nor ice stays the Snails from slow running

An adventure around every corner!
Posted On April 4, 2018

The Happy Snails had quite an adventure yesterday on our 4-mile run. We encountered slush, heavy snow, light snow and ice on the trails! It slowed us down a bit – we don’t min

d going slow, we are snails – but it didn’t stop us.

The route took us from the Old Shooting Range Trailhead up to Rodney Meadow, left on Roger’s Trail, right on Rent Money, straight through on Pinchot down to TR, left on TR, right on Waterline, then up DFMI and right on Rodney Ridge back to the meadow and down to Old Shooting Range. (That’s what the plan was anyway; we might have made a wrong turn somewhere.)

There were a few minor cuts and bruises along the way, mostly on PPLT Trails Coordinator Evan Kulesa who filled is as our fearless Snail leader this week.

Join us each Tuesday at noon at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead. (There will not be a Saturday run this week.)


Snails have Fun in the Sun!

The steeps can't stop the Snails, they just make us slower
Posted On March 14, 2018

The sun was out, the snow on the trails was packed down and the Snails were happy. Ten runners participated in the Snail run on Tuesday. It started out a little steep heading up Entertainment Trail, but things mellowed out once we turned off on Aftershock. We continued a loop run connecting with Easy Rider and Archery Range Trail before heading back to our cars, parked at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead.

Join us this Saturday, March 17, at 9 a.m. at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead for another Snail run. Don’t forget to wear green! Slainte!

We did not get a map and elevation profile for Tuesday’s run, but here is the information from last Saturday’s run.

See Snails Run!

See Snails Run Slow.
Posted On March 7, 2018

We don’t care how slow we go. We are just running to have fun and get outside and visit with our fellow Snails.

This week we had 12 runners participate in the Happy Snails slow running club. A couple new runners joined this week, and we hope to have even more new Snails as the weather warms and the snow melts.

The loop we ran, which included Entertainment, Archery Range, Easy Rider and Pail Rider trails, was 3.55 miles long with 535 feet of vertical ascent.

Snail leader Martin had this to say about the run:

“It was a really pretty day out there. I think it’s encouraging how many times I heard, ‘We LOVE uphills!!!,’ out there. Haha!”

(This blogger did not hear a single Snail say those words.)

Join us next Tuesday at noon at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead. There will also be a Happy Snails run this Saturday, March 10, at 9 a.m. – meet at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead.

See Snails Run!



Snails Enter Trail Warp

Variable snow conditions give slow running group a challenge
Posted On February 27, 2018

Eleven Snails returned to the trail this week to retrace the steps of Martin and Mary, who braved the polar conditions last Tuesday for the Happy Snails slow running club. As usual, we began at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead and then ran up Entertainment Trail for as long as we could, which ended up being a little more than 1.5 miles. Then we turned around and enjoyed the run down.

Here’s how Happy Snails leader Martin Miller called it:

Good job, Happy Snails!

Trail conditions were extra tough today, but everyone stayed with it. It was challenging running, and kinda fun — in a warped sort of way — but I’m glad we turned around when we did!

Next week, we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program of steadily increasing the mileage. The hills will always be there for us. I know none of us would have it any other way!

Undaunted Snails!

Sub-zero temps don't stop the Snails!
Posted On February 21, 2018

Undaunted! Intrepid! Impervious to frozen feet!

While some sensible Snails stayed indoors yesterday, Snail leader Martin Miller and dedicated Snail runner Mary Van Gilder braved the snow and frigid temperatures on the Entertainment Trail.

Here is their report:

As you can see from the photo, you missed out on a great run. Mary was the only Happy Snail to show up.

It was too dang cold, and the loose snow made for treacherous running conditions, but, as the saying goes: “You get what you pay for!”

See you all next Tuesday!


Cold feet, warm hearts!

Cold temps don't slow down the Snails; we are slow anyway.
Posted On February 14, 2018

It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t fast (we are snails after all), but it was certainly pretty! The Happy Snails slow running club logged 3.74 miles — our longest distance yet — yesterday on a loop incorporating Rodney Ridge, Don’t Fence Me In, Waterline and T.R. trails. The temperature was a bit cold, but that only fired up the Snail spirit.

“It was another tough run in less-than-ideal conditions,” said Snail leader Martin Miller. “We’ve been consistently building up the distance.”

Don’t let that intimidate you, however, if you’re thinking of joining the Snails. We each run/walk at our own pace.

“What I love about the Snails and running in a group is that it gives you a good excuse to get outside and then keeps you going even if you start getting tired,” said Evan Kulesa, a Happy Snail.

Join us next Tuesday at noon at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead.

Running in a winter wonderland!

'Everyone ran really well today in really tough conditions'
Posted On February 7, 2018

More Snails joined us this week for our fifth run of the year! We had a total of 13 runners. As a reminder — it’s never too late to join the Snails.

The snow was soft and deep on the trails, but previous trail users had packed it down to make it not completely miserable.

“Everyone ran really well today in really tough conditions,” said Happy Snails leader Martin Miller. “That loose snow sucks the energy out of every step.”

The group started at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead parking area and then headed up the Archery Range Trail, took a right on Easy Rider and then looped back around to Archery Range before heading back to where we started. We ran a total of 3.28 miles with an elevation gain of 512 feet.

“A lot of ultrarunners use the mantra ‘Relentless Forward Motion’ (RFM); regardless of pace, we just keep moving forward to the finish line,” Martin said. “We Happy Snails have that in common. Even though we all run at our own pace, we maintain that RFM to get ‘er done.”

Saturday Run! There will be a Happy Snails run this Saturday at 9 a.m. Meet at the Waterline Trailhead parking area. There could be lots of snow!

Happy Snails!

Snails on the trails!

A beautiful day for a slow run!
Posted On January 24, 2018

The Happy Snails slow running club had a beautiful day for their third run of the season yesterday: a loop incorporating Roger Fuchs Trail, a detour on Rent Money and then a return on Rodney Ridge.

“I’m really amazed at everyone’s progress,” said Snail leader Martin Miller. “Today’s run was a tough one; about 1/3 of the 12k distance and vertical ascent (of the Don’t Fence Me In 12k). And even with the challenging footing on snow and ice, everyone seemed to be just cruising along.”

Join us next Tuesday at noon at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead! It’s never to early or late to join the Happy Snails club!

Sun shines on the Happy Snails!

Happy Snails back on the trail for Week 2.
Posted On January 17, 2018

Happy Snails back on the trail for Week 2

What a beautiful day for a run! Some new faces joined several returning Snails from last week for our second run of the season. From the Old Shooting Range Trailhead parking area, we ran up Entertainment Trail to the Archery Range Trail to Easy Rider. We ran a little faster and farther this week, not sure why, but it might be because the descent was longer.

“It was a good run today,” said Don’t Fence Me In Course Director and Happy Snails mentor Martin Miller. “I hope everyone stays with it.”

Join us next Tuesday (and every Tuesday until May 12) at noon for our next Happy Snails Club run. All are welcome, including walkers! We will meet again at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead parking area. Questions? Call Peggy at PPLT — 442-0490.