Race Date: Saturday, 11-4-2023 Registration: online only - closes at noon on 11-3-2023. Check in at City Park in Spearfish at 9:00 a.m. Race Time: 10:00 am Location: Homestake power plant, part way up Spearfish Canyon (8 miles) Price: Registration Fee: $25.00 (use your member ID to get the BHRC discount) 16 and under: Free entry but no swag
Special Instructions: Parking is limited so you may want to carpool from City Park, no shuttle will be provided.
SUPER COOL BLANKETS FOR THE FIRST 85 PEOPLE. (see photos below)
The 15 Kilo, better known as just the Kilo, will be held 11-04-2023. The very first running of this event took place in 1968 and was started by then first year BHSU head cross country and track coach Dave Little. The first year, Coach Little had inherited a cross country team dedicated to running but needed increased training so they could eventually compete at the District and Regional level. The season was over by the first Saturday in November in those days and he wanted to start a race in which his athletes along with other Black Hills area runners could compete at a nationally recognized distance and run a decent time. Those of you who are familiar with the Spearfish SD area know that a run starting in Spearfish Canyon and ending in downtown Spearfish would be perfect.
For some of Coach Little's athletes, the Kilo would be further than they had ever run. As this race happens the first Saturday in November, many high school runners would be able to compete as well. The SD State HS cross country meet falls on the last Saturday in October so the timing was excellent to give those athletes one last race before winter. After the Kilo became more established, 300 plus participants was a fairly common occurrence. As I was researching the history of this event, one fact caught my attention. The age of runners has changed throughout the years. In the earlier years, the youngest runner was 14 years old. Nothing much to report there but the oldest runner was 44 years old. Oh my, how things have changed!
Through the years, South Dakota would have two prestigious road races, the Kilo and the Jack 15 which was started in 1962 and is still run today. The Kilo even made Sports Illustrated in the early seventies and was always blessed with great coverage from the Rapid City Journal. It was quite ironic that the year Sports Illustrated came to take pictures of the event, a snowstorm the night before would cause the start line to be moved from the canyon to the old Belle Highway. This was the only year the race was run on a different course but as it turns out, the Sports Illustrated photographer had taken pictures in the canyon the day before.
As the years rolled by, college cross country schedules changed as the season would run well into November. The Kilo just didn't fit the Black Hills State team anymore. The district cross country meet would eventually be scheduled for the same weekend as the Kilo. At this point after organizing the race for 24 years, the event had come to a crossroads. Coach Little decided to organize the event one last time as 25 years sounds better than 24. At this point, he turned over the reins and in two more short years, the Kilo would be run for the last time. A lot of great names ran this race throughout the years and it was a sad day when the first Saturday in November and Spearfish Canyon became quieter.
So this is why it is so exciting when the Black Hills Runners Club organized and revived the Kilo in 2020. The course will be almost identical as it was in the past but with the addition of the bike paths in Spearfish, the last mile has changed. The start will be eight miles up the canyon at the historic Homestake power plant.
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