Big Sky Wind Drinkers Bozeman’s oldest running club turns 50
A huge part of Big Sky Wind Drinkers is volunteering. Volunteers carry thousands of pounds of water up the Bridgers each summer for runners participating in Old Gabe and the Bridger Ridge Run.
PHOTO BY DARRYL BAKER
BOZEMAN—In the summer of 1973 in Red Lodge, Montana avid runners Andy Blank and Frank Newman were enjoying a meal at a diner chatting about what they could do to spread the teachings of their favorite sport—running. Struck by inspiration, they grabbed the cleanest napkin they could find and wrote a charter that would mark the beginning of Bozeman’s oldest running club: Big Sky Wind Drinkers.
Today, 50 years later, those teachings are still ringing true as the Wind Drinkers spread their love for running across the valley, hosting a smattering of year-long fun runs, as well as some of the region’s most coveted, and internationally-recognized races including the Ed Anacker Bridger Ridge Run, John Colter Run, Old Gabe Ultra as well as the Frank Newman Marathon. Named for the founder, the Frank Newman is the country’s cheapest marathon at just $5 and spans from Bridger Canyon Road, over Bozeman Pass into Livingston.
The Wind Drinkers are a registered nonprofit, fueled by our hearty volunteers and managed by a board of directors. Last year we gave back $13,000 to nonprofit partners including Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Thrive, Reach and Montana Outdoor Science School. We also give out a handful of scholarships to budding athlete students each year as a part of our scholarship program.
This summer to celebrate our 50 years, we’ll be working with a local artist to design a beautiful commemoration piece of our club and the trails on which we run and printing it on merchandise for sale as well as participation prizes for attending our fun runs and volunteering at events. Stay tuned on our Instagram and Facebook pages as well at winddrinkers.org and join us on a fun run or race this summer—we’d love to see you on the trails.