Chris Copenhaver

Chris was born in Ft Collins, but soon moved to Wyoming where he grew up in Centennial at the base of the Snowy Range mountains. His favorite activity was hopping on his BMX bike and heading straight up the side of the mountain. In high school he began running and was a solid mediocre runner.

After high school Chris began a 13-year struggle with alcohol. By the time he was able to get help in 2012 at the age of 32, he was polishing off a fifth of vodka and a pack of cigarettes every day. Then he began running again, as a way to stay fit and build a new lifestyle.

Chris quickly began to realize how fast he could run! It was the most freeing feeling that he had ever experienced and really made him feel alive. He began racing 5k’s and kept getting faster and faster. There seemed to be no goal he couldn’t achieve. Nearly every race he ran he set a new PR. During the next 4 years, he was gobbling up races as fast as he could find them. 1 mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon and finally his first marathon (Colorado) in 2016 with a 15th place finish and a time of 2:53:19.

But the mountains were constantly calling his name, and always looking for a new challenge, Chris began exploring the West side of Ft Collins and discovered the trails. He had no idea that ‘trail running’ was even a thing. He remembers thinking, as he was running down the A trail, “I wonder if other people do this? It seems really dangerous.”

Chris ran his first trail race, the Blue Sky Marathon in 2016. He had no idea what he was doing. He crushed the first 18 miles then bonked really hard and struggled to make it to the finish line. He began (unknowingly) running with Gnar team who coached him along, feeding him full of useful information and most importantly, inspiration. He kept plugging along and raced his first 50k in 2017 at the Dirty Thirty with a 5:50 finish and in 2018 his first 50 miler (Bighorn 54, 9:50) and 100k (Never Summer, 15:25). This year he will be attempting his first 100 miler, Grindstone in Virginia.

Running has become a key component to Chris’ life and the support of the trail running community, friendships, and the places he’s visited along the way are priceless.


  • April – Horsetooth Half Marathon
  • May – Quad Rock 25m
  • June – Scout Mountain 50m
  • August – Aspen Trail Marathon
  • September – Black Squirrel Half Marathon
  • October – Grindstone 100m