What is the Flyathlon?

The Flyathlon is a multi-sport event that integrates three activities that are surging in popularity in the Western U.S.;  trailrunning, fly fishing, and craft beer. While many enjoy these activities independently, we have found over the last several years that putting them together is even more enjoyable. Simply put, many of the best and most beautiful places to fish are way back in the woods, and the quickest way to get back to these remote places to maximize fishing time is to trail run. And once you have run back from that mountain lake or stream, all of that effort is rewarded with high quality, local craft beer.

run. fish. beer.

Seriously?  Do people really run, fish, AND drink really good craft beer?

Since I began telling people that I do this back in 2012, we have held 10 Flyathlon events (if you include the “unofficial” ones).  People who never knew they were runners now run.  People who only noodled previously have caught fish on the fly.  And people who thought that Rolling Rock was a high quality craft beer now know better

I want to be a Flyathlete?  How do I get involved?

Of course you do.  Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get involved:

1)  Send me an email:  I will add you to the growing list of people interested in the Flyathlon.  You will then receive any updates that I send around to the group, including for group runs, events, and other activities.  Also, please visit our Facebook page for updates and posts about the Flyathlon.  Like it if you want to (I hear that sponsors want to know how many “likes” we have…).  And please share this information with anyone (including potential sponsors) who you think might be interested in what we are doing.

2)  Take a fly rod on your next training run:  Any run can be turned into a Flyathlon training run, including races put on by other people (aka fish slapping).  If you do go on a Flyathlon training run, take a camera, GPS watch and turn your run into a fastest known time for that particular course, and document your exact route so that the next Flyathlete that runs that course can challenge your time.  When you are done, send me an email to let me know where you ran, what you caught, and what you drank…  Here are several key pieces of equipment that I suggest that you should acquire to ensure a safe and successful adventure.

3)  Participate in an official Flyathlon race:  During an official Flyathlon event, a competitor’s time is determined as the time it takes to run (with all of their fishing equipment on their back) through the entire course, adjusted by a “fish factor”. The fish factor is a time bonus awarded for every inch of one submitted fish picture taken on the race bib, or a crippling time penalty if no fish is caught. Both the night before and after the race, fine Colorado craft beer is served.

4)  Be a Flyathlon volunteer:  It is sort of important to enjoy at least two of the three disciplines of the Flyathlon (run, fish, beer) to be a Flyathlete.  Most have the beer part covered.  If you don’t enjoy running OR fishing, you can still get in on the action by volunteering to help at a future event.  Assignments have ranged from course marshall to photographer to keg tapper.  Volunteer benefits typically include free beer, schwag, and the privilege of being a part of the Flyathlon team.  Please let us know if you would like to volunteer for an event.

5)  DONATE:  We are committed to delivering races that get people to care for waters that they otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. We have so many of these waters in the U.S., and it is our goal to spread their love while protecting, and where necessary, restoring their functionality. To help enable the Flyathlon to grow and expand to help new watersheds and new river projects, please consider donating to Running Rivers, the 501(c)(3) organization that we recently created to house the Flyathlon and other river-based recreation and restoration programs.  Click here to donate!


  1. My name is Cody Burgdorff, and I have been competitively fishing for the past 7 years. Just found out about this today, and thought I would drop you a line, as I would be interested in competing in this.


  2. Greetings!

    This is a great idea! I’m happy to represent Montana in all three disciplines. I look forward to my first fly rod carrying run soon! Lets connect!

  3. Is there still a waitlist available? I am an experienced, female flyfisherman and dying to take part in the flyathalon. Looks so fun!


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