Welcome to The Running Of The Bears!
The Running Of The Bears is a grassroots organized running event in Bears Ears National Monument in early April that aims to raise money to assist the Native People in their legal battle to protect and preserve their sacred ancestral lands.
Bears Ears National Monument is a national monument comprised of 201,876 acres of public land in southeastern Utah. The monument was originally 1,351,849 acres but was reduced by 85% in 2017, largely to allow for uranium, oil, and gas exploration. The monument is co-managed by the Bureau of Land Management and United States Forest Service, along with a coalition of five local Native American tribes: the Navajo Nation, Hopi, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Pueblo of Zuni, all of which have ancestral ties to the region. Several tribes have filed federal lawsuits to challenge the reduction of Bears Ears in order to protect their land, and preserve it for future generations. The Native American Rights Fund is providing legal representation for three of the five tribes in the Tribal Coalition, and 100% of money raised will be donated directly to that Fund.
The Running Of The Bears will bring together friends and trail runners to celebrate our beautiful public land, and to help the Native People protect what is sacred. The People who came before recognize the true power of this land. They live not on, but WITH the land. This is a place of spirituality, sustenance, healing, and contemplation.
In Navajo culture, running is viewed as a method of prayer, as an avenue of connecting with the Creator, through the land. The Running Of The Bears aims to raise money for the Tribal Coalition in a way that celebrates and respects their land, culture, and heritage. We will run a total of 56 miles over three days through rugged terrain among giant towers, beneath grand arches, and through majestic canyons, in spaces where Native People have lived, prayed, and ran for centuries.
We run, not on, but WITH the land to celebrate its natural beauty, to honor its spiritual significance, to pay homage to The People, and to assist in their fight. We run to help protect what is, and should always be, wild, sacred, and free.
Again, we are covering all of our own expenses. 100% of money raised will be donated to the Native American Rights Fund to help protect this sacred land. Please consider donating to this worthy cause.
“May the song of my footsteps be heard loudly.
May it resonate through the hearts of many.
And awaken us…”
-Sheyenne Leigh Lewis
April 6th, 7th, and 8th
Self supported (no aid stations)
*Day 1 – Fish Canyon + Owl Canyon – 17 miles
*Day 2 – Natural Bridges – 9 miles
*Day 3 – Grand Gulch – 30 miles
Original Monument Proposal from Tribal Coalition of Bears Ears:
National Monument Info:
Native American Rights Fund Mission/Legal Info:
Mike Szymanski - firstname.lastname@example.org