The Hard Rock 100 is one of the toughest races in the world. As the name suggests the distance is 100 miles and the terrain is as gruelling as they come. If ever there’s a marathon that’s named literally, this is it. Set deep in the Colorado mountain range, the run sees ultra-runners and endurance athletes competing for the crown. One of the most heart-warming stories about the Hardrock 100 is Kroger’s Canteen, which has become one of the major attractions at the event.
Kroger’s is not your ordinary pitstop for runners to catch a breath and drink some water on the way to finishing the run. It’s an aid station set 13,100 ft above sea level. In 2014, ultra-runner Kilian Jornet won the Hardrock 100 mile run through the San Juan range and along the way stopped at Kroger’s Canteen, perched on a tiny ledge and gap between two peaks. Watch the video which tells the fascinating story of Kroger’s Canteen.
Kroger’s sits atop the Virginius Pass and its captain Roch Horton will only accept former Hardrock 100 finishers as volunteers, because that’s how difficult it is to haul everything so far up. And famously the station serves tequila and mezcal to passing runners, which Jornet enjoyed en route to setting a course record last year. This year too, Jornet finished first, but it’s not known whether he was ‘under the influence’.