Montana Running Ranchers logoToday we’ll continue with a series on the Montana Running Ranchers relay team. The team will be participating in the Ragnar 200-mile relay event in Hawaii, October 14-15, 2016. The team uses this event as an advocacy opportunity to share the message of beef in a healthy diet and Montana ranching with runners and athletes from across the country. Click here to learn more about this year’s event and team. To support the team or have your brand on the team vans, visit our Square store to donate today.

Today’s featured Montana Running Rancher is Christy Gerdes from Huntley. Christy can be found on social media as My Dirt Road Anthem on Facebook, blogging at and as @ChristyRuns on Twitter and Instagram.

Montana Running Ranchers Team BeefI grew up on Indian Creek Ranch east of Billings learning to hate grasshoppers and fires and learning to love the cool early mornings of summer, the smell of rain, rain in general, long days in the saddle and baby calves. I was blessed with being put to work driving hay trucks, swathers, and old trucks with temperamental brakes. (When your Dad gives you the truck with bad brakes to drive does that mean he really trusts your driving skills or he just doesn’t care if that truck gets wrecked?)

The work ethic I learned on the ranch has carried through and when I started in the operating room at the Billings Clinic fifteen and a half years ago as a registered nurse, I got a lot of comments about how I must have been raised on a farm or ranch because I was such a hard worker.

This can in part be attributed to something my Dad taught me and I quote “Don’t just stand there with your thumb up your @$$, look around and find something to do. Always something that needs doing.” Seriously, even if it meant searching for bolts in the dirt around the shop while Dad talked to parts people, just look busy.

Montana Running Rancher Christy GerdesI will have been married to Rance eleven years this November and we make our home north of the family ranch where we raise cows and kids. I feel so blessed to have my parents, grandmother, many Aunts, siblings, and wonderful neighbors around, and willing to watch my two kids Cade (9) and Avery (8) while I pursue my running habit. I did my first half marathon 6 years ago and my first and only marathon four years ago in Missoula finishing in just under four hours.

I love representing Team Beef at races I do around the state. I do occasional blog posts on my running blog promoting beef and love educating the other runners from around the country and Canada I interact with via my social media channels about the health benefits of beef and the lifestyle in general.

The Running Ranchers relay team is an incredible opportunity for us to interact with and positively impact other active people about the health benefits of beef and educate consumers about why we do what we do.

I have been running with Team Beef Montana for 6 years now and this will be my 5th year with the Montana Running Ranchers. I have loved the opportunity to get to travel and be an agvocate for the ranching community and beef in general. I have been to Oregon, Washington, California and Colorado with the team and spoke with countless other runners about beef.

My running plans this year have already included two 5ks and I am currently training for a marathon in September.
At a relay we did in Washington state I had a great conversation with a fellow runner who was involved in the apple industry over there. He couldn’t say enough good things about what we were doing and was hoping to get something like this started with the apple industry. People love seeing the people who raise their beef out promoting it.

Rance has his own fencing business and when not fencing helps with a lot of riding for my Dad and brother. I work at the Billings Clinic Outpatient Surgery Center three days a week. When not at work I can be found running the dirt roads and trails around the family ranch with my 5-H stockdog Cola and my trusty can of bear spray, or sometimes taking my kids and their cousins on adventures on the ranch, or pretending to clean my house. Cola prefers to run wherever the cows are and I am just happy to be out in the wide open spaces putting one foot in front of the other.

Sign up to join Team Beef Montana today, or contact your state’s Beef Council to learn about Team Beef programs in your area. Join Team Beef USA on Facebook.

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