The John Colter Run

In Rendezvous tradition, on the last day of Rendezvous we will hold the John Colter Run. This run will incorporate many of the events you will have practiced and participated in while at Rendezvous. The more event you experience at Rendezvous the better prepared you will be.

Each unit should be prepared to participate as a team in the run. All teams will start at the same time and should be at the starting line 10 minutes early. If you are not 10 minutes early, you probably will not win.

This competition run is in honor of John Colter's famous run from the Blackfoot Indians in 1809.



In 1809 John Colter had an altercation with the Blackfoot resulting in his friend John Potts' death and Colter's capture. While going by canoe up the Jefferson River in Montana, Potts and Colter encountered several hundred Blackfoot who demanded they come ashore. Colter went ashore and was disarmed and stripped naked. When Potts refused to come ashore he was shot died riddled with bullets fired by the Indians on the shore.

After a council, Colter was told to leave and encouraged to run. It soon became apparent that he was running for his life pursued by a large pack of young braves. Colter was a fast runner, after several miles the still-naked Colter was exhausted but far ahead of most of the group. With only one assailant still close to him he managed to overcome the lone man.

Colter then saw another Indian Brave only twenty yards from him. Determined if possible to avoid the expected blow, he suddenly stopped, turned round, and spread out his arms. The Brave, surprised by the suddenness of the action, and perhaps at the bloody appearance of Colter, also attempted to stop; but exhausted with running, he fell whilst trying to throw his spear, which stuck in the ground, and broke in his hand. Colter instantly snatched up the pointed part, with which he pinned him to the earth, and then continued his flight.

Colter got a blanket from the Indian he had killed. Continuing his run with the pack of Blackfoot Indian Braves following he reached the Madison River, five miles from where he started. He hid inside a beaver lodge to escape capture. Emerging at night he climbed and walked for eleven days to a trader's fort on the Little Big Horn.