Melanie Layton is a Midwesterner who made her way west 25 years ago because the mountains were calling. After the flat-lander climbed a Colorado peak on her first trip to Colorado, she was hooked. A year later she moved to foothills near Denver, and continued to climb all 58 of Colorado’s “14ers,” (mountains over 14,000 feet high), along with the highest mountain in every state west of the Mississippi, and notable high peaks around the world including Mont Blanc, Mt. Kilimanjaro and Pico de Orizaba. Since turning 35, Melanie has completed over 30 marathons and ultra-runs including the legendary Leadville 100 Trail Run in under 30 hours. Melanie is a married mother of three children, and four furry children: a cat, dog and two donkeys.
Always up for a challenge, Melanie trained her two donkeys to compete in Western Pack Burro racing, Colorado’s official Heritage Sport. Her burros, Maverick and Goose, finished six races in 2018 including the historic Triple Crown Series which includes a 15-mile trail race in Leadville.
In her professional life, Melanie is co-owner of Colorado’s oldest government affairs and lobbying firm, where she represents several Colorado associations and Fortune 500 companies. She is also a state board member of Girls on the Run and has been an assistant instructor at the Colorado Mountain Club’s High Altitude Mountaineering School.
Follow Melanie’s adventures on Instagram @layton.runs.long