More than 400 runners in the Bighorn Wild & Scenic Trail
Runs can attest to the obstacles on the course and the thrill of overcoming them
to finish 30K, 50K, 52 miles, or 100 miles. Each received a distinctive award to
commemorate their achievement. More importantly, they have the satisfaction of
knowing they reached their goal of finishing the race.
Although Jim and I didn't finish our races this time and
get finishers' awards, we've received some fine ones in the past, including
handsome embroidered fleece vests and pullovers. Age group and overall awards
are even nicer - engraved or hand-painted mugs and/or plates. In 2000, I also
got a generous gift certificate to the Sport Stop for winning my age group in
One of our friends, Mariann Foster, made felted alpaca
western-style hats this year for the men's and women's overall finishers in the
100-miler. What a great award! We weren't present at the awards ceremonies for
the three shorter races, so I don't know if those winners got hats, too.
and her husband, Jeff, have a ranch about five miles from Dayton. They raise
alpacas, horses, and other animals. Despite parenting a one-year-old daughter,
helping keep the ranch going, and crafting all sorts of felted alpaca products
(hats, purses, etc.), Mariann is also a very fast runner who used to win races
when we lived in Billings. I'm sorry we weren't able to visit their ranch while
we were in the area, but you can visit their website
Ultra runners can have big appetites, especially after
running a hundred miles. Bighorn knows this, and caters to them. Not only does the race
have a great picnic spread for runners at the finish line in Scott Park in
Dayton, it also has a delicious free buffet on Sunday morning for the 100- and
52-milers and their families and friends. Awards for the 100-miler are also
given out at this time (this year the 52-mile finishers got their awards on Saturday but were recognized by name on
The last time we were here (2003), the buffet was still
held in the the alley behind the Sport Shop in
downtown Sheridan. It was crowded and unattractive. The venue this year was much
nicer: in Grinnell Plaza across from the store. There was plenty of room
and interesting surroundings with trees, murals, and sculptures that I've shown
We were both so relieved to find out what was causing Jim's
weird physical symptoms Saturday night that we slept very well and had a hard
time getting up early to drive down to Sheridan for breakfast. But we know how
good the food always is and we wanted to support both the runners who finished
their tough races and those who didn't. So we got our butts out of bed and
arrived soon after the buffet began at 8 AM.
We thanked the race organizers and said hi to some friends
in the store before heading for the food line:
Yum! Huge pancakes, slices of ham, various kinds of fruit,
and juices - all you can eat.
We found a table with some of our VHTRC and other friends
who came and went throughout the morning. I tried to take a candid photo of John
Prohira and Kerry Owens, but John caught me and posed! Kerry had a fine 28:30 in
the 100-miler and finished second female.
Hans-Dieter Weisshaar from Germany came over to greet us soon after we
sat down. It was a pleasure to see him and his wife, Susi, again. Both are very
friendly, huggy people who can make you feel like the most important
We moved around to greet other folks after we got done
eating. Although we'd be seeing some folks soon at either Hardrock or Leadville,
others we might not see for another year or two. Here's Hans again, talking with
Joy Turner (hand up, blocking sunshine) and Betsy Kalmeyer, both from Colorado.
Betsy is going for her eighth Hardrock finish in three weeks. She paced Roch
Horton at Bighorn.
After Wendell Robison (blue shirt, standing far right)
began the awards ceremony, we moved into the shade:
You can see Roch Horton, who finished fourth in the
100-miler, in the photo below. He's sitting on the right in the red hat and dark
blue shorts. We'll probably see him again at Hardrock.
After the ceremony the large contingent from our Virginia
Happy Trails Running Club (VHTRC)
gathered for another group shot. Members either running one of the races or
crewing/pacing other members included Ed C. and his wife, Tom Corris, Scott
Crabb, Anstr Davidson, Lucia Davidson, John DeWalt, Russ Evans, Quatro Hubbard,
Karl Knipling, Kerry Owens, John Prohira, and Bill Turrentine and his
wife. If I've missed anyone, please let me know the name!
Most everyone is included in this photo that I snagged from
the website because it was better than the one I took:
This is one I took and liked, featuring Quatro, Tom, and
VHTRC members know how to have fun, as you can tell from
that photo! I think most of them will have great things to say about their visit
to the Bighorn Mountains.
Next entry: Monday morning quarterbacking - what
went wrong and how do we "fix" it??
Down but not out,