Runtrails' Rocky Mountain Journal
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" . . . The Bighorn Trail 100 Mile Run is an arduous trail run . . . extremely rugged terrain . . . unpredictable mountain weather . . .  unpredictable mountain weather. Runners must be prepared for potential extreme temperature variation and weather conditions during the event with possible temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the day in the canyons and being well below freezing at night in the mountains . . .
- from the Bighorn Wild and Scenic Trail run website (link at left)


As noted in yesterday's entry, Mother Nature dumped up to eight inches of fresh snow in the Bighorn Mountains three days ago, completely disregarding the fact that some six hundred runners from all over the country (and world) are coming to run a 100-mile, 52-mile, 50K, or 30K race in a few days. Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be warm and sunny this week and most of that snow at the upper elevations should melt. The main problem now will be the very wet, muddy conditions runners will face.

Oh, and the rugged terrain, altitude, and temperature extremes!

This is one of Jim's and my favorite race venues and organizations. Karen, Michelle, Cheryl, and the other members of the race committee do a fantastic job with this race. Jim has run in the three ultra  distances (50K, 52 miles, or 100 miles) most years since 1997and I've entered them four times since 2000. Below is a photo of Jim and Cody about a mile from the Porcupine Ranger station  before last year's 100-miler:

Quite a contrast from this year!

Yesterday we planned to meet Rich Garrison, Karen Powers, and Wendell Robison out on the course near the Porcupine Ranger Station to survey the conditions of the course after the snowfall and help with marking the course and clearing trees, rocks, washed-out bridging, or whatever they found. We learned later that Wendell's daughter Sue and her friend DeForrest also helped all day.

We started out about an hour behind the group but couldn't catch up. We turned around an hour of post-holing through the deep snowdrifts. We could have used the snowshoes and high gaiters that we left behind in Virginia! Rich and his crew, however, made it in four and a half miles to Elk Camp. They spent 12-13 hours on the course.

Following are several of the photos Rich took during the day:









I'm sure the 52- and 100-mile runners will be very grateful for that new footbridge! Our heartiest THANKS to these intrepid volunteers for helping to make the course more runner-friendly during the races this coming weekend.

Tapering hard,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and Tater

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2007 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil