This past weekend was the Jim Bridger Trail run. Click here for the local paper’s coverage of it. I saw some old friends there and even met some readers of this blog. A kind soul introduced him self and stated that this blog had been helpful. Thanks so much for the complements.
Before I forget, click here for another article in the Bozeman paper covering this past weekend’s Western States 100 and some of the Montana runners that did so well in it. Nikki Kimball’s comments lamenting the course changes due to snow were especially interesting. I really don’t get why race directors are so quick to tame down traditional race courses because of snow. Most competitors appreciate the consistency, tradition and challenge of doing the same course year to year regardless of the conditions. Even locally, this past weekend’s Jim Bridger 50K was altered once again supposedly for safety.
When hanging out at the finish line of a race, especially rugged challenging ones like this past weekend’s Jim Bridger Trail run, it is common to have conversation turned toward injuries. This has inspired me to cover (in a future blog entry) some of the acute injuries that occur all too frequently to those running the Ridge or even just training on it. So look for a post on injury prevention within a week or so.
Course Conditions Late June
Yesterday, I did a training run up past Baldy towards Saddle Peak. What a better way to spend the day than trotting along the crest of Bridgers in the summer. You can get up to Baldy without dealing with snow, but north beyond Baldy there are still some deep drifts in places. The snow was quite soft. I was sinking up to my crotch wallowing around like a toddler in a wading pool. That makes for some slow going. I was out on the course for nearly 4 hours. That makes it my longest run (walk) to date.
I usually do the whole Fairy Lake to the M course as a training run sometime around late June or early July. The cold and wet of the last few years have made it harder and harder to do this. Last year, the Forest Service kept the road up to Fairy Lake closed until mid-July. I went from Fairy Lake to the M Fourth of July weekend, but I had to park way down on the road and run up the road. This adds about 4 miles to an already long training run. I could not understand why the road was closed so late last year – as there was no snow until you got above the Fairy Lake campground. Yet the Forest Service waited another couple weeks after the road cleared of snow before opening it to vehicles. Unless we get some super warm weather to melt and dry things out, the road up to Fairy Lake may open late this year also.
Other Internet Ridge Run Resources
For those of you that enjoy social networking, there are a couple of facebook groups dedicated to the Ridge Run and local trail running in the Bridgers. There is The Ed Anacker Bridger Ridge Run group and also a Sunday Morning trail run group at (M) just started by Randy Oostema.
Randy frequently posts his GPS data from his races and training on his personal facebook page. Given that some of his races and training take place in the Bridger Range, you may be interested in seeing the distance and elevation profiles of these trails.
Maybe this new training group will fill the void of the discontinued Big Sky Wind Drinkers weekend trail running. Managing the large number of runners became too much of a responsibility for the volunteers in the running club and regrettably it is not happening this year.