The three people that have done the Ridge Run the most number of times are all back again to add another notch to their tally. For some reason they are still participating in the self-imposed adversity fondly known as the Ridge Run. Maybe it is analogous to a pilgrimage for them. If you get a chance, ask what motivates them. Just what drives a person to do the Ridge Run over 20 or nearly 20 times?
Andy Pilskalns has done it the most. This year will be his 22nd. His first year was 1990. A heart condition has slowed Andy down the last couple years, but he still gets out there and traverses the Bridger Range.
Pat Callis is signed up again. This makes it his 19th. His first year was 1987. Pat is the record holder for the 60-69 age group. Pat is now in his 70s.
Assessing the Competition
Scott Creel is back after a hiatus of a few years. At age 49, Scott is still as fast and strong as ever. How is it that his body does not have to obey the rules of aging that the rest of us have to? Barring any unforeseen calamities, look for him win his 10th Ridge Run.
There could be a real battle for second place. Zach Miller last year’s second place finisher is back. Dan Campbell, last year’s third place finisher, is also back. Previous winner and the third fastest person to ever run the Ridge, Chad Anderson, could also be in the mix. Throw in a few new comers that may be capable of popping a fast time such as Mike Telling, Damian Stoy or Akeo Maifeld. And add Douglass Wadle, and Peder Anderson that seem to be getting faster each year and this could be an exciting race.
For the Women, look for last year’s winner and course record holder Nikki Kimball to repeat. The battle for second place looks wide open. I do not have a clue who will be chasing Nikki to the finish line. There are a couple of first time participants from out of town such as Anya Wechsler, Rachel DePuy and Kelly Webster that have predicted fast times. It will be interesting if their optimism is accurate. Or maybe local runners such as Minde Erickson and Jenny Pierce will tap into their experience and lead the women’s chase pack.
Vast Majority from Montana
Most people in the Ridge Run are from Montana and to a lesser extent the neighboring intermountain states like Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and Washington.
There are some Ridge Run participants from non-mountain states and even a few from other countries.
Soon they will all have a new story to tell.