(Dayton, Wyo) Bright orange caution signs and flaggers dispelled any doubts that motorists had about where the finish line was located. Parking necessitated a short walk, as the lot at Scott Bicentennial Park was full. But what’s a short walk compared to a 100 mile run?
The smell of barbecue and the sounds of cheering led new arrivals the rest of the way to the park and the beautifully located finish line. It was the final leg of the 24th Annual Big Horn Mountain Wild & Scenic Trail Ride, and supporters had come from around the world to throw a party in honor of the endurance on display!
Over 1,500 people participated in the race at distances of 18, 32, 52, or 100 miles. The home-stretch for all the racers came into view sometime today as they exited Tongue River Canyon and crossed the line between gravel and paved road.
It was just around one more corner, and one more straightaway…
The finish line was right next to a beautiful stretch of the Tongue River. Each finisher was cheered on, photographed, handed a cup of water and a voucher for a sweatshirt and and a new pair of socks, and pointed towards the meal tent.
The athletes had various methods for recovering. One commonality was the need to use the water of the Tongue River to scrub the layers of caked mud from their legs. One participant, a veteran of years past, said that the mud made the trail, “the hardest I’ve ever seen it.”
Another common activity at the finish line was the sharing of stories. From midnight snow to encounters with elk, the wild and scenic trail run lived up to its name.
The Big Horn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run began in the 80’s as a means of raising awareness about a proposed hydroelectric project on the Dry Fork. 24 years later it has grown into an epic celebration of the Big Horn Mountains and the pride of incredible personal accomplishment.
The 100-mile awards will be presented Sunday morning at 8:30 am on Grinnell Plaza in Sheridan. (Also a pancake breakfast on Grinnell Plaza from 8:00-11:00 am).