It’s true that for many people, the reason for running these trails is for the incredible views. Seems this race is no exception. Wow, just a remarkable landscape, have a peek through this gallery! Here’s a bit of an excerpt from UltraRunning.com with a link to the article following. One for the bucket list (buckle list?).
The Bighorn Trail 100 is Wyoming’s signature ultra and well worth the trip out to the uniquely beautiful Bighorn Mountains. The race begins in narrow Tongue River Canyon with weird rock formations above and a river flowing by below. You emerge from the canyon and tackle one of the course’s mammoth climbs into a vast landscape of grassy meadows, tangled wildflowers, rock walls, raging rivers, bighorn sheep and mule deer territory, and stretches of hardwood and coniferous woodlands.
The spectacular scenery never ceases. Even at night your sojourn along the Little Bighorn River with the moon lighting the blue-green water that is cascading off of massive boulders right next to you almost seems magical. The out and back course challenges in the miles leading to and from the turnaround, where you’ll find some shoe-sucking bogs, barriers of snow scattered through the forest, rugged trail and quite a few steep sections. Expect some continuously wet feet through the night.
But if the challenge of this mountainous course is big, so is the outsize Western-style hospitality that is supporting you at every turn. There’s a pre-race pasta social and an award ceremony pancake breakfast. There is medical staff at the major aid stations in easily identified red vests to keep you safe. There is soup, pizza, quesadillas, sandwiches and lots more at the aid stations. You have to work to not gain weight in this race. The drinks are lined up behind neat labels so you don’t have to ask which is the water and which is the sports drink. The course is well marked. Handrails have been built to help you over slippery planks at the stream crossings for heaven’s sake. There are bonfires to keep you warm, and some of the remoter aid stations are there because volunteers packed everything in on horseback and are camping out there just for you. Communication is outstanding and the results get reported with all your split times.
The Bighorn is also an adventure because of the 11:00 am start time. You’ll get to the night less beat up and better able to enjoy running under the stars. The next day you get mixed in with runners doing the simultaneous 50 mile and 50K races which share the same finish line. Their energy sparks you along, and there’s nothing that will jazz you up like matching strides with the “short” distance people on the home stretch to the finish.