The Jim Bridger trail race is a 10-mile race in the Bridger Mountains. It starts out on private dirt roads, then traverses three trails through the mountains before heading back to the finish. You get to see those views above for a lot of the race. It also climbs way up and then drops all the way back down, like this:
So I’m splitting my race recap into unequal thirds based on the steepness of the trail, aka how much I questioned my sanity for doing this.
Start – mile 3.7
I started the race by racing through the porta potty line – I think I got out literally 2 seconds before the start. Since the first ~2 miles were on dirt roads and it’s not like I was trying to move to the front of the pack anyway, I don’t think this affected me much. Within the first mile I lost the magnets that were holding one side of my race number on – I had only found one safety pin and decided the magnets would do for the other side. Apparently not! I ended up stopping completely for several seconds so I could fasten the number to one of the clips on my hydration pack.
Around mile 2 we hit the trail and the grade became steeper, but still runable. At mile 3.7 there was a trail intersection and a stream crossing, where my feet got soaked. Pre-race announcements assured us that both stream crossings on the course should be easy to cross without getting your feet wet, but I’m fairly certain this determination was made by an average height person. Anyway, I didn’t notice the wet feet for long because right after the stream the next section of the course begins…
Miles 3.7 – 7
The next ~1 3/4 miles were extremely steep. I did the math and the average grade of this section is 15%. Apparently some people still run up this? I just kept up the fastest hiking pace I could maintain. I was relieved to get to the top, though I wasn’t exactly speeding down quite yet since this section was rough and rocky. After about half a mile of downhill there’s another half mile or so of flat or slightly uphill trail.
I passed through the aid station near the end of this flat section, and about a minute later tripped over…let’s say a rock, though it may well have been my own feet. I fell down, got up, inspected the damage, and decided the bloody spot on my hand wasn’t worth trekking back to the aid station for all within about 30 seconds. Then I forgot to get my hand cleaned up after I finished the race, but it’s mostly healed by now so obviously I made the right decision, right?
Mile 7 – finish
From here to the finish I was flying downhill – well, almost to the finish. There was a short but steep uphill at mile 9.5 – steep enough that it’s obvious on that elevation chart. After 2.5 miles of steep downhill my legs were having nothing to do with running that. I crawled my way up the hill and then I was flying downhill to the finish. Jim Bridger trail race complete in 2:26:38.
Ate burger, drank cider, went home and was supremely
lazy relaxed for the rest of the weekend. The end.
So…would you backtrack to an aid station for minor first aid?
Post-race cider, beer, or something else?