Jim Bridger trail race recap

Recap of the Jim Bridger trail race in Bozeman, MT.

Recap of the Jim Bridger trail race in the Bridger Mountains, Bozeman, MT. 10-mile race with 2,400 feet elevation change and 2 stream crossings.

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:

Jim Bridger trail race elevation profile

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?


Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday & Coaches’ Corner

17 Comment

  1. Debbie says: Reply

    Yowsa! That’s quite a hill! And as challenging as the up is, I know I would have a hard time on the down (my knees kind of hurt just looking at it 🙂 ). I guess the backtracking would depend on the size of the injury. I’d most likely skip it. Nice job on your race! Thanks for linking up!
    Debbie recently posted…How Fascial Stretch Therapy Can Make You a Better RunnerMy Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Thank you! I’ve had some knee issues before, but never caused by running downhill *knock on wood*

  2. Sounds like you had a tough race, but you did it! That hill sounds beast! Way to go!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Thanks Nicole!

  3. That is quite the hill and sounds like quite the race! I have never done a trail race before but it is on my bucket list 🙂

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Trail races are the best!

  4. Rachel says: Reply

    Sounds like an awesome race! Nah, I wouldn’t go back to the aid station. Suck it up, buttercup! 😉

    1. Hannah says: Reply


  5. What a beautiful race! It sounds like that was a killer race! I totally would have kept on going if i knew the end was near… plus, my like I’d get it fixed up and trip again, haha.
    Kristy @ Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal (Vegan)My Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Yes, killer hills but worth it!

  6. Damn that is a hill indeed, but beautiful! Definitely would have pushed through if it was minor and I knew the end was near. Or even not so minor. Depends on what was going on, lol. Great job!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Thanks! I figured it was fine since I don’t run on my hands 😛

  7. Emily says: Reply

    A 15% incline? THAT’S incredible! Those views are amazing though, and nice job girl!
    Emily recently posted…TOLT: Why Food Helped My RecoveryMy Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Thanks! Yep, best to calculate the incline after the race instead of before 😉

  8. […] that. This uphill turned out to be 4 miles long. I have conquered longer uphills before (example: my most recent race), but I’m used to trail races where you climb all the way up then run all the way back down. […]

  9. […] minute that I could run a 10-mile trail race the morning of the day we left for vacation. I ran the same race 2 years ago, so my goal was to finish in about the same time. My time was a full 5 minutes slower, […]

  10. […] wrote a race recap in 2016, and it has a decent description of the course, so I’ll just jump right into the recap using […]

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