The Big Horn 50k was more then just a race. We set up camp in the high mountain meadows about 20 minutes from the race start. Here there are meadows full of wildflowers and a ton of wildlife. We saw a bear, herds of elk, deer, moose and pronghorns. There is also incredible fly fishing for the fishermen in my family. The race starts with a 2 mile climb and wraps around a mountain before you head down to the valley. There is 3753 ft of gain and 7320 ft of descent. My goal was to keep it easy the 1st part of the course and make sure I fuel early and often because most of the downhill in the second part of the course was steep and technical which required a lot of leg strength as well as mental focus. I managed to make it to the road in one piece. The gravel road was the final 5 miles to the finish.
I was passed by 2 women right before we hit the road and with about 3 miles to go another women came beside me. I smiled at her but on the inside I thought to myself "shit, I am going to get passed again". I was hot and tired and my mind was telling my body to let her go. The road is miserable and most people walk it. I kept fighting my thoughts and continued to run. I was not very fast but it was enough to pull ahead .
I also managed to hold off another women with less then 1/2 mile to go and finish the 4th women overall and 1st in my age group. The finish line at the Big Horn is amazing. It is in a great big park next to the river. There is a steady stream of over a 1000 racers in 4 different distances coming in to a lot of cheering. After a soak in the river, a burger, a beer, and my rock for my 1st place finish, we headed back to camp.
The camping, wildlife, meadows, canyons, and park add up to one incredible weekend experience. Thanks again to Eric for getting me to the starting line physically and mentally prepared for me to do what I love to do- RACE!!!