I put my odds for Western on the previous post, but for some even more entertaining info, read on…..the Bighorn 100 was an adventure into the wilderness where sometimes it gets just a little scary!
The Bighorn 100 was another great win for me….that’s #25 in the 100 mile trail race “win category”. Nick Clark kept it close early, but in the end I was showered, sleeping and thinking about what “could have happened”….but didn’t. So here’s the story………..
Ever had a run-in with a moose? I can now say I have. It was funny the day before at the packet pick-up as I heard some other folks talking about how the leaders get to see all the wildlife. This race I was the leader. I saw all the wildlife, from big bucks, to big moose, even a skunk to perhaps throw some stink into my finish (that didn’t happen), but was close.
I was about a half mile from the turnaround point at the Porcupine Aid Station where I came upon old mama Bullwinkle. I stopped, she stopped. We both proceeded forward, when Bullwinkle started walking away from me towards the aid station, I also proceeded forward. She then started to run away from me. All I could think was “great”, she’s out of here. When I started moving again, she spun a 180, snorted and started charging at me from about 40 meters. I moved left behind a large tree, baiting her to pass me on the right. She was about 5 feet…yah 5 feet from me, I darted left behind the tree to protect myself. She turned around, charged at me again only to find that big tree in her way and a little 142 pound runner hiding behind. She was only 5 feet from me staring me in the face. We played cat and mouse 5 more time before she decided to head back up and away from me. I felt better now, hoping she was out of there. At this area on the jeep road there was about 75 meters to the next big tree where I could protect myself, in the direction of the aid station. It seemed she was gone as I could no longer see her in the woods about 50 meters away. I started running quite fast towards the aid station, she then came barreling out of the woods and started chasing me! As I was sprinting faster than Carl Lewis ever has, I turned around to see her snout only 5 feet from me and ready to pounce on top of me and possibly kill me. I dove like superman behind that first big tree. She kicked my right shin as well as my left hand. When I hit the ground, I bounced up quickly to hide behind the tree again, only to play cat and mouse 5-6 more times. Standing in front of a moose 7 feet tall is pretty scary from a distance of only 4-5 feet. I don’t recommend it! After a minute or two or her standing there debating whether I was worth more effort, she moved up and away into the woods again. This time I waited out of her sight a little longer than the first time. I finally went and she was never seen again. I was shaking at the aid station knowing I had to head back that way. Two younger guys went ahead to spook her, they did just that. For the next 20 miles I was shaking while running as I kept turning around thinking something was coming after me. Finally it was over. I survived a moose attack, won the race in record time, and now it’s a no-brainer when someone asks me a “wildlife story” when running in the wilderness. Lesson to be learned……nah, it was about time this happened, I’ve been running in the woods for 25 years!
Bighorn results here:
Now we can proceed to the Western States Odds!