DAYTON — The 100-mile race winner in the 21st annual Big Horn Mountain Trail Run characterized the event best.
He saw the sunrise on the east side, and said that should be one of the characteristics of the Bighorn race, explaining that in a lot of the 100-milers he runs they start early morning and they finish within the day, but this race all the runners can see the sunrise.
Even though he didn’t speak much English, it was clear that first-time Bighorn trail runner Tsuyoshi Kaburaki (Machida, Japan) was impressed with Sheridan’s premier summer running event.
He finished in 18 hours and 51 minutes and 55 seconds. Last year Mike Foote of Missoula, Mont., ran the race record 18 hours 36 minutes, and only three runners in the 100-mile race’s 12-year history have broken 19 hours.
The men’s 30K, 50K and 50-mile records were all broken this year, due in part to good trail conditions, race co-director Karen Powers said. She added that the response to their change in the trail was also well received. The 100-mile turnaround and 50-mile start previously at the ranger station was changed to Jaws Trailhead.
Powers said the race went smoothly, and the weather was great after a rough week leading up to the event.
“It was an awesome year,” she said Monday morning. She added that runners commented on the good course condition as well as the wildflowers and green scenery that made things extra special.
Kaburaki was quick to comment on the scenery as well, saying he had never seen such large scale mountains, saying he would surely tell everyone back home about the experience.
“That’s why I joined this race in the Bighorns,” he said with the help of his translator. Kaburaki heard from friends that had run the race in previous years, but the actual event was “beyond expectations.” His home trail is at the foot of Mount Fuji, and he wanted to run in the Big Horns because of the opportunity to run in high altitude.
Area finishers included Marta Ostler (Dayton), who completed the 100 mile in 28 hours 59 minutes and 17 seconds, completing all of the races offered at the Bighorn Trail Run after running the other three in previous years. She was fifth in the women’s division and third in her age division.
Other area finishers included Steve Lipetzky (Sheridan) who was fourth in the 30K and Sippy Schwartz (Sheridan) who was 11th in the 50K. See the full list of Sheridan County placers and full results here.
In addition to repeating that he would recommend the race to his community in Japan, Kaburaki was the first to insist that the race organizers did a very good job, remarking that the trail was well-marked, the aid stations were well-stocked and everything was beyond his expectations.