In just about two weeks, runners will take to the hills (and the mountains) for the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run. The 100-mile racers will start at 10 a.m. June 14 while the rest of the runners will begin their treks June 15.

In the coming weeks — and over the last several months — volunteers will work to make sure the event goes as smoothly as possible. While they have no control over the weather, volunteers make it all happen rain or shine.

Hundreds of helpers are needed, though. According to race organizers, volunteers are still needed to help with packet pickups at the Best Western Sheridan Center June 13-14. In addition, they still need folks to run a couple of aid stations, especially those that would require an overnight stay in the Bighorns.

Organizers said the volunteer opportunity is great for groups looking to earn a little money for their causes. Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops — and of course other kinds of groups — can earn a few hundred dollars for their cause while spending some quality time on the mountains supporting a tenacious group of athletes.

Plus, they said, there’s something special about being awake all night in the Bighorns for an event like this.

Anyone interested in lending a hand for the trail run should contact Michelle Maneval at or call The Sport Stop at 307-672-5356.

I have fond memories of the trail run, myself. I ran the 30K (the 18-mile) race in 2009 and then again last year. Phew, it’s amazing what almost a decade of age and laziness will do to you.

The last couple of years on the trail have been muddy, but the camaraderie that comes from that has been wholesome as an apple pie. People helped folks up who fell down. They pointed out tricky spots to each other. They cheered each other on even though some folks feet slid two steps backward for every step they took forward.

The challenges of the race (because running at least 18 miles isn’t enough) are what make the race memorable. That’s why it brings people in from across the globe to our little piece of paradise.

A friend of mine will attempt the 50-mile race again this year. This will be her third try at it and she’s battling an injury. The first two years, she missed the cutoff and was crushed. This year, she’ll return to her old stomping grounds and again climb that mountain. Win or not, she’ll encourage so others to tackle their mountains, too.

Whether you know somebody running a race in a couple weeks or not, I’d encourage you to hang out in the Dayton park in a couple of Saturdays. You’ll be in awe of the perseverance on display.