SHERIDAN — A Facebook post confirmed the worst news aside from a canceled race for Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail runners about to embark on their long journeys through the mountains.
“We know that lots of you are anxious to hear current course conditions,” the post read. “Thank you for being patient with us up to this point.”
The post indicated major concerns with accessibility to aid stations and runner access to the course.
Aid station teams at Spring Marsh, Elk Camp, Cathedral Rock and Bear Camp do not have vehicle access and will be packing in supplies for runners in those locations. Aid stations in the upper Little Horn Canyon will also have less aid due to impassable roads leading to their stations.
“Runners should be prepared to carry more food and personal safety gear and clothing between ‘major’ aid stations (drop bag stations),” the post said.
Runners participating in the 100- and 50-mile races will experience snow in the high country, mud, rutted trails from wildlife, wildlife and extreme temperature changes, both hot and cold. Footbridge and Jaws aid stations will be the major aid station sites for runners, who are advised to carry extra food and hydration from those points.
According to the post, changes to each race include:
32M: Riley Point aid station will be completely removed due to inaccessibility.
50M: Start time is moved to 4:30 a.m. to allow extra time for course conditions. All cut-off times will remain the same, allowing the extra time to be used as a ‘head start.’ The start will return to JAWS aid station, as Devils Canyon Road cannot be accessed. The bus will depart from Dayton at 2:45 a.m. at the Tongue River Community Center for this race.
100M: Pre-race meeting has been moved to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, with the location to be announced, and the pre-race briefing is mandatory for all participants. All racers must check in with race officials and will be walking distance from packet pick-up. The start has moved to 9 a.m., allowing an extra hour for tough course conditions, but start location will remain the same. Bus transportation times to the start will be from Scott Park in Dayton starting at 7:30 a.m. and will circulate between the park and the start until 8:40 a.m. Participants are strongly encouraged to carry or wear long sleeves and tights or pants out of Sally’s Footbridge and JAWS aid stations.
“Should any participant get themselves in trouble due to cold temps, getting wet or running out of supplies, it will be the responsibility of the participant to pay for any and all search and/or rescue costs involved,” the post read.
Final schedules will be available at packet pick-up for participants, and updates can be seen on the Bighorn Trail Run Facebook page or on its website at bighorntrailrun.com.