Two events have my mind reeling about the awesome community camaraderie this week.
The first is the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run. A host of folks from the community and around the world spent the better half of their Saturday volunteering, cheering and celebrating with runners who dominated the mountain trails this weekend, some achieving longtime goals.
One of those people was my dear friend and former coworker. As she started the 52-miler for the third time in three years with injuries on both legs and not having completed a full run outside of a pool in more than a month, she told others “we’ll see how it goes.”
She did it and came leaping over the finish line with 28 minutes to spare, but not without the help of her running crew, partner and a new friend made on the trail.
So many stories were shared and witnessed Saturday when a group of total strangers came together to help each other up “The Wall” or make it to the Dry Fork aid station before the looming 3 p.m. cutoff. The trails don’t discriminate; the mud and bad weather hit each runner, and seeing them overcome conditions — with those strangers by their side — is truly touching. A woman next to us at the Dry Fork cutoff watched a 100-miler rush in just to realize he had missed the cutoff. With tears in her eyes, she mentioned the great joy and the deep sorrow she felt while watching this major event take place. Heart wrenching, for sure.
The second event was The Sheridan Press’ 20 Under 40 happy hour Monday night. We honored a good portion of our 20 at the event. What a few of us staffers realized at the event — as the chosen 20 rolled in with spouses, families, partners and friends — that those people walking beside them were equally deserving of the 20 Under 40 honor. What a huge testament to these people and the people that surround them.
Judge John Fenn, who presides over 4th Judicial District Court in Sheridan, always preaches to young people who appear before him in court, “You are who you hang out with.”
While he’s usually speaking to a juvenile who has gotten into trouble with the law, it truly applies to the group of individuals honored this year. They are who they hang out with, and who they hang out with is pretty boss.
It’s encouraging as we round out our sixth year honoring young leaders in the community that we have a host of others still on the list for next year’s class.
Sheridan is a special place, a fact largely credited to its citizens, whether helping a stranger on the trails or walking beside their lifelong partner with pride and support.