A Fast Day On The Ridge - Page 2
“There is a ton of rocky, technical terrain that you have to really focus on and not lose your stride, in order to maintain a fast pace,” says Wolfe. “It's terrain that is hard to move fast on. And you have to be comfortable running the steep downhills at a borderline reckless pace.”
Part of the course’s challenge, according to Summerfield, is that, in keeping with the race's laid-back tradition, it is unmarked. The race avoids sponsorship and all profits from registration fees go toward maintaining the trails. Competitors, meanwhile, are simply instructed to make it from the start at Fairy Lake Campground to the finish, at the “M” parking lot on Bridger Canyon Road.
“This is a route-finding race, not unlike an adventure race, even though the course has been run by thousands of runners by now,” he says, also noting that worn rocks and dirt tracks provide a route for those unfamiliar with the ridge. “We basically don’t mark the course anymore. As many have found out, the more challenging the terrain, the more rewarding it is to have negotiated it successfully.”
It is no coincidence, Summerfield says, that local runners tend to fare well on the Ridge.
“We are usually off top-notch runners' radars ... except for the fact that Bozeman has become a mecca for ultrarunners,” he says. "Many like the low-key atmosphere.”
For more information about the Bridger Ridge Run, visit the website.