Friday, June 30, 2006

Old Gabe 50K - Are You Man Enough?

53 men and 25 women began the 9th Old Gabe 25K/50K trail running race at 6AM on a beautiful, crystal clear June day. Old Gabe is Jim Bridger's nickname after living 45 years in the west and is the new name for this 50K. The race, sponsored in part by, covers over 32 miles of single-track trail in the Bridger Mountains of southwest Montana beginning and ending at the Middle Cottonwood Trailhead north of Bozeman.
Course Profile - like a roller coaster ride.

50-year-old local Matt Lavin hung with veteran ultramarathoner Brandon Sybrowski for the first half of the 11,800 feet of climb over very rocky trails with multiple stream crossings. Brandon pulled away on the third of four long climbs but Matt finished a respectable seventeen minutes back. Meanwhile another local, 46-year-old three time Bridger Ridge winner Liz McGoff was in a battle for the women's win with neophyte Zusana Drobnik.

On the way back up Sypes Canyon Liz shared her worries with Zusana's boyfriend who informed Liz that she ought to be nervous because Zusana is Czech (as is the winner of this year's US Championship Mountain Climb). Zusana was gunning for Liz on the downhills but just couldn't hang on all the climbs. Due to this hot pursuit Liz did cross the line with a new course record by ten minutes. Seventy nine year old Bob Hayes (oldest finisher of the Bridger Ridge Run) was eleven years older than his nearest competitor and finished ahead of 15% of the field.

Beartooth Creek crossing during the Old Gabe 50K Trail Run
Three of the top four males in the 25K were over 40 won in record time by 46-year-old Jay Rotella testing out trails after many good times on the road. Several complained that the beautiful wildflowers and high alpine and cliffy scenery distracted them from serious running.

Always a competition - A snowfed stream passing by the finish line started a friendly competition for half body immersion. Despite the hot day, the record stands at 46 seconds. The gauntlet is thrown down for anybody willing to go for it next year in the icy stream.

--Thanks to Tom Hayes for text and photos--



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home