It is an awesome trail race (25k, 50k, 50 miler, 100 miler) on Antelope Island, a beautiful remote island about an hour outside of Salt Lake City and is the home to all kinds of wildlife, the most popular being herds of wild buffalo and antelope.
Last year, Teresa and I did the 25k and Bob B. and Bob K. did the 50k. This is a tough course, but we LOVED it, so the consensus was, LET'S DO IT AGAIN!
Now, if you read my blog post from last year's practice run, you will remember that Teresa and I got lost on the trail and almost ran into a heard of buffalo only to be rescued by a park ranger. While terrifying at the time, it made for a great adventure. Today's run was also quite the adventure.
Teresa, Bob B., Bob K., Skyler, Eric, Jamie, Kathleen and I headed to Antelope Island for another "test run" before the race next month. When we got to the ranger station to pay the fee to get in, Kathleen asked the ranger, "What do we do if we encounter Buffalo on the trail?" In the most nonchalant way the ranger answered, "Run like hell!" Nervous laughter filled the car.
The group on Antelope Island
It was a little cold & windy when we got there, but we quickly warmed up and the wind died down. The first few miles was the toughest as it is all up hill. It wasn't long before the guys split off from Teresa, Kathleen and I. The three of us watched them pull away up the hill and settled in to our pace (which at times was walking the killer hills).
It started to rain a little, but we didn't care. We were having a great time! Antelope Island is beautiful!
Me on the trail
Kathleen on the trail
Teresa and I on the trail
We got about 4 1/2 miles into our run and we hit a pretty rocky part of the trail. I said "I think we are out of buffalo danger as I think they stay on the flat plains." The trail was pretty rocky, so we were all looking down to avoid tripping on the rocks. We were running on a single track trail, I was in front, followed by Teresa, then Kathleen. Just a few minutes later, we came around a bend on the trail and I just happened to look up. When I did I saw 6 huge buffalo about 100 yards away! If I hadn't looked up, I would have run right into the side of one of them!
At that point I turned on a dime and quietly said "BUFFALO!" Teresa and Kathleen followed suit and we booked it back down the hill. Kathleen at one point said "Are the following us?", but luckily they weren't. Once we got far enough away, we laughed about it and were pretty thrilled at the fact that we would have another great story to tell the guys!
The rest of the run could not be more beautiful. The weather was perfect! We were coming up on the fence where we parked when I saw a large brown spot moving near the trail. Yep, another buffalo! We immediately got off the trail and got close to the fence. Luckily by the time we got to the opening the buffalo had wandered off the trail and we made a run for it!
The buffalo once we go behind the fence!
Teresa at a safe distance from the buffalo! Notice how close he is to the trail?
When the guys got back, we found out that they also ran into the 6 buffalo we saw (Bob B. got video)!
It was an awesome run followed by breakfast at Corner Bakery. Thanks to Kathleen for driving and to Teresa for taking these great photos! I can't wait for the race now! I think I will bring my pepper spray again! Hee Hee!