Early Bird trail race 2014 in Helena PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sebastian White   
Friday, 02 May 2014 14:49

Saturday April 26th was the 5th annual Montana Discover Foundation’s Early Bird trail race @ Helena’s Regulating Reservoir.  This race offers 2 distances: 5mile and 1.8 mile.  The 5 mile encompasses 1 full loop of the reservoir while the 1.8 is an out and back on the gravel section.I did the 5miler with 110 other racers.

 The race time temperature was ideal at 40F with cloudy skies and light winds.  The trail conditions were going to be questionable after the heavy rain that poured all night.  At the prerace meeting, the race organizers warned of “lots of mud”.

 We started and quickly a group of 5 racers paced off the front.  The initial gravel section offered good footing and we were able to run well.  We came into the dirt section, the pace slowed considerably and I found myself in front at the start of the single track.  “No time like the present to attack” says Self.  The trail was impeccable rolling terrain with very little mud.  

 By mile 2.5, I was still leading with Bryan Johnson from Helena’s Team Tread Lightly on my shoulder. We were cruising and striding up the small climbs in the trail, but I was starting to suffer badly.  At mile 3.5, we came up a rise to find an underused dirt road with deep mud and standing water.  I bounded into the muck, slipped numerous times trying to find stride, while my shoes gained 2lbs each.  Bryan came past me on a dryer outside line and had a 30seconds gap as we entered the final single track.  Bryan was the defending champion of this race, and knows the course well.  He is also current champion with a winning time of 31:32.  I held on for 2nd place overall, 1st Masters.

Here are the results.