Friday, July 31, 2009

Great Running Under The Big Sky

The Buzzard was on the road this week, traveling for work. Traveling can be a bit of a chore; but, from a running perspective, it does mean that you get the chance to hit some locales and routes that aren’t part of your everyday, ordinary routine. And, that was the case for me this week. I hit a great trio of runs ranging from the western side of the state to the southwest/south-central areas.

The trip started on Tuesday. After traveling to Missoula from Plains and taking care of some business items, I had the chance to fit in a nice tempo run in the Lower Rattlesnake and Greenough Park areas. The whole Rattlesnake area is such a great urban forest/wilderness/trail system. It’s always a pleasure to hit this area that is, literally, just steps away from Downtown Missoula.

I then spent the night with my parents in Butte; and, the next morning was up and out the door early for a nice run in the Mile High City. The sun was just cresting the East Ridge, the air was crisp and cool and the air was still. What a great morning for a run in my old stomping grounds. The best part may have been the temps. After several weeks of hot, hot weather in the Plains area, it was great to be out in 40+ degrees. Very refreshing!!!

After spending the day in meetings on Thursday, I had the opportunity to go for a trail run in Bozeman. Running with Michael Sanderson, we headed up to Sypes Canyon on the west side of the Bridger Mountains. It was my first time in this area and I was super impressed. Cool, forest shaded canyons, knife ridges, rocky slopes, sweeping vistas. This run has it all (including some quad busting, lung searing climbs). With opportunities like these just minutes from town, it’s little wonder why so many trail geeks gravitate towards Bozo.

In the end, these 3 runs were opportunities to see the best of Montana running. Urban trails, high altitude and world class mountain trails. About the only thing that I missed out on this run was the unique experience of the Rimrocks in Billings.

It was an invigorating 3 days and reminded me of how fortunate we are to live and run under the Big Sky. Sometimes it’s easy to take our landscape and unique environment for granted. These runs brought me back to the appreciation for what’s available out our front doors. It put some burn in my legs and a smile on my face. Good days indeed.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.

The Muddy Buzzard

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