One person's race is another's nightmare. Running full-tilt through the woods, trying to figure out where to go is the stuff of my nightmares, and usually includes some chainsaw-wielding psychopath, a grizzly bear, a rampaging moose or some combination of all three (the psychopathic moose with a chainsaw and a grizzly sidekick is really disturbing).
But, taken in the right context--and fully conscious--running through the woods is, apparently, something to look forward to.
Wild Rockies race organizers think so, at least. The race series championship trail run will send racers running along the wooded trails of Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area the evening of Saturday, Sept. 12.
However, looking at the specifics of the race, we non-forest runners have to wonder whether the racers are hard-core or a little sadomasochistic (although I've found the two classifications aren't mutually exclusive).
Racers won't begin until 6 p.m. on the 10K course, largely leading along some of Bogus' lower Nordic trails. Along the way, runners will gain 1,500 feet in elevation and depend on catching orange trail arrows to find their way. Considering how early it's been getting dark, some of the stragglers should bring some flashlights.
If they survive the first go-round, participants can do the course a second time to complete a 20K race. The fastest male and female finishers of the 20K race will each take home $50. Everyone else will just have to pony up the $25 registration fee.
The race begins and ends at Frontier Lodge--otherwise known as the Nordic lodge--and Shu's Idaho Running Company and Wild Rockies will be at base camp with food and drinks.
But the evening race isn't the beginning of that flying-through-the-woods fun. Nope, that honor belongs to the second annual Hari-Kari short track and cyclocross training race, which will take over the base area of the Bogus Nordic Center beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The races mark the end of the short-track season and the beginning of the cross season, and organizers are hoping it will bring out the spectators as well as the racers since the action can be watched from the Nordic base area.
Short track races begin at 10 a.m. for category three and lower, followed by category two and one. Cyclocross racing will follow throughout the afternoon, beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Registration for bikers and runners can be done at spondoro.com.
Personally, I might try to avoid running around the woods lest I kindle some kind of nightmare recollection. Strangely, once you start screaming as you're running through the woods, it really ruins the atmosphere of an athletic event.