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Annual Jim Bridger Trail Run brings new faces

Posted at 10:44 PM, Jun 23, 2018

BOZEMAN — The rain stayed away for the better part of Saturday morning for the 2018 Jim Bridger Trail Run. Roughly 300 runners from all over the United States participated in the 10-mile trek across the Bridger Mountains and through Sypes Canyon.

The run is put on by the Bridger Ski Foundation, a nonprofit that helps fund competitive and educational programs in Nordic, Alpine, Freestyle and Free skiing. The first-place winners for the boys and girls each received $150 and top-three finishers in each gender received their pick of the loot from sponsors around the area. The first-place finisher for the men’s was Jeff Colt, a native of Colorado, and Saturday was his first time in Bozeman.

“I was hoping to come out and have a fun day. I am up here for a friend’s wedding, so I’m like, ‘Oh, come do a trail race in the morning, spiffy up and go to the wedding in the afternoon,'” Colt said. “I know a lot of Nordic kids are running, so I kind of stayed with them going in the uphill, they’re really strong in that. This gentleman (the second-place finisher) was quite a ways ahead, but once we got onto the traverse it was dry and pretty and lots of flowers. It was nice seeing folks up there cheering.”

On the women’s side, former Vermont ski team member Anja Gurer placed first with a time of 1:32. She is familiar with the trail in her second year competing, but never expected to win.

“You can never expect that, but I love this race and it’s cool because it supports the Nordic skiing community and that’s where my heart is,” she said. “I love that, always to see the Nordic skiiers do really well.”

“(The trail’s) really good,” Gurer added. “At the top, there’s just some sections you just, lots of mudslides, but some people maybe needed a better shoe choice, but I had some sturdy shoes.”