2019 | Bitterroot Runoff
Breathing in the crisp morning air, I continued quietly up the mountain. The trail felt particularly familiar. Last fall, six laps of the course punctuated my first 100 kilometer racing experience. Today, I wouldn't be going to the proverbial well of self discovery. I wouldn't be exploring my perceived limits. My job today would be to capture those who were taking a little journey through the woods. Loaded up with my camera gear, I knew just the spot to capture the action. Stepping off the trail, my feet carried me on a direct route up the mountain.
Snow still lingered in the high country. Dark clouds rolled off Lolo Peak, reminding me of how fickle a Montana spring could be. Looking back toward the east, speckles of sunshine punched through the gray mat of clouds that had been smothering Missoula for well over a week. In a good mood, I found my shooting spot and waited for runners to come meandering down the trail.
Snow began to flurry as the runner rounded the switchback of the final climb. With over 500 runners cruising down the trail, I witnessed all the emotions that come with running through the mountains. The leaders were 'guttin' it as I like to say. Pouring all they had into the 10 mile course. Overall, a mix of focus and smiles filled the runners faces. My face probably didn't look too much different.
Right around 10 miles in length, the Bitterroot Runoff is an excellent event for anyone interested in experiencing some wonderful trails at the base of the Bitterroot Mountains. The unique thing about running and photographing along the course is that it is all privately owned land. Thanks to the gracious landowner, Missoula's trail runners get a chance to experience some new dirt. I'm already looking forward to next year.
Onward | Seth
P.s. If you ran the course this year or just want to see more photos from the race, head over to my event gallery to see all of the race photos. Here is a link to the gallery.