“Don’t Fence Me In” turned into “Don’t
Start without me”
By: Matt Byrne
But it did. Yes the
race. Ok, so not an ideal start but it’s
over 18 miles and two plus hours of lumpy Montana single track; plenty of time
to make up for a stupid start.
How did this happen?
Well, it sort of starts in Scranton PA, the scene of my first dumb
move. Without a single tag on my bag, I
showed some serious faith in Delta Airlines as I placed my one and only bag on
the gate bridge. Why wouldn’t my bag be
there when I arrived in Detroit, right?
Wrong. After 3 hours of dead-end
bag searching, onward to Helena, Montana I went; with not much more than the
clothes I was wearing and a debit card in hand.
Luckily, I was sporting the new Vertical K’s. At least I had my kicks. 30K in jeans?
Let’s hope not.
Scrolling through my contacts I found Ryan Woods’
number. (Come on Ryan, be on your way to
Montana. Not only do I need a pair of
shorts but if I’m lucky, I could grab some bonus points by taking you down tomorrow. Answer…answer….Yes!) Ryan, “No worries Matt, I gotcha
covered. Got a pair of shorts and we
could even split the cost of a room”
Saaweet. That was the easy
part. Taking Ryan down…usually not so
Weirdly enough, the bag showed up in Helena, Montana that
night. I guess leaving your only form of
ID in your bag sometimes IS a good idea.
Back in business.
The early morning Montana sun seemed to forgive my mental
slip and the warm-up jog confirmed that everything was back in order. Let’s get this thing started. Some last minute lacing up in the La Sportiva
tent was noticed by rep Vince Close.
“Ready to go Matt?, how was your trip out?” Funny you should ask Vince, let me tell
you.” “That’s a great story Matt, but
don’t you think you should get to the starting line?” BANG!...it’s starts and I’m still in the
Catching the back of the pack just 100 meters in, I hurry
through the field and catch Ryan near the top of Mt. Ascension. “Tell me you’re in the lead, Ryan.” No luck.
Arizonians, Rob Krar and Jared Scott are feeling right at home on the
single track and torching this course. I
separate and hope to catch them both at some point. But other than a late sighting of Jared
coming down Mt. Helena, this race was over.
Don’t think a good start would’ve challenged these gents today.
Rob Krar made a serious Mountain Cup statement with a 5
minute victory over ‘steady eddie’ Jared Scott and I pulled in behind Jared for
3rd. Woods was not feeling
right at home and will probably try to replace this 6th place
finish. He’s better than that and the
Mountain Cup leaders are well aware.
Post Race: One of the
race sponsors, The Blackfoot River Brewery, somehow ran out of suds at the post
race gathering. To make sure everything
was ok at the brewery, a good number of runners then ventured across the street
to the brewery itself. I’m happy to
report that the brewery is just fine. As
luck would have it the brewery also doubled as nice place to chat it up with
the ‘Prickly Pear Land Trust’ peeps. A
solid group to say the least. Not only
do they take pride in their backyard, but their hospitality is unmatched. Thanks.