Talbot, Randall win Jim Bridger Trail Run in Montana
A pair of Alaskans claimed the highly competitive Jim Bridger Trail Run on June 24 in Bozeman, Montana.
Silas Talbot, of Service High fame, pulled away in the men’s division with a late downhill surge while Anchorage’s Kikkan Randall raced to a first-place tie with fellow U.S. Ski Team member Liz Stephen. The 10-mile event in the foothills of the Bridger Mountains featured 2,000 feet of vertical gain.
A wedding for two elite Nordic skiers later that day in Bozeman greatly enhanced the quality of the field, which included five Olympians plus some Olympic hopefuls.
After sharing the race workload, Randall and Stephen ultimately decided to finish together in 1 hour, 26 minutes and 58 seconds.
They planned to follow up with more exercise that evening.
“We’ll all be in the same boat when our legs start to fall apart on the dance floor tonight,” Randall told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. “We’ll all be doing the same funny jiggle.”
Anna Dalton, a standout road racer formerly of Anchorage and now living in Bozeman, placed seventh in 1:29:39. In 2016, her time would have won the women’s race by three minutes.
Talbot, 24, a former All-American skier at Dartmouth College, moved to Bozeman a year ago to join the Bridger Ski Foundation Nordic team.
Among 292 finishers, Talbot crossed first in 1:13:59, outlasting Patrick Caldwell of the U.S. Ski Team by 54 seconds.
“The competition today was super high and I was super stoked when I realized … there were going to be so many fast people here,” Talbot told the Chronicle.
Jeff Ellis, Randall’s husband, placed 22nd among men in 1:30:14
– By Matias Saari, Alaska Sports Blog contributor