After coming off a great week last week, running the CdA ½ marathon, and my last long week of training for Ironman, I thought I would give back a little this weekend. Our friend, Corey Haustein (also the event organizer of the Hayden View Triathon) was hosting a brand new race for the area. Called The TNT Hiawatha (Tunnels N Trestles) Trail Run. A 28.2-mile trail run on the Idaho/Montana border. I was excited to be apart of this inaugural event.
I have biked this Route of the Hiawatha trail before with my family and it is magnificent. Through the Bitterroot mountains of Idaho, and Montana on an old abandon rail bed, which spans from the Pacific Northwest all the way to the Midwest. You wind through some gorgeous country on a fairly flat trail, with a slight grade heading down, climbing back up about 1000 feet towards the finish, passing through several train tunnels and trestles. The most popular being the Taft Tunnel, which is 1.66 miles in length, tunneling under the Idaho/Montana border. As you enter the tunnels, you can feel the cool air being breathed out of them. Total darkness surrounds you, as you make your way through with only the dim light of your headlamp, which is required.
The trestles are spectacular. Spanning over huge valleys, and gorges.
The wild life is amazing. This morning coming to the trailhead we saw a moose having her morning meal. The deer, and chipmunks were crazy darting everywhere in front of us on the trail. Some of the brave ones even coming up and eating out of our hands at the aid station.
I was happy to take on my task with Greg of getting on my mountain bike, with our Burly (which hasn’t been used forever, w/out any small kids) and setting up mile marker signs along the course.
We also worked the last, turn-around aid station along with some of the nicest volunteers I have ever known.
We love riding this trail, and every time it just takes my breath away. Massive green pine-treed forest, and snow-capped mountains. Rivers, streams and waterfalls that seem to come right out of a movie.
We got markers set up, and helped set up the aid station with pretzels, gummy bears, M&M’s, cookies, potato chips, and drinks, waiting for our runners. One by one they filed in to refuel, looking great at the ½ way point. All of them smiling, and commenting on what a beautiful run it had been. As far as scenery, I don’t think you could get much better than this.
Our friend Brian exiting one of the many tunnels.
At the finish there was lunch, medals, T-shirts and GREAT schwag bags for the runners. They all did so great!! The racers had a mix of weather. A chilly start, sun throughout the early morning, and some light rain towards the end. It was a well-run race, and I was happy to help. Our friend, put a lot of time and energy into planning this great event, and it was fantastic to see his hard work pay off.
I hear “rumblings” that there will be another, held possibly in September of this year, which I would LOVE to be a part of again, but this time as a participant.