I’ve been walking and running on Antelope Island since about 1996. When I first started going out to the island, hardly anyone would ever be there. I would say this lasted until 2006 or so. I would be pretty well alone on the island with the buffalo (aka bison), antelope, rabbits, birds and “no see-ums”. In fact, I would often worry that if something happened to me out there (attacked by a buffalo, fell off Frary Peak, etc.) that it could be a long time until I was found.
In 2006, Jim Skaggs started the Buffalo Run. This was a 25K and 50K trail race in March on some of the island trails. Since then, the Buffalo Run has expanded to include 50 mile and 100 mile options and Jim has also added in other races during the year and training runs.
Now, anytime I go out and run on Antelope Island – the crowds are there. In addition to horses and riders and mountain bikers (and those pesky Boy Scouts), there are always runners on the trails. While it is nice to see the island being used well and comforting to know I will quickly get found if I was injured – I kind of miss the solitude of the trails.
Last Saturday I needed some outdoor time, so I grabbed my gear and headed up north and out to the island. It was the final training run before this year’s Buffalo Run, so between 75-100 runners were on the trails, in addition to other outdoors enthusiasts. I was able to push my mileage, get in some great mud and trail running, and breathe some fresh air. Nothing beats being outside and pushing the limits of your body. These are the days that make all the other days worth while.