A field of 85 runners completed the 33rd Le Grizz 50 Mile Ultramarathon footrace on Saturday, Oct. 11 along Hungry Horse Reservoir.
Of the starters, 27 had never run 50 miles before and 26 of them finished.
The overall winner was Benjamin Bucklin, of Spokane, Washington, who finished in 6 hours, 14 minutes, 47 seconds. Paolo Venturini, of Rovolon, Italy, took the Masters Division (Age 40-49) in 7:23:34. In the Seniors Division for runners over 50 years of age, Christopher Goodwin, of Spokane, Washington, was first, posting 7:26:42 in his first 50 miler.
The women were on fire, with five finishes under seven and a half hours, Lindsay Swan, of Bozeman, was the overall winner in 7:11:44 in her first 50 miler. Michele Anderson, of Livingston, posted 7:15:09 to take the Masters Division. Susan Gallup of Calgary, Alberta, won the Senior Division in 8:41:10.
Le Grizz is USA Track and Field’s 50 Mile Championship for Montana runners. Brian Rhodes-Devey of Whitefish won the men’s Open Division, posting 6:28:13 in his first 50 miler, and Swan was the first woman. Masters winners were John Dayton of Helena in 9:24:46, and Anderson.
The Cheetah Herders Athletic Club of Seeley Lake sponsored the event, assisted by the Glacier Special Olympics, North Valley Search and Rescue, and local volunteers. More information on the event can be found at www.cheetahherders.com.
This will likely be the last time the event is held along the reservoir, as Pat Caffrey, race director for the last 33 years, is retiring. Discussions are underway to move the event to the North Fork Flathead River area under new management.
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