Great Wyoming Buffalo Stampede brings fun time, unique award

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Seeing the cool prize at the Great Wyoming Buffalo Stampede drew me to the race, and I got to leave the event with my own wooden buffalo.

Here's my award from the Great Wyoming Buffalo Stampede 10K, for third place in my age group. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
Here’s my award from the Great Wyoming Buffalo Stampede 10K, for third place in my age group. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The Great Wyoming Buffalo Stampede, held in Wyoming, Delaware, caught my attention last year when it was featured in a Runner’s World article. It was again featured in a Runner’s World article — the dates may have just been updated for 2015. (Shout-out to Jonesin’ for a Run – who noted that the race was again featured on Runner’s World this year.)

I looked at last year’s winning times before registering and figured I’d have a better shot at winning a buffalo for the 5K, but I wanted to run the 10K — I would be driving more than an hour to get to the race, and that way I’d get a longer run in, get to see more of Wyoming and get additional experience with the 10K, as I hope to run one in less than 50 minutes this year. And what if all the faster people decided to run the 5K, and then I still didn’t get one?

I signed up for the 10K, and I still ended up being able to get third in my age group. My time today, July 18, was 57:50 — a 9:18 pace —which is my slowest 10K race time. This year, I’ve run my slowest 10-miler, half marathon and marathon races, along with one of my slowest 5Ks. But, I’ve still been having fun, I haven’t had any heat-related medical problems and I managed to win age-group awards in four of the five road races I’ve run. (I’m not sure I’m looking forward to turning 25 later this year, with that new age group!)

The Buffalo Stampede was hot. I stopped at every water stop, and after the first stop, where I drank one cup of water, I asked for two cups at each water stop and poured one on my head and drank the other. I walked for a little bit at each water stop, and a couple or so other times.

Given my past experiences with dehydration, my main goal was to finish the race healthy and without needing medical attention, and I succeeded.

The first mile I did much faster than the rest of the race — I didn’t wear my watch, because I haven’t been doing that for a little more than a year for races — but I heard some people around me say the pace was around 8:02 or 8:10. (I’m not sure where they started in the pack; I was pretty close to the front.)

It was fun to run through Fifer Orchards during the run, and I stopped there after the post-race party to buy some apple cider doughnuts and produce.

During the run, on my way back, I felt like Mile 5 seemed extra long. I felt like I’d seen the Mile 4 sign a while ago, but I had not seen a sign for Mile 5.

I did see the two-mile mark for the 5K — which would have meant 1.1 miles were left — but I never saw the Mile 5 sign. So, seeing the Mile 6 sign was a huge relief, and I knew I’d only have 0.2 miles left to run. I felt like I kicked up the speed at that point.

I enjoyed a couple peaches afterward at Wyoming Park, which has a nice lake, and then made my way over to the party at the nearby Moose Lodge, where there was a live band and awards were given out. In addition to the award, I like the tech shirt I received with a running buffalo on it.

This race, put on by the Downstate Delaware Striders and Riders, also only cost $20 for me to enter, plus the online fee.

I would like to return to this race, though I might give the 5K a shot, because of the heat. We’ll see — I may be interested in the 10K again by the time next summer rolls around.

Note: This post has been updated to correct the amount I spent on the race entry. 

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