In the News

Bryant Scott conquers 50-mile race, 8 months after nearly losing his life to heat stroke

Marine Cpl. Bryant Scott was dying when he arrived at a San Diego hospital in late July. Suffering from heat stroke, the 27-year-old’s liver was shutting down and his heart stopped several times. Doctors told the Kennewick native’s family there was a 10 percent chance for his recovery. But eight months after waking up from a 14-day coma, Scott finished the 50-mile Badger Mountain Challenge on Saturday. The run that cost Scott a career as a Marine, his liver and nearly his life started at 7 a.m. on a hot July day at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County. He had donned 45 to 55 pounds of gear for 13-mile navigation exercise across mountains and rivers. As he was running, the desert temperature spiked to 109 degrees. Scott, already on the course, continued running. He was out ahead of his companions when his body shut down about 100 meters from the final checkpoint. “They found me in a dried river bed. I was completely out,” Scott said. “I had a deep gash in my head. I had been bleeding for a while.” He was flown from the scene, and was already in a coma when he arrived at the hospital. “My heart kept stopping,” he said. “I was having massive cell death. I only had a small amount of time to live.” Doctors removed his liver, and while that stopped his deterioration, he would need a liver transplant. When Scott eventually woke up, he had lost 65 pounds of muscle. He couldn’t lift his arms, couldn’t sit up and had dozens of staples across his mid-section. But Scott was determined to get better. By late September, he was released from the hospital to a rehabilitation center and returned to his mom Lanette Adams’ home in Kennewick in late December. “I wasn’t in good shape,” he said. “I was emotionally and physiologically broken down. I had a lot of remorse because I wasn’t overseas with my (Marine) brothers. I just kept praying and working.” Then in mid- to late January, Scott saw the sign for the Badger Mountain Challenge, and he decided he would tackle the 50-mile trail run with its steep climbs and descents. His 3 1/2 -year career as a Marine ended with his collapse, and he’s now on terminal convalescent leave. When he finishes the leave, Scott will be honorably discharged. “The thing they kept saying was that your mission is to recover,” he said. “I have received nothing but love from them. ... I felt blessed to be part of the Marine Corps.” Scott joined a gym and began intense strength and conditioning training called CrossFit. The now 192-pound Scott was determined to finish the Badger challenge. He wanted to run the course for his fellow company of Marines, who are deployed in Syria. When he was in peak condition, Scott could run three miles in 18 minutes. Last weekend, he trudged through the rain, tripping over his feet. He met others along the trail as morning slipped into afternoon and then into night. As it reached 11:30 p.m. and the race was supposed to wrap up, organizers allowed him to go on. He simply kept running through the rain and dark. “I wasn’t in a hurry to finish. I was just going to finish,” he said. “I was happy because I was actually there rather than lying in a bed.” Then, at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, tired, bruised, and cramped, Scott crossed the finish line. He was 69th out of 71 finishers — arriving 18  1/2 hours after he started. His family met him at the finish with a sign showing the date of his liver transplant and the date of the race. On Monday, he was still sore, but thinking about his next challenge. “Doing something one time sets the bar for future events,” he said. “I know I’ll do a lot more 50 milers and marathons.” View the original article on the Tri-City Herald.

Post Date: March 27, 2017

Badger Mountain Challenge Participants set to take over Badger Mountain

Local hikers who frequent Badger Mountain might want to give popular trail system a day off on Saturday. The seventh annual Badger Mountain Challenge is set to take over the hill this weekend, with the 50- and 100-mile races beginning Friday, and the 50-kilometer and much more popular 15-K slated for Saturday morning. The 50- and 100-mile races start at 7 a.m. Friday, and runners will spend just a fraction of the race on Badger Mountain. The course then heads to Candy Mountain before running south along Interstate 82. Runners head west at Jacobs Road, climbing McBee Ridge and heading out to Chandler Butte before looping around to retrace the course. The 100-milers do this twice. Last year’s 100-mile winner, Gabe Wishnie of Redmond, finished in 19 hours, 16 minutes, 59 seconds, crossing the line at 2 a.m. More than 70 racers are entered for the big race, 75 for the 50-miler. The 50-K (31 miles) traverses mostly the same course as the longer races but cuts out a loop in the McBee area. Nearly 65 are slated to take part in this race. The popular 15-K race (9.3 miles) has nearly 500 entries and, aside from the start, sticks to Badger Mountain. All races begin on Shockley Road in front of the Bethel Church. The 50-K race starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, with the 15-K hitting the trail at 8 a.m. Proceeds from the event benefit Friends of Badger Mountain, Washington Trails Association, Girls on the Run and Team in Training. Read the original story at the Tri-City Herald.

Post Date: March 24, 2017

Friends of Badger Mountain hits a snag in its efforts on behalf of a Red Mountain ridge trail

Dreams of a 20-mile ridge-to-ridge trail stretching from Richland’s Amon Basin to the Yakima River have run into a hitch. (View on Tri-City Herald) The Seattle-based limited liability corporation that owns 138 acres along the ridgeline will not grant a 20-foot pedestrian-only easement for the trail. Benton County property records indicate Red Mountain Ridgeline LLC paid $600,000 for the property in 2008. It is the only one, out of five Red Mountain property owners, to refuse to allow public access across its land, according to Friends of Badger Mountain, the group behind the ridge-to-ridge effort. Without an easement, Friends of Badger Mountain is hard-pressed to fulfill its dream. The proposed trail on Red Mountain begins at Antinori Road and ascends the hill on its southwestern flank, reaching a tower at the ridge. It then would follow the ridge and descend to the Yakima River. In a nod to sensitive agricultural concerns on Red Mountain, Friends of Badger proposed an easement to allow hikers, but not bicyclists or equestrians, on the trail. Without the easement, the trail would end at the tower. “It would stop the trail,” said Sharon Grant, a board member who has worked for almost six years to get access for a Red Mountain trail. Friends of Badger Mountain previously led the efforts to create nature preserves and trails on neighboring Badger Mountain and Candy Mountain. Thanks to the group’s work, Benton County completed an acquisition of property on Candy Mountain in 2016 after collecting donations and a major grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office. Trail construction began last fall. On Candy Mountain, Friends pursued private and public money to buy the property. On Red Mountain, a lucrative wine grape growing region, the group took a different approach. In consultation with Benton County, it hoped to secure recreation easements from private property owners, as well as the state Department of Natural Lands. “There is no way that we could ever raise the money to acquire land on Red Mountain,” Grant said. Red Mountain’s prominence has been rising for more than two decades. Its unique growing climate led to its 2001 designation as an American Viticultural Area, Washington’s smallest. In 2015, the Kennewick Irrigation District completed a $20 million project to bring Yakima River water to the 1,400-foot mountain’s slopes, further sparking vineyard development. Grant and the group’s attorney said the other owners, including the state Department of Natural Resources, have indicated their support for the trail plan in part because it complements wine-related tourism at Red Mountain. Sarah Goedhart, who has worked with Grant to establish the Red Mountain link, said the winery community endorses the idea, viewing it as highly compatible with wine-related tourism. “This would be good for tourism and wineries and the region in general,” she said. “The top of the mountain is now off limits.” An out-and-back trail wouldn’t bring hikers past the other vineyards and wineries at Red Mountain and it would disappoint users as well, according to Grant. “Once you get people to the top, of course they want to walk along the ridge,” she said. According to corporate registration documents filed with the Washington Secretary of State, Red Mountain Ridgeline is led by Cameron Myhrvold. Myhrvold is a former Microsoft executive who formed, then sold, a software firm to Microsoft. He also co-founded Ignition Partners LLC, a Bellevue firm that invests in early state business-to-business software companies and serves on numerous boards connected to tech firms, according to his public profile on Ignition’s website. His office said he was in Hawaii with family this week. He did not respond to messages emailed in care of his attorney, Taro Kusunose, or Ignition about the access issue. And Friends of Badger Mountain isn’t the only group the Red Mountin Ridgeline owner turned down. Jason Reathaford, who organizes the annual Badger Mountain Challenge, said the property owner also turned down a request from his group. It means the seventh running of the Badger Mountain Challenge will be parallel to the Red Mountain ridgeline instead of running along it. In the first six years, the grueling 50-mile route began at Badger Mountain, went over Candy Mountain, then Red Mountain, and then into the Horse Heaven Hills. Reathaford said it appeared liability is a concern. He’s scrambling to reroute that section of the race through the area between Candy and Red mountains. The alternate route will not be as attractive to serious trail runners, he said. Reathaford expects 700 people to participate in one of the four versions of this year’s race, which is March 24-25. “It’s getting harder and harder to find trails as property turns into (vineyards),” he said. “That’s part of the story of Red Mountain. We need to enjoy the trails and open space as we have them. That’s the point of the trail race.”

Post Date: February 25, 2017