All runners will be weighed at the race packet pickup and will be asked for updated medical information that might be germane to their participation in this race. The starting weights will be recorded along with pertinent weight parameters and significant medical information. Periodic medical checks of the participants consisting of pulse and oxygen saturations and mental acuity will be performed at designated medical checkpoints during the event (Jaws Trailhead, Sally's Foot Bridge and Dry Fork checkpoints). Mental alertness will be screened at all manned aid stations.
If the medical personnel flags a runner whom they are concerned about, a full medical check will ensue. This will consist of weight, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, and respirations as well as a thorough physical and mental assessment by a medical professional. A weight loss of 3% indicates that significant dehydration has occurred and the runner will be encouraged to hydrate back to their pre-race weight. At 5% weight loss, the runner may be nearly exhausted and may be held by the aid station until adequate hydration can be established by the runner. A 7% loss of body weight may be grounds for mandatory withdrawal from the race due to the high risks of heat exhaustion or hypothermia while on the course and the increasing risk of dangerous impairment of body functions.
Weight gain may also be problematic indicating retention of water with the corresponding risk of dilutional hyponatremia and possible seizures. Runners over 3% of their starting weight will be queried further regarding their fluid intake and urination history with particular attention directed to a participant who has not been urinating during the event. Runners over 5% of their starting body weight may likely be held for closer monitoring and possible mandatory withdrawal from the race because of the risks of hyponatremia and seizures from excessive water retention during an ultramarathon event.
It is important for the participant to recognize the potential physical and mental stresses, which may evolve from participation in this race. The runners may be subject to extreme temperatures of heat and cold, hypothermia, heat stroke, kidney failure, seizures, low blood sugar, disorientation, injury, falling rock or trees, wild animal or reptile attack, or even death from their participation in this event.
Adequate pre-race conditioning is mandatory and a participant should not run the race if they have not been able to prepare adequately to run safely. Hypothermia and heat illness will be significant risks in this race. Both can cause nausea, dizziness, and mental confusion. Impending heat stroke may be signaled by a decrease in sweating and goose bumps and can progress to collapse in a short period of time. The diagnosis of why a runner is nauseated requires careful consideration of temperature conditions at the time of illness, altitude, and race pace to arrive at corrective measures. Proper race pace is crucial. A runner must be careful not to exceed their own physiologic thresholds which may vary according to temperature, altitude, terrain, and conditioning. High altitudes above 7000 feet coupled with strenuous exertion may produce various degrees of altitude sickness. This can lead to severe lung and brain swelling which without treatment could even lead to death. Treatment for altitude sickness is rest and descending to a lower altitude. Altitude sickness can be prevented with altitude acclimation, proper fluid and electrolyte intake, and proper pace.
Injuries from falling both on even or rough trail, hazards of running in possible snow conditions, falling rock or trees, and injuries related to adverse encounters with wildlife exist for the participant taking part in this race. Vehicle hazards, common fatigue, getting lost, and being far from medical help, treatment, and evacuation are just some of the other risks associated with participating in the Bighorn Trail 100. It is crucial that the runner has physically prepared himself/herself to safely participate in this race, stays mentally alert, stays adequately hydrated and nourished during the event, and is mentally prepared to withdraw at an appropriate time if he/she can not safely continue.
All participants will be checked in by their race number at the start of the race by race management and will be checked in/out of all manned aid station checkpoints along the course. Sheridan Search and Rescue will provide communications support at all the manned aid stations. The communications personnel will be provided an accurate list of all starters and their race number. Each participant will have a check in/check out time recorded at each manned aid station with the information radioed to the next aid station to aid in accounting for each runner during the event. A trail sweep will be conducted at the appropriate time along each section of the trail. If the sweep fails to account for any runners, race officials will notify standby groups for an emergency search. If an emergency search is activated, any emergency search costs will be the responsibility of the entrant including any emergency search costs generated by the entrant failing to properly withdraw from the event by turning in their race number to the Aid Station captain at the closest aid station.