Triple crown runner
Local runner dominates the Greater Yellowstone Adventure Series
Three marathon wins, in just one week’s time. This is something that would be difficult for most people. In fact, winning one marathon would be difficult for most people. Caleb Huger is not one of those people.
Huger was able to accomplish this just a few weeks ago during the Greater Yellowstone Adventure Series (GYAS). GYAS is a series of extreme races and marathons in Madison County throughout the month of July.
Huger grew up an athlete, however did not get into long distance running until roughly five years ago. In fact, when he was in middle school he tried out for his school’s track team and absolutely hated it. It wasn’t until he became enthralled with the Rut Mountain Race in Big Sky that he found his love for running.
In 2017, Huger ran the Rut before moving to Ennis a few years later. This is when he was introduced to the Greater Yellowstone Adventure Series, which unlocked his true love of the sport.
“For me, it’s about accomplishing something, and trying something harder and new that I’ve never done before to push myself… Putting your mind to something and doing feels really good,” Huger said.
After training and running in the Madison Ultra last year, Huger was ready for a big year in 2022. He added a new coach to his team to help him prepare for the grueling races he would run in the summer and fall. This led him to the GYAS a few weeks ago. Huger was focused solely on hitting his goals for each of the races and would be content with wherever he finished if he did so. “For me it was all about getting a good time… I knew what I was capable of and I had a goal time in mind. I looked at past events and knew that my goal time would get me close to winning,” Huger said. First up was the Madison Marathon on July 9. The Madison Marathon is the oldest race of the GYAS, originating in 2008. Huger considered this his warmup race for the rest of the busy week ahead. Warmup or not, Huger won the first of three races with a time of 4:01:34. With this win came a free bottle of whiskey from Willie’s Distillery, something that Huger was looking forward to.
“Half of the reason I ran was for the free whiskey from each race I won,” Huger said jokingly.
The next race was the Big Sky Marathon on July 10. Just one day after his win at the Madison Marathon, Huger put on an incredible performance with a time of 3:25:08. This gave him another win and once again another bottle of whiskey from Willie’s Distillery.
Last but definitely not least, was the Madison Ultra on July 15. The Madison Ultra was a 50K race that could either be run up to, or down from Monument Ridge in the Gravellys. Huger decided to run the down portion of the race due to a pretty substantial workload from the past week. For the third time in one week, Huger was able to come out victorious with a time of 4:11:51 and of course, another bottle of whiskey from Willie’s Distillery.
This was the big one because Huger states the Ultra was his primary focus the entire way.
“I was honestly saving myself in the first couple of races, because I knew that I really wanted to run well at the Ultra,” Huger said.
Even after this incredible one week run, the challenge for Huger does not stop here. He now has his eyes set on running the Pony Express 100 mile run in Southern Utah, which is in October. The race in fact goes along the path of the former Pony Express in the 1800s.
Huger will continue to train for the next couple of months for what should be the most intense race he’s ever done.