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Pocatello Man Attempts 'The Great Salmon Run'

September 30, 2011

SALMON, Idaho - Two men are attempting what's being called "The Great Salmon Race" today. The ultra-marathoners are running along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to follow the migration route of Idaho's Snake River salmon.

Athlete Luke Nelson from Pocatello holds several endurance records, but says this run is a new challenge. He and his partner will travel 120 miles and thousands of feet in elevation in just two days.

"Essentially, once we leave the trailhead, we're on our own. We're carrying all of our food and all of our own equipment. It will be about 12,000- or 13,000-feet elevation gain."

Nelson hopes to raise awareness about the migration of Idaho wild salmon, which migrate farther and higher than any other fish in the world, according to Save Our Wild Salmon. His running partner is Ty Draney from Wyoming.

The runners are accepting pledges-per-mile and donations, which Nelson says will go to salmon and steelhead restoration projects.

"The restoration of salmon has a lot more to do with than just saving fish. It brings back jobs. It brings back cultural aspects that have been lost."

Even though the two will be far from paved roads, they will carry satellite devices so they can update the public on their location, and post notes on Twitter.

Details about the trip are online at Follow Luke Nelson on or #GreatSalmonRun.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID