While the total elevation on this course is comparatively mild to other runs, I just want to make sure that people don’t underestimate this course. It has some very technical sections that will challenge almost anyone. Luckily the toughest sections are spread out so that you don’t have to take the beating all at once! :) I’ve just added some photos that runners took from a recent training run to the Facebook page which will give you a good idea of what you’re in for on the more technical sections of the course.
Also, don’t forget about the heat. There will be a 15 mile section of trail on exposed desert between Smith and Gooseberry mesas that most will be crossing during the hottest hours of the day.
The 50 mile course is a different beast. While it starts out with a brutal climb and over 15 miles of singletrack on the varied terrain of Gooseberry Mesa (which will leave you begging for a smooth surface to run on) the last 30 miles are very fast. When it splits with the 100 mile course it will take the more direct, smooth, and fast JEM trail vs. the winding, hard-fought technical Hurricane Rim trail that the 100 milers will be battling out to the finish. (100 milers- make sure that you have a headlamp with fresh batteries for this section as the rocks on this trail have a reputation for tripping runners up even in the daylight on fresh legs!)
Here is a newspaper article from the L.A. Times archives that has some interesting history of one of the mesas that we’ll be running on in the race. This is how the Flying Monkey trail got its name. Here’s some more reading on the subject if you found that interesting.
If you’d like to bring your 4 legged friend to the race but plan on staying in a hotel and need a place for him/her to stay, check out the service that event sponsor Doggy Dude Ranch offers. They are the nearest pet care facility to the park.
We now have a sponsoring hotel in St. George, the Abbey Inn. They will be offering a discounted rate of $99, which is $20 off of the normal rate for the dates of the race. The Holiday Inn Express near Hurricane still has discounted rooms available, but the Cable Mountain Lodge in Springdale is all booked out. You should still be able to find rooms available at other hotels in Springdale if you act fast.
I have 3 brothers that are chiropractors and they’ll all be helping out with the race. They’ll each be at the pre-race check in with a portable table and kinesio tape to help you get ready for the big day. One practices here locally, one along the Wasatch front, and one in La Habra, CA.