Early Start Option

A few runners have inquired about starting early in order to make sure that they make the 32 hour cutoff.  We will be offering two options for an early start: 4am and 5am.  Anyone that takes the early start will not be eligible for overall awards, this is intended for those that need more time.  If you are a mid-pack runner that isn’t worried about the cutoff but not competing for the top spots, feel free to use this option as well.  We will not be opening aid stations earlier for the early starters, so be prepared for water-only with limited food options at the first two aid stations.  Just make sure we get your name down when you line up to take the early start.  The additional one or two hours will be added to your official time after you have finished the race.

Apparel Preview

Here’s a preview of what the Zion 100 apparel will look like this year.  Each runner will receive one apparel item (free with registration) from the following options: Hoodie, cotton T, tech T, tech long sleeve, arm sleeves, handheld water bottle, running cap, or visor.  All items will have the race logo on a tan/khaki background.

You can pre-order additional items at this link.  Any apparel that we have left over will be for sale at the race for the prices shown at the above link.

Composting Portapotties!!

Very excited to announce that we’ll be using Eco Commode composting portapotties at the race!  By using composting toilets at our race, we’ll be eliminating the most environmentally harmful product produced at the event (portapotty chemical sewage) and in its place producing something that contributes to a healthy ecosystem.   On top of that, they are more pleasant to use than a traditional portapotty system.

If going green is important to you, please let your next event organizer know about Eco Commode.  www.ecocommode.com

Buckle Preview

Here’s a look at some of the new designs that Kali has come up with using wildflowers that we harvested last year on the course.  We will still have plenty with the traditional sand background and other native plants as well (juniper, sage, manzanita, etc.)

Elevation Update

The total elevation gain for the 100k will be in the ballpark of 6,000ft and around 11,000ft for the 100 miler.  For this year, we can only give an approximate estimate of the elevation gain prior to the running of the event.  It is especially difficult to get an accurate reading with all of the ups and downs and winding that take place on top of the mesas.  Be warned: your body will feel a lot more beat up than the elevation profile tells you.  Sections of the course (Gooseberry and Guacamole) are especially difficult and leave experienced runners scratching their heads afterwards wondering why they feel so much more exhausted than the elevation and distance on their watch reads.

Wilderness Running Co-op

This past year I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a lot of trail time with Wilderness Running founder Stacy Young. stacyjustingoose

Wilderness Running has started this trail co-op idea that I’m really digging.  Purchasing through the co-op gives runners the opportunity to get current gear at practically wholesale prices.  Prices so low they can’t be listed without breaching contract agreements.  (That’s why you have to go all the way to “check out” with an item before you can see the actual price that you’ll be getting on an item offered through the co-op.)  The more people that buy into it, the greater the purchasing power.  The idea works wonderfully for items like your favorite gels that you know you’re going to burn through during the year.  Get them all at once and save loads over retail prices.

I know they’ve got some great items that they’ll be rolling out, so keep an eye on it.  You can join their mailing list to be notified of new items as they’re offered, along with the special co-op pricing.

A Few Announcements

The new course layout will allow us to start the 100 mile and 100k distances simultaneously (6am).  The courses are identical until mile 62, where the 100k runners will split off and head back to the finish line.  100 mile runners that have had enough can opt to call it a day and head to the finish line also, receiving an official 100k finish.  100 mile runners that stick it out and make it to the Guacamole aid station or farther before withdrawing will also automatically receive an official 100k finish.

If you’ve looked at the map already, you’ve probably noticed that the total elevation gain is not listed.  We’re in the process of working that out.  We’ll have an estimate ready shortly (by the end of January) but note that this will only be a ballpark figure.  Determining an accurate elevation measurement is a bit more complicated than getting a Garmin on the entire course and it is beyond my skill set.  For this year, we can only provide an approximate estimate prior to the running of the event.  I have enlisted the help of much more knowledgeable folks on this who will be taking data during the race this year and helping compile an accurate profile.  I will tell you that the gain is significantly higher than what was previously reported.  Thanks for your patience on this.

Pre race check in and packet pickup will be Thursday evening from 5-9pm at this gorgeous home located in the national park, ten miles up Kolob Reservoir road. Click here for a map of how to get there from the start/finish line.  You can bring drop bags to pre-race check in or drop them off at the starting line Friday morning.

The pacer pickup point has been changed due to crew accessibility of the new course.  Pacers are now only allowed anywhere after Smithsonian Butte Crew Access Point (approximately mile 41/47).  We will provide a pacer shuttle service from the start/finish line to Smithsonian Butte and Camino del Rio Crew Access Points.  The shuttle will leave every hour on the hour so plan accordingly if you wish to use this service.

Kali is busy making the custom buckles.   This year, many of the buckles will have wildflowers in them that were harvested last spring (and will be in full bloom as you run this year!)  Buckles are selected as you finish the race, so hurry to the finish line so that you can get the one you want!

Group run this Saturday on the Guacamole section of trail.  We’ll be meeting 3.5 miles up Dalton Wash road at 7:30am.

Group Run Schedule

Come join us for a long run on a different section of the course each month.  We’ll preview each of the 5 branches of the course as we lead up to the event in April.  All group runs will meet at 7:30am unless announced otherwise.

November 23 (Friday- day after Thanksgiving)- Gooseberry section of the course.  Meet at the dirt road turnoff just before the adobe home community across the Camino del Rio bridge (the new bridge on the east side of Virgin). We’ll be running approximately 18 miles but this distance can easily be adapted.

December 15 (Saturday)- Virgin desert section of course (JEM/Hurricane Rim) out to Gooseberry climb and back.  We’ll be running approximately 25 miles, but this distance can easily be adapted.  Meet at parking area just across Sheep Bridge, near the bottom of the JEM trail.

January 12 (Saturday)- Guacamole trail. Meet at the bottom of Dalton Wash road on the left hand side of Hwy 9 just past the Camino del Rio turnoff.  The run from the bottom of Dalton Wash is about 19 miles out and back, but if you’d like to do less miles, drive farther up the road before starting because the Guacamole section is the most scenic.

February 23 (Saturday)- Grafton Mesa loop.  Meet at Grafton cemetery (Get there by going through Rockville, crossing the river on Bridge Rd. and following it out for about 3 miles to its end.)  The loop we’ll be doing is about 11 miles.  For more miles you can either repeat, do an out and back on Gooseberry Rd., or go check out the nearby Eagle Crags section.

March 23 (Saturday)- Flying Monkey/Smith Mesa/Virgin Desert- Meet at the Sheep Bridge rd/ Smith Mesa rd/ Hwy 9 intersection.  Plan on running about 30 miles, with a fuel/water stop at the cars (and an option to cut the run short) at about mile 17.

Separate registrations for 100 mile and 100k events

Registration for the 100 mile and 100k events have now been separated.  100 mile participants that withdraw after aid station #9 will still receive a 100k finish time and medallion, but will not be eligible for the 100k overall awards.

The 100 mile race will start at 6am.  The 100k race will start at 6:30am.

Click here to register.

Video clip from 2012 100 miler

Thanks to Seth and 3D Media Watch for putting this together.  Great memories.  Can’t wait to see what the 2013 race holds in store for us…