Running Adventures of a Trail Brat

Grand Canyon 100

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You know you are an ultrarunner when…you get excited by the prospect of weather. I mean after all, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. 🙂

I’ll admit it, after 12 years of running ultras, this was my first trip to the Grand Canyon. In a perfect world, I had hoped to have several days to explore the area prior to the race. But alas, I was fortunate and excited to drive down Thursday (two days before the race start).

Upon arriving at Kaibab Lodge/De Motte Campground, approximately six mile north of the north entrance to Grand Canyon National Park, a round of rain was looking imminent with the weather gods bringing winds, hail and finally snow.

Snowfall at race headquarters a day before race start.

Grand Canyon Ultras race headquarters. T minus 1 day before race start.

Snow at North Rim, AZ in May.

Campsite greeted Friday morning with trace amounts of snow and the prospect of more weather to come.

No refunds offered at the Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park No Refunds policy.

Despite Grand Canyon National Park’s No Refunds policy and the stalled cold front parked over the park, my friends, Dennis and Rachael, and I decided to still visit the park. Our first stop was to Trifecta option, Cape Royal . The falling snow and absence of other visitors made for a one of a kind, surreal experience.

Looking down into the canyon from the Angel Window overlook.

Looking down into the canyon from the Angel Window overlook.

Angel Window overlook at Cape Royal.

Angel Window overlook at Cape Royal.

The South Rim is over there somewhere.

The South Rim is over there somewhere.

Our next stop was the North Kaibab Trail Trifecta. We were supposed to hike down the trail approximately 4.5 miles to Roaring Springs. However, in the interest of time, we hiked the almost 2 miles to Supai Tunnel, instead.

Beginning of North Kaibab Trail.

Beginning to descend down North Kaibab trail. Visibility and weather were continuously changing.

Click on the image below (or use this link) to view a video of our hike down to Supai Tunnel.

Supai Tunnel on North Kaibab Trail

Click image to view hike down North Kaibab Trail to Supai Tunnel.

Race day morning we woke to several inches of accumulated snow and clearing skies. With much excitement, 100 and 50 miles runners were anxious to get started.

Snow on race day.

Race day morning brought lots more new snow.

Clearing skies on race day.

However, skies were definitely clearer than yesterday.

Click on the image below (or use this link) to view a video of Grand Canyon 100.

Ultra Adventures Grand Canyon 100 videi

Click the image to view the Grand Canyon 100 video.

As I was approaching the turn around at Monument Point, I realized I was the third female and fourth place wasn’t too far behind. This excitement lit enough of a fire to encourage me to start pushing the pace. Some where between mile 71 and 77, I passed the second place female and finished 50 minutes before my projected time of 28 hours.

Another excellent Ultra Adventures adventure accomplished.

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Crossing the finish line in 27:08.

Soaking in the hot tub.

Post race soak in the Ultra Adventure traveling hot tub.

Finisher's belt buckle and second place tomahawk award.

Not only another awesome one-of-a-kind Ultra Adventures belt buckle, but a custom tomahawk, as well. Whoo Hoo!

Grand Canyon 100 Course Map

Course map for Grand Canyon 100.

Grand Canyon 100 elevation profile

Elevation Profile of Grand Canyon 100.

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