Masters Running

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Moab Trail Marathon Race Report (Read 452 times)


MM #5616

    I decided to do a RR for this race because it was really great, and I wanted to share it with my RA friends in hopes that someone might be tempted to run it sometime!    Maybe come join me next year?  I will definitely run it again.

     

    First, this race is not for the faint-of-heart!  You have to like trail running, and like adventures!   But you don’t need to be a champion trail runner, and you don’t have to be fast.   You just have to like beautiful canyons and arches and wide open spaces.  And it would help if you're not afraid of heights. 

     

    Elevation profile:

     

     

    Weather:  The weather this year was perfect.  Clear skies, high 30’s at the 9am start, and mid 60s at the end.  I kept my jacket on till right before the start, and then hung it on a tree.  (They had drop bags, but it seemed unnecessary because the start was a couple hundred feet from the finish!)

     

    Course:  The course is a loop.  Sort of.  After 21 miles it passes close to the finish, but then there’s an additional  5+ mile loop before you’re done. 

     

    The marathon and half marathon started together, so the start was a bit congested.   This year, the race was the national trial marathon championship race, so it was more crowded than last year.   They divided the start into 3 waves that started at 9am, 9:05am, and 9:10 am.  I picked the middle wave, figuring I was a mid-packer. Still, the first couple of miles were crowded, and a 12 mm pace was all I could do.  

    Here are a few pictures from the early miles.

     

     

     

     

    The half marathoners split off at about mile 10, and it got less crowded.  The course then did a short out-and-back up Hunter Canyon, which was awesome.

     

     

    Then a short section along Kane Creek Road, which unfortunately had some loud motor bikes.  At mile 13.5, the big climb starts, up the "scorched earth wall" trail to Hurrah Pass,  1,200 ft up in 1.5 miles, and it was rough and rocky. Yeah, I walked this part. So did everyone else.

     

     

    The payoff was the amazing view at the top! That's the Colorado River.

     

     

    The next 6 miles were mostly downhill, and included a short section of slot canyon that was a pretty tight fit, even for me. There was also some deep sand that was tough to run through, and some great rock running.

     

     

     

    The trail followed close to the Colorado River heading back toward the finish.  Then the last 5 mile loop started.  This loop had it all: ladders, running through culverts, running though a cave, and two technical sections that required ropes and spotters.  I fell once just before the first ladder, but it was pretty sandy so no real damage, just some scrapes and bruises.

     

    This is a fixed rope section going up at about mile 22:

     

     

    And another fixed rope descending about mile 23:

     

     

    Then a final short out-and-back along an annoyingly rocky 4WD road,  a short section along a road, through a culvert under the road, and the final mile or so through a field with a camping area.  There was a short tough scramble up a steep hill to the finish line.

     

    Here's a picture taken by my DH of me finishing. 

     

     

    Results:

    I finished in 5:30:11 (gun time) or 5:29:23 (chip time).    3rd of 18 in my AG (50-59), and 155/310 overall - exactly middle of the pack!

    Here's my podium finish shot.  The 3rd place podium was a tippy rock that was hard to balance on.

     

     

    I was happy that my DH came to this race.  It's only the 2nd race of mine he's ever been to, the first being my very first race, a 5k, in 2006.  (At that race, I won a beer glass for 2nd in AG, and he said "Hey!  You won me a beer glass!") Smile   He came along on this trip because we combined the race with a rock climbing and camping trip near Moab before the race.   I know races can be boring for non-running spouses, especially ones that take over 5 hours to finish, but I'm very glad he came to cheer and take pictures.  

     

    So who's in for 2013?

    I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.

      WOW...Awesome job!

       

      Great pictures...very tempting to say Hell yes in 2013!

        Wow!  Simply amazing race & photos are spectacular... 

         

        Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience!

        Courage ! Do one brave thing today...then run like hell.


        Back on Stride

          Incredible RR, Carolyn! For many of us, just walking that entire course would be a heck of a challenge. I am truly in awe of you for your great AG finish.

           

          We were in Moab for a couple of days last year on our western road trip. It was one of my favorite stops, but even at the time I could see that the regular runners and cyclists in those parts have a whole different level of conditioning from those of us who live in the flatlands.

          Doug, Runnin' in Rochester, MI

            I thought about looking in a thesaurus for some new words, but I'll just copy those above me: awesome, spectacular and incredible.

             

            Thanks for the RR & pictures.

            Cyberslacking on the Procrastination Superhighway. 


            Finally!!

              Carolyn--you should be a salesperson instead of an engineer.  Even after looking at that profile, there's this little voice saying "That looks PRETTY cool--I might be able to at least handle the half".

              Richmond, here I come.................November 15th will be here quicker than I know.

               

              C-R


                That is a breathtaking marathon course. Wow!

                 

                Thanks for sharing and congrats on doing so well Carolyn.


                "He conquers who endures" - Persius
                "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel

                http://ncstake.blogspot.com/

                  Sign me up.  Does it fill fast? Thanks to your DH for the great pics.

                    Isn't it fun to have your DH come along? I think it's awesome, and really adds so much to the whole experience. This course is spectacular, but wow what a toughie! I love the rock formations, they're huge! Is that you in some of those shots? The runners look tiny in comparison. And wow, fixed rope sections with spotters.... you know how to pick 'em! Congratulations on your AG placing, and you sure nailed the mid-pack finish!


                    MM #5615

                      Here's my podium finish shot.  The 3rd place podium was a tippy rock that was hard to balance on.

                       

                       

                       

                      2nd place must have been even harder...

                       

                      So...this tapering thing...it usually does not include camping and rock climbing...I give up.

                       

                      You are amazing!  Good luck at The Flying Monkey!  What are you going to do the day before that...Swim the English Channel? 


                      Top 'O the World!

                         

                        So...this tapering thing...it usually does not include camping and rock climbing...I give up.

                         

                          

                        & drinking tasty beers the night before! Wink   Taper scmaper, ya do what works! Wink

                         

                        I'm sorry all these pictures didn't turn out so well!....It really was much more awesome/pretty than that! ~ & the smell of bacon & coffee wafting down the canyon road as we were driving out to the start/finish area.... Wink

                         

                        As for spouses not having anything to do...besides the usual aid station help that is always appreciated, I saw several cars dropping runners that also had some nice mtn bikes attached & some of our Denver neighbors were out there w/rock crawler jeeps in nearly the same area! 

                         

                        I think we've stumbled upon an annual event.....any takers?

                         

                        Congratulations again Carolyn!! Smile

                        Remember that doing anything well is going to take longer than you think!! ~ Masters Group


                        MM #5616

                           Is that you in some of those shots? The runners look tiny in comparison.

                           

                          No, the photos on the course are mine.  DH only took the pics at the finish.

                           

                           


                           Good luck at The Flying Monkey!  What are you going to do the day before that...Swim the English Channel? 

                           

                          No... I'm planning to party with Holly and OrangeMat, and SloHand, C-R, and Pfriese!  Smile

                           

                           

                          As for spouses not having anything to do...besides the usual aid station help that is always appreciated, I saw several cars dropping runners that also had some nice mtn bikes attached & some of our Denver neighbors were out there w/rock crawler jeeps in nearly the same area! 

                           

                           

                          Easy for you to say -- your DH is a runner!  So nice to see him out on the course and at the finish!    Hey - how did his gopro video turn out?

                          I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.


                          Top 'O the World!

                            He wants to "tweak" it a bit...if you know what I mean! His hands are almost always in the shot...a bit distracting but, most of it is pretty good. He got most of the course.  

                            Remember that doing anything well is going to take longer than you think!! ~ Masters Group

                              2nd place must have been even harder...

                               

                              So...this tapering thing...it usually does not include camping and rock climbing...I give up.

                               

                              You are amazing!  Good luck at The Flying Monkey!  What are you going to do the day before that...Swim the English Channel? 

                               Funny!!! I think I heard that before!!!Roll eyes

                               

                              I think WildChild will be flying running the Flying Monkey!

                               

                              Great report. The pictures makes me want to do it!

                              I showed it to my DH, I told him I wanna do it, he said...you live @ 1000f. you run once in a while @ 4000Ft....hummm

                               

                              BTW, I have taken first, second and third place AG in many marathons, but I have never gotten the chance to stand in a podium! cool!!!

                              "Champions are everywhereall you need is to train them properly..." ~Arthur Lydiard


                              MM#209 / JapanJoyful#803

                                Carolyn, I’ve considered myself lucky to have been in a handful of scenic marathons and ultras over the years but each and every one of yours keep getting better and better yet. Thanks for taking your camera along.
                                .
                                She doesn’t know it yet but, by coincidence, erika just got me lined up with some commentaries on improving safety after a fatality this summer in my favorite Fourth-of-July mountain run up there, e.g. requiring helmets, gloves, etc.  No particular reason, except for having once jumped off the final 15' ledge onto a soft skree field below, but I think I’ll recommend the safety line idea you had at Moab mile 23.  Thanks.

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