More Rocks Dad?!?

There's a trio of ultras and a trail half-marathon run just north of Bryce Canyon National Park, where anyone who wants to do so, can see all the rocks he or she ever wanted to see...and then some.

While nearly everyone else in the club was running in Sheridan, WY, I ran the Bryce Canyon 50K on Saturday. It was hot, nearly 90. The course is shared by the three ultra distances (50K, 50M, and 100M), featuring staggered start-times, to reduce the stress on the volunteers.

The races are staged by the Grand Circle Trails people, who also organize races in some of the most beautiful places in America in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. The course was well-marked and the aid stations were very good, although not quite up to VHTRC standards. I would definitely consider another race organized by these folks, as the logistics, coordination, and execution were all first-rate.

GIven the locale, the terrain features rocks, lots and lots of colorful rocks. The footing is far better than we Easterners are used to, since the rocks are more often than not talus and scree, rather than the jagged toe-slicers we love so much on VHTRC home-courses. The 50K is a point-to-point race and features 5,900 feet of gain, 5,800 feet of elevation loss, and lots of great photo-opportunities.

I did better than I expected, considering the heat and elevation, finishing in 8:55, about five minutes ahead of my goal, which was good enough to place me 77th in a field of 149.