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Run Preview: Grand Canyon R2R2R

Posted May 17 2013 6:00am
Last year I made the long journey to the Grand Canyon with my good running friends Jeremy Ebel and AJ Wellman . Words cannot adequately describe what one experiences on the day long journey from Rim to Rim to Rim. I have struggled to find them over the last year, and nothing even comes close. An entire day living inside of a post card, cruising across one of the worlds most magnificent wonders. I knew that I had to share this experience with others. So this year... I'll do just that.

When I lived back in New England, I dreamed about one day doing the Rim to Rim to Rim. A run that has become almost a rite of passage for ultra-runners. It's not something you do alone. I'll never forget that empty feeling I had when two of my old running buddies snuck off into the American Desert without me. It didn't take much convincing to get AJ and Ebel along last year. It didn't take much for me to find 12 new souls to join me for this years adventure. This year, it marks the end of my annual winter Fat Ass Series . I invited any and all Front Range runners who wanted to join in. I reserved two campsites and another runner reserved a 3rd. I've purchased food for a pasta dinner the night before, and warm chili for their weary bodies at the end. I'm playing host to 14 of us this weekend on the North Rim and I can't be more excited to share this adventure with such a great group of folks.
Last year I completed a 46 mile odyssey that took me up South Kaibab, across the South Rim then down Bright Angel on the return trip to the North. This year, I've been thinking about a standard up and back on Bright Angel. This route is only 43 miles and has about 900' less elevation change overall. With numbers like that, I'm still kicking the tires on the 46 mile version again. I'll decide the night before our run which plan I'll put into place. 

Either way, I'm hoping the entire adventure will take me 12-13 hours this year as opposed to last years overkill 17 hour romp. I'm 20 pounds lighter. Better trained, and feeling good these days. This is another great test on the road to the Vermont 100. I plan to treat this run as if it was race day, to continue to assess my preparedness for Vermont. Off we go!

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