On March 18th, my wife Ally, our good friend Steve Z., and I took our talents to Moab for the 36th annual canyonlands half marathon race; a 13.1 mile trek through the canyon that runs alongside the Colorado River on Highway 119.
We arrived in Moab tired and stiff from the 6 hour drive, ready to do anything but sit. After checking into our hotel and picking up our pre-race packets, we went straight to Pasta Jay’s for our pre-race meal, the carbo-load special as its known; and luckily enough for Ally, they had gluten free pasta! Dinner was followed by all of us quickly falling into a post meal coma and immediately going to bed to get as much sleep as possible.
5:30 am is early no matter how many hours of sleep you get. We all woke and stumbled around as we got ready. By 8:30 we were bussed 11 miles up the canyon and greeted with cocoa, coffee, port-o-potties, and an hour and half to kill until the 10am start time. The clouds gently covered the sun all morning and around 9:30, our good friend the wind decided to show up. With no sun and a cold wind bearing down on us we huddled together, a giant mass of runners, trying to block each other from the wind without touching a stranger, it sort of worked. At 10am, the gun sounded, and we were off. As we descended down the canyon the wind became less and less of a factor and our bodies started to heat up from all the running. The run was beautiful; every turn of the river produced a new view of dark red canyon with steep and jagged edges; I consistently had to remind myself to look up and really soak in the beauty of where I was running. We all finished in one piece, Ally set a new half marathon PR time, Steve Z, the racing veteran of the group finished as smoothly as a gazelle, and I also managed to set a new PR time by default as it was my first half marathon. The race set up was very well done, there were stations with water and Gatorade every 2 miles, Clif Bar shots at mile 6, and a lovely finish at the city park with free food and pictures for all participants.
After the race, we went out and claimed our campsite.
After a little bit of well deserved rest and a public shower we headed over to Arches National Park for a nice slow, stiff, and painful hike.
We finished the night with a delicious meal at the Moab Brewery (great beer and great food).
And proceeded to have some of the best camp sleep in the history of mankind.
We ended our time in Moab with a quick stop in Canyonlands National Park.
I have a feeling we will be seeing you again Moab!