Some pretty significant course changes were approved with the forest service last week. These changes are very positive, adding a lot of singletrack and beautiful scenery to the course, but most importantly it allows us to communicate with our home base. We didn’t have cell reception at King’s Creek campground and we didn’t have enough Ham radio volunteers sign up to set up communication between each aid station and the start/finish. We’ve moved the starting line to Coyote Hollow trailhead, which has good cell reception and provides access to one of the most scenic and popular trails in the region that I had originally wanted to include in the course, Thunder Mountain trail. The new route also allows us to move the turnaround to Crawford Pass, which allows 2wd access and includes another extremely scenic section of trail that I’ve been trying to work into the mileage somehow. Please have a look at the updated course description on the web page.
An early start option will be available for any runners that feel this amount of time might not be enough. This option is intended for those that might need more time. Anybody taking the early start option is not eligible for a top 3 overall finish. If you’re going for one of those top spots, you need to toe the line with everyone else. Also, aid stations may not be entirely ready for the
early starters, but will have the basics.
Both distances will start shortly after 5:30, as soon as it’s light enough to run without a headlamp.
Email me for the KMZ file of the course which can be
opened in Google Earth to view interactively. Please spend some time
getting familiar with the course before race day.
Packet pickup will still be at King’s Creek campground. There will be
room now for any runners to camp there for free since we won’t be
using the space to stage the race. We have it reserved and it holds up to 150 people. The unofficial post race hangout will be at the group campsite. Stop by to get a pizza and beverage after your done. We’ll have a hot shower set up there for campers and one set up at the small camping area near the finish line as well.
Runner tracking system– There is cell coverage on most of the course.
If you have friends and family that are really excited to
see your progress, please keep them updated. Don’t rely on us to do
that. We’ll be working very hard to keep track of each of you while
you’re out there, but making that information public adds a whole new
dimension that requires more manpower and resources than we have
available. You’ll want to have a camera for this course anyways- why
not just use your phone as your camera and periodically text updates
or post them to Facebook? We will have volunteers at the 100k
turnaround and Pink Cliffs snap an Instagram photo of each runner
showing their bib# but we don’t know how well this system will work. I
think that you’ll be spread out enough that it could work. If it
doesn’t, we’ll at least post bib #’s to the Facebook page as they come
through the halfway point for the 100k and Pink Cliffs (mile 45) for
the 100 milers.
Parking– One huge challenge that we face with the new starting point
is parking for you all. It will be imperative that you listen to the
volunteer parking attendants’ instructions as they guide you to turn
around and park your car in a particular place and facing a particular
direction. If you park somewhere else and block traffic going to the
trailhead, you will jeopardize our permit for future years. Be
prepared to walk a half mile or more to get to the starting line.
We will no longer be offering a 4wd shuttle service to Pink Cliffs aid
station now that the turnaround at Crawford Pass is 2wd accessible.
The 100 mile course is now over 75% singletrack. The 100k is over 95%
singletrack. A lot of the “singletrack” are illegal ATV trails that
have been reclaimed and designated singletrack now but aren’t quite as
singletrack as we’d like. The footing is an additional challenge on
this course- there’s a lot of loose rock on some of the trails, so
wear a shoe that you’re comfortable with in technical terrain.
Please thank my dear friend Steve Wells (the guy that will be cooking your dutch oven potatoes at the finish line) for helping clear the trails of deadfall. We worked long hours and put in many miles toting a chainsaw the last few weekends to get this done.
I was able to run a good portion of the course at night and the stars
out there are unbelievable. Bryce Canyon is well known for attracting
star gazers because it is so far removed from major cities that over
7,500 stars are visible on a moonless night!
A few things that you can count on for race day:
1) The course will be incredibly scenic.
2) The course will be incredibly difficult.
3) The course will be incredibly well marked.
Super excited to share this experience with you guys!