It has been a rough couple of days for a lot of us and I apologize for dragging you all through this.
It is a challenge to calculate total distance and total elevation gain accurately for a 100 mile race. I wish it were as easy as strapping on a watch and running the trail. I have received a lot of feedback regarding my previous announcement that the course now approaches 26,000 feet of elevation gain. I am not an expert with maps or with using GPS data, and I made the best approximation that I could.
I have gone back and consulted with a couple of experts in this area, and they have both independently reached the conclusion that the total elevation gain on the course is about 18,500 feet. They use computers and sophisticated mapping software to make these conclusions, and I don’t pretend to understand it. But I can tell you that I have high confidence in the results, as both of them are experienced ultrarunners and have been involved in the mapping of race courses for years.
The course changes will remain in effect. While King’s Creek would be a more comfortable staging area, the ability to communicate during the event is far more important.
I’m sorry for any concerns that I may have raised. I can’t wait for your feet to get on this trail in a couple of weeks.
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!
The hotel manager from Ruby’s Inn just let me know that another group has cancelled, freeing up 15 more rooms for our group. Our block has been full for a while now, so if you’re thinking about staying at Ruby’s you’ll want to jump on this. Call this number to book and let them know that you’re with the Bryce 100 Trail Run block: (435) 834-5341 (The group code is 93G if you book online.)
Here’s a look at what the Bryce 100 apparel will look like. Each runner will receive a beanie and one apparel item (free with registration) from the following options: Hoodie, cotton T, tech T, tech long sleeve, arm sleeves, handheld water bottle, running cap, or visor. All items will have the race logo on a charcoal/grey background.
You can pre-order additional items at this link. Any apparel that we have left over will be for sale at the race for the prices shown at the above link.
Artist Paul Ferney just finished the painting for the buckles and sent over a mock-up of what the finished product will look like. We’ll be making prints and putting them in epoxied buckles like this. So excited about these…
We are still looking for 3 groups to adopt an aid station for the race. If you know anyone that would be interested, we donate $200 to their organization or a charity of their choice and promise beautiful views and great food while they help some amazing runners from all over the world. 4 of our aid stations will be covered by high school cross country teams and their coaches/parents. They will be holding a summer camp running on some of the Bryce 100 trails, based out of the campground that we’ve reserved all week. If you can think of any running groups or cross country teams that would like to do something similar, have them email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Very excited to announce that we’ll be using Eco Commode composting portapotties at the race! By using composting toilets at our race, we’ll be eliminating the most environmentally harmful product produced at the event (portapotty chemical sewage) and in its place producing something that contributes to a healthy ecosystem. On top of that, they are more pleasant to use than a traditional portapotty system.
If going green is important to you, please let your next event organizer know about Eco Commode. www.ecocommode.com