The Bryce Canyon 50k is my fifth event of the year and takes place this coming Saturday (06/14/2014) not so surprisingly in Bryce Canyon, Utah (although not in the National Park). While traversing the western cliff of the Paunsaugunt plateau and taking in the expansive view of the Dixie National Forest to the east, the course winds it’s way up 6000 feet of vertical gain through singletrack sand trails weaving past monumental and towering hoodoos and spires hovering between 7500 and 9000 feet above sea-level.
The Sun Mountain 25k is my fourth event of the year and takes place this coming Saturday (05/17/2014) on Sun Mountain in the Methow Valley. With wildflowers in peak bloom and the trail winding through snake, bear, and cow country, your focus on sweeping the trail will be checked by the vertical elevation. At 1900 feet of vertical gain and most of it coming in the front half in one fell swoop, the back half of the looped course should be a screamer of a descent.
The Sunflower Trail Marathon takes place this coming Saturday (05/10/2014) in the Methow Valley in Washington State. Although the course has a net elevation loss of -475 feet, there’s still 1750 feet uphill, it is entirely on trails and it is technically up in the mountains, so it’s just like walk in the park – if you’re park looked like this.
The Yakima Skyline Rim 50k is my second event of the year and takes place this coming Sunday (04/20/2014) in the Umatum Recreation Area up, down, over, and through the Yakima River Canyon in Washington. At around 9,500 vertical feet of elevation gain, this out and back 50k ridge course should be the hardest race I’ve attempted yet.
Let’s start with this – I’ve never run a race with 9,500 vertical feet of elevation gain. Actually, let’s take a step back – I’ve never even run that amount of elevation in a day. And actually, let’s take one more step backwards with both feet this time – I’ve never walked or ran 9,500 accumulated vertical feet in a week. So…I see no reason why this race shouldn’t go well. (Ah yes, double-negatives.)