I Heart Sand . . . . and Slot Canyons

by Craig

Just before the beginning of the year I was selected as an ambassador for Ultra-Adventures – a series of races in Utah that represent the Grand Circle. For a few years now I’ve admired Matt Gunn, the Race Director, and his Green philosophy to racing and the fact that he chooses courses that share his great love for some of the most beautiful places in Utah. As an ambassador I get to the privilege to race several of his events free of charge. The first of which will be this coming Friday, the Antelope Canyon 50 miler.

Training since the Zion Double Crossing with Jennilyn last November has been spotty, at best. However, the last couple of weeks I’ve felt like I’ve put in decent miles and a solid effort. More importantly, I am starting to feel strong and fast again and my foot is only giving me rare pangs of remembered injury. It would be easy to say that I feel like I’m ready to run well. I’d like to say it. But I can’t.

The Antelope Canyon course only boasts 3800 ft of vert along the 50 mile course, a profile I drool for, know I can move fast. However, this course is tough. There are miles and miles of sand, then technical scrambling through slot canyons. And finally there are the stunning views of the Colorado River. Link all of these spectacular sites and the sand together and I fear I won’t be moving very fast. And that’s just fine.

This will be a ramp-up race for the Bryce 100 in June. It will be a way for me to test my legs and fitness as I refocus my training on a fun mountain ultra. Regardless of my time it will be a great way to re-introduce my legs to the ultra distance for the first time in the last four months. Better yet, I’ll be surrounded by friends and have a great weekend with a group of people I care a great about.


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