My oldest son had a basketball game in Flag at 11:45am, so it was a VERY early start to the day. I woke up at 3am and was on the road by 4am. My plan was to run down S. Kaibab to
Cottonwood Campground & back. That would give me ~31miles and a little over 4hrs of running.
When I got to the Canyon, I quickly grabbed my gear and headed for the trail. Head-lamp on and stars shining brightly, I started thinking.. “hmmm… with no sunlight for the next hour or so, this is going to be a very tricky run to down S.Kaibab.” As I headed down, I was navigating the ice, rocky terrain, tight turns, etc with caution.. as such, I was basically hiking / jogging.. there was no way at this pace I would have time to get the full run in. Once I made that decision, I relaxed and just focused on getting to the bottom safely. Just shy of the river / bridge, the sun came up, which gave me a jolt of energy.. I ended up getting to the bottom in 1hr 23min - - my slowest time EVER… but I have never ran it in the dark before either.
I quickly made the 7min run over to Phantom, filled up my water bottle and headed back. On my way back to the bridge, I decided I wanted to focus on pushing the pace on the trail up. I could still feel Thursday’s Camelback run in my legs, but I figured it would be good to run with some soreness & tiredness in my legs. I pushed the entire ascent very consistently. Halfway up, I saw one of my buddies Ace Baty who was running his way to
.. always good to see a familiar face on the trail especially after such an intense trip down to the river… after a quick chat, it was back to work.. I ended up finishing the ascent in 1:17:48 (1st Half = 37:50; 2nd Half = 39:53) - - My fastest time this year. Still more than 5min slower than my fastest time last year, but I am still feeling good about steadily improving.. compared to where I was at last year, I am several minutes faster.. so hopefully by Spring I will be running faster.. time will tell.. Ribbon Falls