On my first Canyon trip of 2011, I was reflecting on my last trip of 2010.. two weeks before. To say I was “humbled” might be an understatement. A few days before the trip, I received a txt from my buddy Jared Scott that he had run the leg from the river to the rim in 68min 30sec… That is SMOKIN’ fast. With that in mind, I wanted to come back with a strong performance as well… didn’t happen. Instead, I finished the last couple miles from Cedar Ridge doing the “Death March” all the way to my car.. humbled.
Now in retrospect, it seemed to make sense.. I am coming off of road marathon training, which doesn’t correlate directly to fast canyon running. This time I had more realistic expectations.. just run the whole time.
I decided to carry my 18oz HandHeld waterbottle filled with 2 Hammer Gels, and 2 more Hammer gels that I would eat at the bottom and the other at “Midway” on the trip back up. I left my Yak Trax in the car, which turned out to be a mistake…
On the trip to the River, it was VERY snowy & icy. As one of my training partners, Rob Lloyd, likes to say.. “I looked like Brian Boitano”.. This lasted til Skeleton Point (about Halfway down).. then there was just an inch or so of snow to contend with.. which is no big deal.. My total time to the River was 57:02.. not bad considering the conditions.
After the downhill, I made the quick trip to Phantom to get a refill and quickly headed back to the bridge. On the trip up, my focus was on running conservative & consistent. I felt really solid the entire time, but was slowed from Skeleton Point to the top due to the ice and snow.. Regardless, I posted a solid 1:20:38 from the bridge to the Rim..
At the end, I felt the run was great.. and as always, it's awesome to be in the Canyon..
Pre-Run View of the South Rim