On the very near horizon, actually exactly two week from tomorrow morning I will me starting the Zion 100 mile Ultramarathon. This will be my first race of this distance - last year I ran the Bishop High Sierra 100K, which is 62 miles so everything after 62 miles will be completely new territory for me. The Zion 100 takes plase in Southern Utah, adjacent to but outside of Zion National Park. The race starts in Virgin, Ut at 6:00 on Friday Morning, April 4th and goes up and down the red cliff mesas of the region following single track trails and gravel roads. The elevation of the course is between 3,500 and 6,500 so is fairly moderate and the total elevation gain and loss is 10,000 feet each.
|Starting out, early morning, 3/15/14 - about 19 miles away at this point.|
|Just one major wash to cross on the way up.|
|Followed by about 6 miles of open desert, very runnable with about a 2 % steady climb.|
|Eventually I link up with a gravel road that cuts though a pass in the mountains. Once on the other side I still need to run 6 miles alongside the mountains until I come to the road that leads halfway to the top. This road is quite steep, 20% or more in places. Eventually the road stops and there is a faint hiking trail that leads the rest of the way to the top. The peak is fairly in accessible and most days I never see anyone else out there.|
View of Las Vegas from the top of Gass Peak