Saturday, November 10, 2012

Moab Trip Day 2 - Adventure Races

 On the second day of our Moab trip, we got to sleep in a little. Hurray! Then we got ready and headed out to Kane Creek Road to join 999 other runners. This race was actually four races: the national championship trail marathon, a trail half-marathon, a 5K adventure race, and a kids 1K adventure run. I had signed up for the 5K, so was quite relaxed. I knew I wouldn't have a problem with the distance and I was really looking forward to the obstacles promised in the description: climbing a ladder, running through culverts and a cave, under an arch, up and down sliprock, rope assists, and more.

First we watched the first three waves start. Over 500 runners entered the half marathon and over 300 the full marathon. Within fifteen minutes over 800 people were off on the trail. Then it was time for the kids' run.

 The kids started lining up at the big starting line.
 Desert Girl looks a little uncertain at the start of her first race.
 Time for stretching, instructions (don't get ahead of the leader and stay on the course), and then it was time to go!

 Desert Girl knew what to do!

Before long I saw Desert Boy coming down the narrow trail section, a big smile on his face. He had already climbed the steep hill, gone under the arch and through the cave, and now was coming down a steep section (part of the same route as the 5K). He was loving it. I cheered him and he went on past while I waited for Desert Girl. My husband had gone to accompany her, and he said she did really well till she saw me.

 Here she is navigating the gully section that led to a huge culvert and down a ladder. I was worried about making it to the start of my 5K, which was a little down the road, but since the kids' run was on the 5K course, it had to be cleared first.

 They had three waves of starts for the 5K. I had estimated that I would be in the middle third of finishers, which put me in the second wave. I had considered asking to be moved up to the first wave, but then figured that despite doing some sprints in my runs lately, I probably wasn't really competitive with the Moab-area runners and the second wave would be fine. But I did go to the front of the pack so I could start out front. I figured that since it was a trail race, once we got on the trail it would be harder to pass. And it was. But it was still possible, like when we were running through the creek (twice!).

 I started catching up to the first wave by the time I got to the rope section. I had to wait for a couple people in front of me, but as I had been running rather fast, I didn't mind a chance to catch my breath. Sprinting and then resting was my strategy for the adventure race, and it worked well. My lungs burned as I continued running past the cacti, through the deep sand, across and down the slickrock, in gullies with loose rocks, but I knew I was doing well, so I pushed myself to continue. We ran through another culvert, traversed an obstacle course with balance boards, kids' tunnels (a tight fit!), hopping across lily pads, and even frisbee golf. Then it was a sprint to the end. When I finished, I had to sit for awhile just to catch my breath! My husband wasn't expecting me to finish as soon as I did, so he didn't have the camera ready.

 After I could breathe again, I saw the kids playing in the bounce house. I would like to tell the organizers what a brilliant idea that was! It kept the kids happy, occupied, and nearby. Desert Boy and Desert Girl jumped for over an hour.

The first half-marathon finishers came in shortly after I did. Wow! The winner finished in 1:30--on trails! I heard from a couple runners that it was an absolutely gorgeous course so am considering it for next year. The winner of the trail marathon finished in 3:03--a high school teacher from Fillmore, Utah who recently won the Spartan Ultrabeast, a marathon-length obstacle course. There are some really fit people out there! Fortunately most of the really fit people did the longer races, which meant that I won my age group. Yippee! I got a cool little trophy for my efforts, plus, more importantly, bragging rights!
After the race it was time to start on the rest of the day's activities...we had lots of fun things planned.


Alica said...

Way to go! I like the podium! :) I really need to get back out there and start running again...did one 5K two years ago, and haven't run since. I've got my work cut out for me. The scenery here isn't quite so breathtaking, although I must say the farmland is quite beautiful.

jhami said...

That is really cool! Congratulations ~ that looked like a lot of fun. Especially in nice weather

G. Robison said...


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