Grand Canyon 50, 50k and trail half
May 27th 2017

 



course description:

This race is run in the Kaibab National Forest near the entrance to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is held the weekend after Hwy 67 opens up for the season to allow visitors access to the North Rim.  Each route runs along the rim of the Grand Canyon (on forest service trails), offering spectacular overlooks into the canyon. 

Staging area for these races will be at the historic Big Saddle in the Kaibab National Forest.  This open use area is about 1 mile from the breathtaking Crazy Jug viewpoint.  Click here for a map from Kaibab lodge to the big saddle and here are GPS Coordinates for  Big Saddle ( 36°26'47.5"N 112°23'36.7"W) 

The 50 mile route is mainly a loop route (with the exception of a couple of short out-and-backs to overlook points) which starts and finishes at 7000ft elevation and climbs to a max elevation of 8,000ft at one point. The race will start at 5am (Pacific Time) on Saturday. Sunrise is at 5:15am, so no need to have a headlamp for the start with the ample twilight lighting at 5am. Runners will run just over a mile out to the Crazy Jug overlook for their first views into the canyon. After another 3 miles, you'll arrive at the crowning overlook of the course with perfect morning lighting into the many layers of the canyon visible from the North Rim. You'll mark your bib at the turnaround and then head back to the Crazy Jug aid station (this time bypassing the overlook) and on towards Parissawampitts Point. This 5 mile section has been affectionately termed the "Barkley" section of the trail by some runners due to the rugged nature of the trail up and down some steep gullies.  From Parissawampitts Point, runners will jump on the Rainbow Rim trail singletrack and pass by 5 overlook points before starting to close the loop back towards Big Saddle Tank along the remote and scenic 250 doubletrack. The route descends a thousand feet over the last five miles for a fast finish to the historic corral (Big Saddle Tank), once used by ranchers on the plateau. 

The 50K route is mainly a loop route (with the exception of a couple of short out-and-backs to overlook points) which starts and finishes at 7000ft elevation and climbs to a max elevation of 8,000ft at one point. The race will start at 6am (Pacific Time) on Saturday. Runners will run just over a mile out to the Crazy Jug overlook for their first views into the canyon. After another 3 miles, you'll arrive at the crowning overlook of the course with perfect morning lighting into the many layers of the canyon visible from the North Rim. You'll mark your bib at the turnaround and then head back to the Crazy Jug aid station (this time bypassing the overlook) and on towards Parissawampitts Point. This 5 mile section has been affectionately termed the "Barkley" section of the trail by some runners due to the rugged nature of the trail up and down some steep gullies.  From Parissawampitts Point, runners will jump on the Rainbow Rim trail singletrack and follow it to the Fence Point Overlook and aid station before starting to close the loop back towards Big Saddle Tank. The route descends a thousand feet over the last five miles for a fast finish to the historic corral (Big Saddle Tank), once used by ranchers on the plateau. 

Half Marathon runners will start and finish at Big Saddle Tank Corral with a 7am start time on Saturday. This route takes runners to the two most spectacular viewpoints of the course and and through the beautiful ponderosa forest. 

***A free shuttle service will run during check in and from 4am on Saturday from parking areas near the Big Saddle Tank Corral (approximately one mile shuttle) once parking at the corral has filled.


Schedule:  

Friday:

2-8pm- Check in for all distances at the start/finish line.  (Drop bags due by 8pm)

Saturday:  

5am- 50 mile race begins- At Big Saddle Corral *

6am- 50k race begins-At Big Saddle Corral *

7am- Half Marathon race begins at Big Saddle Corral *

*Staging area for these races will be at the historic Big Saddle in the Kaibab National Forest.  This open use area is about 1 mile from the breathtaking Crazy Jug viewpoint.  Click here for a map from Kaibab lodge to the big saddle and here are GPS Coordinates for  Big Saddle ( 36°26'47.5"N 112°23'36.7"W) 

***A free shuttle service will run during check in and from 4am on Saturday from parking areas near the Big Saddle Tank Corral (approximately one mile shuttle) once parking at the corral has filled.

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Time Cutoffs:

Click here to view cutoff times

50 mile, Overall cutoff- 15 hours

50K, Overall cutoff- 11 hours

Half Marathon, Overall cutoff- 4 hours

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Aid Station Info:

For drop bag locations and information review the Drop Bag Document found here

Also review the following guidelines. 

-All bags must be labeled with name, bib # (in large print), aid station, and race distance.  Optional, but a good idea if your label comes off, is a card inside with the same information and contact information.  Please label your bags the day before the race on your own or at check in.  

-No drop bags will be accepted  after 8PM the night before the race. 

-No valuables or fragile items in your drop bags. We are not responsible for any lost/stolen items.

-Watch the weather forecast.  If there is any chance of rain, place your items in zip lock bags inside of your drop bag.

-Minimum size:  Gallon size freezer zip lock.  No grocery store plastic bags or garbage bags..

-Maximum size:  Shoe box for single pass and daytime aid stations.  Small duffel or small carry on for multiple pass aid stations.


The 50 miler has 7 fully stocked aid stations, the 50K has 5, and the Half Marathon has 2.

Here is a tentative list of items that may be found in aid stations: water, an electrolyte, fresh cut fruit, several salty items and several sweet items, and soda. Aid stations later in the race will also  have real food that may include boiled potatoes, grilled cheese, quesadillas, PB&J, turkey sandwiches, dill pickles, chips, a variety of candies, anti chafing agent, sunscreen, first aid supplies.  We will have a limited supply of gels, salt caps, and electrolyte caps. Remember this list is subject to change.

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Pacers & Crew:

Crew access is allowed at all aid stations.

Pacers are allowed at or after Fence Point. No pacer shuttle is provided, 

Click here for driving directions to Crazy Jug Aid Station

Click here for driving directions to Parissawampitts Aid Station

Click here for driving directions to Fence Point Aid Station

Click here for driving directions to North Timp Aid Station

 

Driving directions to the Big Saddle staging/finish area:  Staging area for these races will be at the historic Big Saddle in the Kaibab National Forest.  This open use area is about 1 mile from the breathtaking Crazy Jug viewpoint.  Click here for a map from Kaibab lodge to the big saddle and here are GPS Coordinates for  Big Saddle ( 36°26'47.5"N 112°23'36.7"W) 

 

You are responsible for the actions of your crew and pacers. If their behavior is deemed inappropriate by race staff, you will be disqualified. Please let them know this and only choose crew members that will treat our volunteers and staff with respect while you are out on the course.

Due to the remote location of this race, we will not be able to provide live updates for your friends/family to follow you from home. We do have satellite phones and/or radios at the aid stations so that we can account for runners on the course and keep communication lines open among our staff members, but we do not have the ability to communicate runner whereabouts to your loved ones during the event. If you would like to let friends and family know your status on the course, you have a couple of options. 1) You can text them from the areas of the course with cell service (there are many points on the course where reception is  good enough to get a text out, but it can be difficult to get a phone call out. If you're worried about your cell phone battery, you can turn it off after sending a text, leave it in airplane mode, or carry a small battery backup device. 2) Use a tracking app such as Endomondo which will automatically update your whereabouts when you come into a reception area. (These apps tend to drain your cell phone battery and the use of a battery backup device will be necessary if you plan on leaving it on for the duration of the event.) 

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RULES AND GUIDELINES

For course marking, we use a highly visible pink flag with reflective tape. Any tricky junctions will be marked well with directional arrows and "Wrong Way" signs. A piece of highly reflective tape is attached to each trail marker that may be encountered at night. 

It is the responsibility of the runner to check in at each aid station (coming in only, no need to check out of the aid station.) Seek out the aid station worker wearing the fluorescent orange vest and give them your bib number. Failure to check in at an aid station can result in disqualification. If you drop out of the race YOU MUST TURN IN YOUR BIB TO THE NEAREST AID STATION CAPTAIN. If you fail to do this, not only will you be responisble for all related search party costs, but you will not be allowed to enter any future UA events. 

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Zero Waste event:

All UA events are zero waste, with less than 1% of the trash produced at the event going to the landfill (and no porta potty chemical sludge being sent to the wastewater treatment facilities.) Please do your part to assist us in this process by placing your trash in the appropriate container. Our aid stations run on solar power, as are the majority of our staging area energy needs.

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Lodging / Camping:

The Grand Canyon Ultras and Half are in remote. Lodging is very limited The Kaibab Lodge and the Jacob Lake Inn are the nearest hotels but they are both about an hour drive from the start/finish line.  Once these fill up, the nearest accommodations are in Fredonia, AZ and Kanab, UT, which are approximately 90 minutes from the start/finish line.  The North Rim Lodge is also nearby but is still approximately 1 hr 15 minutes from the start/finish line.

Camping is allowed and encouraged near the start/finish line area. You can reserve a site when you register or later by clicking here. If you are interested in a tent we will also provide one for a small fee. We will have our eco-commodes available to use at the start/finish line. Be advised there are no hookups, running water or electricity camping here. You can also find numerous spots on the forest service land surrounding much of the course with some amazing free camping at each of the overlooks found on the route.

 Kaibab Camper Village (which has coin showers and laundry) is near Jacob Lake Campground . The Demotte Campground is located next to the Kaibab Lodge. 

 

 

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Getting here:

It is about 4 hours from Las Vegas to the Big Saddle Water Tank area where the race is staged . This open use area is about 1 mile from the breathtaking Crazy Jug viewpoint.  Click here for a map from Kaibab Lodge to the big saddle and here are GPS Coordinates for  Big Saddle ( 36°26'47.5"N 112°23'36.7"W) .  Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks are within an hour’s drive along this route if you’d like to take some extra time to explore. The approach from Salt Lake City is about 6 hrs and passes very near Bryce Canyon and the east entrance to Zion National Park.  It is about 4 hours from Flagstaff, Arizona and 5.5 hours from Phoenix.

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Awards & SHWAG:

Each of our finisher's awards is handmade locally or by Navajo or Tarahumara artisans and each is unique- you can choose the one that speaks to you. 

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FINISH LINE:

We hope that you will join us at the finish line for as long as you’d like to welcome home the other finishers.  One of our goals this year is to create a welcoming environment for you to hang out with old and new friends.  


photos

VIDEOS

Rollover Policy:

If you are unable to attend the race after registering, we are happy to rollover your race credit towards any future Ultra Adventures' event within 2 years of the original race date.  The amount credited will be determined by how much advanced notice you give us, since many costs involved with the race are incurred early.  If you notify us prior to 60 days before the race, you are eligible for a 100% rollover towards any Ultra Adventures event.  If you notify us prior to 30 days before the race- a 75% rollover or will be issued.  If you let us know up to 7 days prior to the event- a 50% rollover can be applied.  Within 7 days of the event- no rollovers will be issued. Any changes to runner registrations will incur a $10 processing fee.

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THE GRAND CIRCLE TRAIL SERIES PLACES TO SEE CHALLENGE

We realize that the races in this series are out of the way for most runners, and it may be the only time that you visit these breathtaking areas. One of our biggest desires at Ultra Adventures is that you walk away from this event having fully experienced what the region has to offer. Even a 100 mile course can only capture a portion of these unique areas. We want you to get into and explore the heart of the national park, walk through that remote slot canyon, see that incredible overlook that is not part of the course. Most often, these spectacular areas are protected as part of a national park, monument, or wilderness area where races are not permitted as part of the management plan. These are often the areas most frequented by tourists, but  are nevertheless places that we feel you must see while you’re visiting. It is our hope that through a more in depth exploration of the area, you will become more connected to the local landscape, thus creating more stakeholders in its preservation. We would love to see your pics and even share them on our social media platforms! If you are ok with this email them to m.anderson@grandcircletrails.com or use #ultraadventuresbucketlist for a chance to be featured.

Grand Canyon region bucketlist:

1) Bill Hall trail- (9 miles)This trailhead is very near the starting line, we run by Monument Point early on in the race.  Take a photo at the Esplanade section and turn around.  Attempting a rim to river trip is not recommended. Bring plenty of water, this trail is exposed. Click here for trail description 

2) North Kaibab trail- (9 miles) Run down to Roaring Springs, take a photo, and back up.  Click here for trail description.

3) Widforss trail- (10 miles) Take picture at the turnaround overlook at mile 5. Click here for trail description

4) Snake Gulch- Perhaps the most dense place for pictographs on earth! For sure the most dense in the Grand Circle. 

***Other amazing options (which can replace any of the above trifecta legs if you'd rather)-

South Canyon- You can take the UPS route (7.5 miles) or the traditional route (13 miles).  Take the photo at the Colorado River.

Rider Canyon- One of my favorite side canyons into the Colorado River, but the approach is long and requires high clearance. 

Rim to Rim(Or R2R2R) This can take the place of all 3 Trifecta challenges if done within a week before or a week after the race.

Kanab Creek Wilderness Area- Lots to explore here, but high mileage to get to the good stuff.  

Toroweap- This is my favorite overlook of the Grand Canyon. It's an amazing section of the park, although difficult to access. But you're as close as you'll ever be to it, so if you have any desire to see it, now's your chance!  Lots of running/hiking options, including a short, steep trip down to the Colorado River via the Lava Falls trail (if it's not too hot.)

-Cape RoyalAlthough this is a short walk, it is so stunning, plan to stay a while. From this 270 degree vista you can see the Colorado River, Vishnu Temple, Wotan Throne, Angel Window Arch, the San Francisco Mountains and many other landforms. 

***Race credit must be redeemed within one year from the race date and the amount credited is based on the amount that you paid for the event that you participated in- (ie. for a $100 registration fee you would earn $10 credit for each leg of the Trifecta, for a $200 registration fee, you would earn $20 credit for each Trifecta leg completed).

A look at some of the trails included in the Grand Circle Trifecta Challenge. We will extend the video as we get more footage coming in...


MAPS

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