New Registration Pricing

We wanted to give everyone a heads up that we are raising our registration pricing for the Grand Circle Trails ultramarathon series this year. It has been years since we have raised the price on registration, but as we've grown and worked to improve the runner experience, the cost to put the events on has increased.

On top of maintaining the quality of the events, we're also looking to improve. As you may know, we're working to upgrade timing at all the races and adding GPS tracking for our 100 milers. These improvements will not only make the weekend more enjoyable, but will also make the races safer for our runners without taking away the challenges of our ultramarathons.

We also want you to know that we've gotten rid of the hidden registration fees that would get tacked on to your registration in Ultrasignup. Ever since we've moved registration to RunSignUp, we've been eating those registration fees. Part of the increase is accounting for those fees, without it being a surprise at the end of the registration form.

We're so excited about the future of this series. We appreciate our runners and want to give them the best race experience possible!

Getting to the Grand Canyon Ultras!

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One of my favorite of our events is the Grand Canyon Ultras and Half! I love it for many reasons besides the big views of one of the natural wonders of the world. Grand Canyon is one of our more intimate events. Grand Canyon is also the most remote race that we host. It's an adventure just to get to the expo that includes a long drive, little if any cellular or data service and driving on dirt roads (usually in great condition but dirt nonetheless).  Because of the challenge of just finding the race please do a little more prep than you normally would. Have the route planned out! Know mileage and estimated drive times, have a map or GPS app for your phone, etc. The forest roads that we use are, in general, well signed but it is still easy to get turned around! I ended up driving the wrong direction for about 20 minutes last year before realizing my error. 

HOW TO GET TO CHECK-IN
Race staging, check-in, and the start/finish line are located at the historic Big Saddle Tank in the Kaibab National Forest. The last 20 miles of road to get here is a dirt road so plan in some extra time especially if you do not have a high-clearance vehicle. This open use area is about 1 mile from the breathtaking Crazy Jug viewpoint. There is no event parking at the expo, and start/finish line. Event parking is located about 1.5 miles north of Big Saddle where runners and spectators will be shuttled to and from the parking area to the expo and race. Shuttles will run non-stop from 1:30 pm-8:30 pm on Friday, and from 4:00 am-10:00pm on Saturday. Directions to Parking Area: https://goo.gl/VVSyhy .

Major junctions will be well signed but remember you will not have any data/cellular service for much of your drive, especially once you turn off from any main road. Plan accordingly! I have used a few GPS apps on my phone to navigate the Kaibab National Forest. I am going to try Avenza Maps this year. You can purchase a Kaibab National Forest map using this app that includes roads, trails, and landform like the big saddle tank where check in will be. 

AVERAGE DRIVE TIMES
Remember these are average drive times. Much depends on your speed and comfort driving on forest service roads. We have found that map programs tend to estimate slower drive times. 
- North Kaibab Lodge/Jacob Lake- 60-90 minutes
- Fredonia, Arizona- 90 minutes
-Kanab, Utah- 90+ minutes

 

Come Run with Me!

                                        Dont run and try to look at your GPS! 

                                        Dont run and try to look at your GPS! 

As I rolled on the frozen ground bloodied and yelling 4 letter words after tripping over...well I don't know what I tripped on... I thought to myself "WTH am I doing?!"  So what was I doing on the frozen tundra of Little Creek Mesa besides swearing and bleeding? I was training for my first ultra! 

It was almost one year ago when I was running with the brilliant race designer Matt Gunn (we were placing the rope for one of the big climbs on the Zion course, yes there is a rope!) and he said something like "Dude, you should run Zion next year." At the time I had worked for Ultra Adventures for two years doing social media, communications, marking trails, setting up tents, manning aid stations, etc. Basically, I have done just about everything from behind the scenes to on site but I had never run one of the races, never an ultra for that matter, nor a marathon, nor a half.  I think I did a 5k once! Remember when color runs were all the rave, I did that one!  But it wasn't until Matt G. challenged me to run a race had I every really thought about it. 

So here we are one year later. Zion is just over a month away and over the next 5 weeks between now and race day I will share weekly updates! I will share tips that I have read, lessons I have learned and hope to share a successful race with all of you.

Today I would like to share my first two tips for aspiring ultra runners. They are,  first if you are anything like me it took a challenge or an invite to think about running that first race and here is your invite! "Dude, you should run an ultra next year!"

The second, and maybe most important piece of wisdom from this rookie of running is SIGN UP!!! FIND A RACE, PULL THE TRIGGER and REGISTER (preferably a race hosted by Ultra Adventures). 

Follow my story on  the Ultra Adventures "Latest News" between now and Zion! 

Registration System Change

Many of you have noticed registration for the Grand Circle Trail series has been unavailable over the past few days. We're pleased to announce that registrations are back up, but through RunSignUp instead of UltraSignup. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment this move might cause. We did not expect or intend for this to happen, especially in the middle of the registration period. Let us explain:

Last week, we sent out a survey to our past runners asking for their feedback on the registration process for the Grand Circle Trail Series. As a company, we have considered switching registration platforms because it would make things easier for our customer service team and allow us to implement better refund/deferment policies, but not for at least another year, if at all. What is important to our runners is top priority to us, which is why we were looking for your feedback.

On the night of January 15 all of our events were removed from UltraSignup without notice to any of us. We have done all we can since then to try and get them back up and hosted on UltraSignup, but without success. Us asking for feedback from runners was met with some resistance from Ultrasignup. We have tried to identify what exactly it was that justified the hostile treatment but have so far been unable to do so. We know you are missing out on registration the longer our races are down, so we had to make the decision to switch over to the new system in RunSignUp.

So I can't register for these races now with my UltraSignup account? Unfortunately, no. We know this is a big inconvenience to many of you. The good news is, it only takes a minute to create a RunSignUp account which will then allow you to register for any of our races quickly and easily.

And I can't see my results on UltraSignup? No, however we are hoping that we can work more with UltraSignup to at least include our events within their results and listings. We hope this helps, even if we can't host our registrations there.

What if I already registered for one of the races through UltraSignup? Do I have to sign up again? No. You're still registered for the race. We just have to import all current runners' info into the new system. Once your information has been imported you will receive an email that you are registered for the event. Let us know if you don't receive an email in the next few days. 

If you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us at info@grandcircletrails.com. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you. We would not have chosen this move had it been within our control.