Zion Pre Race Email

Only two weeks out from the big day!!

I just wanted to send a little email reminder reviewing some of the basic rules and guidelines that will help race day run smoothly.

For course marking, we use flags that are color coordinated with the color of your bib. A piece of highly reflective tape is attached to the markers that may see use during the night. Each distance has a different color of bib. 100 mile is pink, 100k is yellow, 50k is green, and 25k is orange.   Whenever a route has overlapping miles with the 100 mile route, you will follow the 100 mile's pink flags instead of your bib color.  Any route variations unique to your distance will be marked with the color of your bib. Any tricky junctions will be marked well with signs and flour arrows. 

100 mile - Follow the pink flags, with the exception of the Virgin Desert loops, which begin at mile 76.5. To help avoid confusion, these 3 loops are marked in red, white, and blue. Loop 1 - Red, Loop 2 - White, Loop 3 - Blue. You will receive a silicone bracelet from the aid station workers which matches the color of loop that you are running. After finishing the final or "Blue" loop, you'll return your bracelets to the aid workers and follow the pink flags back to the finish line.

100k - Follow pink flags until mile 55 then yellow flags to the finish line. *Note that the 100K splits from the 100 mile course after the second pass through Goosebump Aid Station.

50k - Follow green flagging until the 25 k splits off at mile 2, then follow pink for the remainder of the race. 

25k - Follow orange flagging until the route merges with the 100 mile route at mile 6, then follow pink for the remainder of the race..

Here are links to the Google Earth flyover videos of each of the courses. I strongly suggest watching your course video at least once to help you visualize the route you'll be running, the lay of the land, and sequence that the different sections of the course will be run in. 

100 Mile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCdWi6Xm_78&feature=youtu.be

100K: http://youtu.be/y8leM_j5ydg

50K: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhlzbOO3qLg&feature=youtu.be

25K: http://youtu.be/HdURI74GTU0

Gooseberry Point will be the only aid station where drop bags aren't allowed. The access road makes it very difficult for us to get supplies to this aid station and your Goosebump aid station drop bag will be accessible before and after Gooseberry Point.  All drop bags will be delivered back to the start after the aid station closes. If you would like a chance of it getting there sooner, you will need to place it in the pile labeled "Return to Start Line" after you finish using it and are leaving the aid station. Crew or volunteers cannot sort through them in order to reduce the risk of a drop bag inadvertantly being returned to the start line. You are welcome to drive to an aid station to pick up a drop bag if you need it before the aid station closes.

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 responsible for all related search party costs, but you will not be allowed to enter any future UA events.

Aid station cutoffs have been posted on the website. A more detailed spreadsheet can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BE7R7WUSA0OnbEMaapNAiYXFvRGN7SWKnDKSZDwCVdw/edit#gid=1622898772

Tailwind is our sponsoring energy/electrolyte drink and it will be provided at each of the aid stations.  

Checkin is located at the start/finish line area at the Virgin Town Park. (Located on 100 W in Virgin- you can't miss it, the entire town is only a few blocks in size.)

One of our ambassadors, Keena DeLay, will be offering a yoga class at 5:30pm on Friday evening during checkin for any 50K/25K runners that would like to participate. Keena will also guide a recovery session at Cable Mountain Lodge in Springdale on Sunday morning at 9am (located at the main entrance to Zion National Park with spectacular views.) 

We will have a course preview meeting at 6:30pm on Thursday and Friday for those interested  where either Rick or myself will be giving an overview of the course conditions and answering any questions.  We will also be playing the flyover videos at the starting area during checkin. After the course preview meeting at 7pm we will have a local guest speaker giving a fireside chat about the area.  This speaker is Matt Anderson. Matt was the geography/history teacher across the hall from my classroom a few years ago when the Zion 100 was born.  Matt has a vast knowledge and appreciation for the land and history of the Grand Circle area. He has worked as a ranger in the educational outreach program at Zion National Park during the summers, sharing his love of the area with thousands of visitors. He is an avid hiker/backpacker and is also Fast Cory's brother-in-law, meaning he often has pacing/crewing duties :)  Matt has also come on board as a member of the UA team, managing our social media accounts.

The pre/post race meal will be a DIY pita pizza bar. We supply the ingredients, you make it how you want it, and we'll cook it for you in one of our pizza ovens (they only take 2 minutes to cook.)  The number of meal tickets that you are supplied with depends on your race distance. 

Those of you that follow us on Facebook are probably aware of the tragic situation that one of our runners, Malcom Bennett, has been dealing with since last June. https://www.facebook.com/ultradventures/posts/774038879357602  I am so impressed with the way you all stepped up to show your support for him in his time of need. We raised in one day what we were hoping to raise in a year to help pay for the funeral expenses. This meant a lot to him and his family.  We will have the purple silicone bracelets for you to pick up at checkin if you would like to run for Alyssa and support Malcom in his third 100 mile attempt (Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley were his first and second attempts and finishes. Malcom will be attempting to run all 7 of our 100 milers this year in her honor.) Thes bracelets are free of charge and are just a way to show your support to a fellow ultrarunner. Malcom would like you to know that he does not need any more financial support at this time but has been very touched by the outpouring of emotional support on his and Alyssa's behalf. 

I hope you're planning on getting out and seeing some of the beautiful land features inside the national park while you're here, as part of our Trifecta Series. If you're unaware of what that is, you can read more about it here: http://www.grandcircletrails.com/trifectas/  It would be a shame to come all the way out here and not get into the main canyon and get on some of the amazing trails within the park's boundaries. 

We will have a photo competition after the race via our Instagram account. Photos can be taken before, during, or after the race. They can be photos of the course itself, from one of the trifectas, something funny at the event, your roadtrip, whatever. You have a two week window to submit them (a week before the event and a week after it.) Hashtag #ultraadventures to enter.  The top vote getters will be awarded some great prizes from some of our sponsors such as Altra, Orange Mud, Smith Optics, St. George Running Center, Joe Trailman Gaiters, and High Desert Drop Bags.

Remember that we put on Zero Waste events. This means that we'll need your help by putting any waste in the appropriate container. The most important thing to separate is any organics/compostable items.  Any left over food etc. please put in the "compost" buckets.  Once that potentially smelly stuff is out of the way, it's really not that big of a deal if we have to do a little extra sorting. So please don't put food items in the trash or recycle containers.

All of the toilets used at our event are composting toilets.  If you're not familiar with what a composting toilet is, it's just a dry toilet with a carbon source medium (usually sawdust) added to the toilet chamber after each use.  Please toss a nice scoop/handful of sawdust over your turd to aid in the composting process and keep things looking nice for the person coming after you :)  

We will have a limited number of temporary tattoos for sale at checkin for each of the ultra distance events. They are $5 each and are very helpful in letting you know when the next aid station and big climbs/decents are.

We don't have an awards ceremony since the runners finish over such a large span of time and we've had such low attendance in the past. You will pick up your finishers awards as you cross the finish line. We have put a lot of effort into creating a more welcoming and comfortable post-race environment and we invite you to stick around and for as long as you'd like afterwards. Our Eco-Trailer is ready to roll and will be at the event, don't forget your towell if you'd like to give our hot shower and wood-fired hot tub a spin. Check it out here 

Here is a link to a spreadsheet created by Adrian Stanciu for the Zion course that can help you plan out your run. Adrian won the Monument Valley 100 and took second at Antelope Canyon, so the planning obviously paid off! You can fill in the blanks with your own estimated times:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15oVfz3CoXAoqPz2thwFa5qEYCF9gCgCIGqx3XgbHoSQ/edit#gid=0

For 100 milers, here is a link to a quick survey that a grad student is conducting on the effects of pacers and support crew on one's overall ability in a 100-mile ultra race. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ultrarunning_or_bust Please take couple of minutes to support Conner Jackson in his research if you can.

See y'all soon!

Matt Gunn