Capitol Reef Race Report

On July 9th over 150 runners ran across portions of the Aquarius Plateau (the highest timbered plateau in North America).  For this race I was able to go mark a 20 mile segment of the course and I am not lying when I say our Capitol Reef races are some of the most difficult races of the Grand Circle Trail Series and in my opinion some of the most rugged and remote anywhere!  Many people see "plateau" and think that it will be flat. Ask anyone who ran these races how "flat" the course was! Big, steep, technical climbs with a huge portion of the course above 10,000 feet challenged even the strongest runners.  Ultimately we had a great finish rate and the finish line was one of the most welcoming and friendly that I remember. It was intimate and we had supportive crew, and runners who stayed clapping and cheering for every runner until the last person finished.  We were also fortunate to have the several Tarahumara runners, including Arnulfo of Born To Run. Their energy, friendliness and love of running was contagious to everyone who spoke with them! 

If you have read any of my other race reports you know I like stories! At every race we hear some of the most inspiring stories imaginable, Capitol Reef continued this trend.  In the 50 mile race a runner came into the aid station with 2 blown out shoes. He was in 4th place at the time and was doing very well so you can imagine his disappointment that after running an amazing race thus far it was over.  A worker at that aid station (Travis) quickly compared sizes and gave up his own shoes so that the runner could continue his race! 

The last runner to cross the finish line did so with under 1 minute left before cutoff. I love seeing everyone cross but for some reason the ones who come in at the wire are my favorite! They have been out on the trail the longest, have suffered the most and fought off the just drop demons for hours and hours yet they struggle on and fight through the pain and overcome their demons.  For this runner you could tell he/she was not used to being so close to cutoff and that his/her race had not gone as initially planned but still trudged on through the pain. Such a good example of never giving up! 


We also had a first time 50 mile runner! A grandpa who gave up smoking and started running! He had the largest cheering section. His family waited for hours for him and as he finally came into view the applause for their father and grandfather gave me chills!  



Here are the top finishers! 

50 Miles

1- Mark Hammond (3rd UA win of season also a course record)  9:28:50

2. Jeff Marshall 9:56:33

3.- Nolan Ripple 10:25:22



1- Emma Horton  11:15:43

2. Ivy Lefebvre- 11:16:32

3. Stacey Pearson 11:27:49



Trevor Ricks 4:57:41 (Course Record)

Holden Rennaker 5:33:58

Michael Nanaszko 6:18:49


1- Cate Morgan (3rd UA 50k win of the season) 7:10:31

2.  Keena Delay 7:44:21

3.  Tarn Udall 7:49:57



Patrick Dawson- 1:51:15

James Roche- 1:51: 32

Giff Walters- 1:54:33


Sophie McDonald - 2:24:34

Tiffen Zellers- 2:31:44

Emily Brydon - 2:44:16

- Matt Anderson