The wild red rock canyons and rainbow hills around Richfield, Utah offer endless exploration and adventure. This run links together several canyons and remote ATV trails into a unique trail run. Run up a slot-like red rock canyon, trek atop a packed natural clay fin under colorful hills, power up and speed down remote sections of the Paiute ATV Trail along ridgelines, and both ultra distances will explore two additional primal red rock canyons. There will be a half-marathon distance (21km / 13 miles), a 50km ultra (actually about 32 miles), and a 50 mile ultra (about 80km).
We are excited to add the 50km distance for 2019! It will be a great course running in 5 canyons, and along the rim of a glorious 6th. It will combine the best of the first 50 mile ultra loop (the primal Willow Creek Canyon, the 105 Overlook, and Ken's Canyon), and then follow the 1/2 marathon course (up the ladder and slots of Dairy Canyon, out Flat Canyon, to the entrance of Cathedral Canyon, up the red rock roller coaster of trail 84, and down along the spectacular Scorpion Ridge overlooking Cottonwood Canyon).
This is a trail run, with a light sprinkling of adventure elements. The large majority of the race is running on trails or streambeds, but there are parts in two of the canyons where you may need to do a little climbing or boulder scrambling. The lower 2.5 miles of Dairy Canyon has the ladder near the beginning, and a 4-foot ledge at the end (with a step and rope to assist), and a couple fallen small boulders in-between. Cathedral Canyon has one large chock-stone/boulder near the entrance (just past the view in the title picture above), and one small easy ledge a short ways past that.
Racing in the heart of Panoramaland involves running in dry streambeds/washes, traveling on defined yet remote sections of the Paiute ATV trail, navigating a seasonally wet stream (ultra runners only), and of course occasionally clambering over sandstone boulders or overhangs in your path. Plus, there is one cliff where you climb a 20-foot ladder.
Both the 50mile and 50km distances will cover about 10km in the untouched Willow Creek Canyon, on cow trails that crisscross the stream. By September water flow is low enough runners can easily avoid getting wet feet. Runners are encouraged to buddy-up in this section because it is so primal and remote. The reward is being surrounded by surreal colorful cliffs. Runners of all distances should expect natural wild beauty throughout the day.
Elevation gains & time limits:
* Half Marathon 2515 feet / 767 meters (time limit 5.5 hours)
* 50km 4563 feet / 1390 meters (time limit 12 hours)
* 50 Mile Ultra 6685 feet / 2038 meters (time limit 16 hours)
Getting There and Logistics
Richfield is located in Central Utah, about an 1hr 45min drive South of Provo, and about 1hr 40min North of Cedar City. There are many hotels to choose from in Richfield, as well as a KOA. Our race partner hotel, the Days Inn of Richfield, is where we will be having packet pickup, and is actually the very closest to the starting line. They have discount pricing for race participants. A field close to the event will also be available for free camping. Packet Pickup and will be held the evening before the race from 6-8 PM. Morning-off pickup is discouraged, but available if you arrive at least 45 minutes before your race begins. Races start at 6AM (50 mile), 7AM (50km), and 8:30AM (half marathon). There will be several aid stations throughout the course, stocked with standard ultra fare, including Hammer gels & Heed. Given distances in rugged canyons and time (1 to 2 hours between stations), all runners MUST carry a personal hydration solution. Drop bags will be available at a couple aid stations, and support crews will be able to cheer on their runners at select aid stations.
Note on Registration & Starting Waves
When registering for the 1/2 marathon, you will (should) have an option to select a starting wave. This is to limit the numbers starting at one time to avoid congestion at the ladder in the slot canyon located at two miles into the 1/2 marathon. If you want to be considered for overall placement medals, please sign up for the first 8:30 AM wave.
Local time: 1:32 AM
50 mile (6AM) and 50 km (7AM) runners start all in one wave each, because they will not hit the congestion points in Dairy Canyon until they are well over 20 miles into their run.