The wild red rock canyons and rainbow hills around Richfield, Utah offer endless exploration and adventure. This run links together several canyons, remote sections of the Paiute ATV Trail systems, and the brand new (2019) Pahvant Mountain Bike Trail System, into a very unique experience. Run up a slot-like red rock canyon, trek atop a packed natural clay fin under colorful hills, power up and speed down remote trails, and catch great vistas along ridgelines. There will be a half-marathon distance (approximately 14 miles), a 50km ultra (approximate 34 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 Table Mountain 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, and down a couple brand new single-track trails).
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. All distances will run through the lower 2.5 miles of Dairy Canyon, which has the ladder near the beginning, and a 4-foot ledge at the end (with a step and rope to assist), plus a couple fallen small boulders in-between. For 50 milers only, they continue up Cathedral Canyon past the large chock-stone/boulder, where the other distances turn around (see the title picture above). There is also one small easy ledge a short ways past the chock-stone. Beyond these two canyons where runners might need to use hands, the rest of the course is running.
Racing in the heart of Panoramaland involves running in dry streambeds/washes, traveling on defined yet remote sections of the Paiute ATV trail, hitting sections of the brand new Pahvant Trail (mountain bike) System, navigating a seasonally wet stream (ultra runners only), and of course occasionally clambering over sandstone boulders or overhangs in your path.
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 2576 feet / 785 meters (time limit 6 hours)
* 50km 4725 feet / 1440 meters (time limit 12 hours)
* 50 Mile Ultra 6552 feet / 1997 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 or join their runners at select aid stations.
Note on Registration & Starting Waves
When registering for the 1/2 marathon, there is an option to select a starting wave time. 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. [UPDATE 10-Sept-2019, both the 8:30 & 8:45 waves are full. Please register for 9:00 AM or 9:15 AM]
Local time: 8:20 PM
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.