The Mountain Sports Trail Running team awoke early Saturday morning to frost covered tents and frozen toes in the Moab desert. But this didn’t stop them from quickly turning up the heat with the start of the first wave of the Moab Marathon and Half Marathon race starting at 8am.
The two races were run on the same course over jeep trails and single track snaking along a canyon rim for the first nine miles where the two courses diverged. The half marathon then went up a series of switchbacks before descending and running in a stream for almost a mile before getting back onto single track to finish. The marathoners diverged and followed a single track up a canyon wall for two miles, then back down on a mixture of single track, slick rock, jeep trails, and off-track canyon bottom. It finished with the adventure 5k course, which featured 3.1 miles through culverts, caves, under arches, over streams and sandpits, up rock walls with ladders and hand ropes, and down embankments and more rock wall with hand rope.
The courses presented unique obstacles that the Trail Running team was well prepared to meet. The team’s training really showed as all athletes finished their races strongly. – Kendall Cox