This year I had high hopes of racing the Zion 55km and being a part of this amazing series of the Grand Circle Trails. I had never been to Zion national park and was looking forward to seeing it in all it’s spender. The forecast was not ideal for weekend, namely on Saturday the day of the 55km. On Thursday I headed up to Virgin, Utah to help with runner checkin for the 100km and 100mile. It was great to see so many people from all over the world coming to the race and checking in.
The organization had issued a warning with the forecast and let runners opt out of running the race due to potentially tough conditions. Surprisingly, many runners took them up on this offer and deferred their entry to a later race in the series. At this point I was planning on sticking it out.
However once the rains fell hard Friday night after midnight, I was not sure. I headed up to the start at 4:30 am to find it had been delayed one hour to start at 7 instead of 6. Then after a few more showers and more time needed to mark the new course, it was delayed until 8am. The race came down hard, the mud was slick and starting to stack up on the bottoms of my shoes.
I headed to the start to discover the start to be delayed again so made my way back to the car about 1 1/2 miles back and re-assessed. I contemplated in the car, watching the rain come down hard. Cars were sliding and getting stuck in the mud. I had raced in rain, sleet and snow. Memories of the CCC in 2013 of snow and rain for nearly 100km. Patrouille des Glaciers with high winds and cold. On this day I did not feel like I needed to prove myself or get injured so for the first time, I made the call not to start. I would have to wait to see the splendor of Zion another time.
A huge shout out to the Grand Circle Trail Organization who put a tremendous effort in making this race a success despite the tough conditions. The countless hours and volunteers that put this race on before, during and afterwards is really tremendous. This is why I am so honored to be an ambassador for such a group. I look forward to the next race that I can attend on the circuit!
Here is a little video I put together about the race and what I did instead. Run Happy. Youtube Video Rainbow and Running