I'm retired from racing. Really.

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

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Location:

Greenville,SC,

Member Since:

Feb 24, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

I also maintain a blogspot running blog. Check it out. 

5k- 16:01, 1/2 marathon- 1:11:37, marathon- 2:34:16, 50k- 3:58, 100 mile- 15:19

Former World Record holder in 100 x 5k relay 

Ultra history:

8-100 mile, 1-100k, 9-50 mile, 2-40 mile, 14-50k-ish

12 wins, 5 CR's, plus four 2nd, five 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 16th, 20th, 28th, 38th, and 62nd place, with 1 DNF 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Goals 

None for now

Long-Term Running Goals:

Unretire at some point

Run a sub-6 hr 50 miler

Win a 100 mile ultramarathon

Personal:

I have five cute kids. And I have some rockin short green racing shorts- I wear them mainly because it embarrasses my wife so much. I like ultimate frisbee, trail running, reading, and cheering for the Denver Broncos!   And I have the absolute best wife in the world.  And I used to run for the now-disbanded national Team Pearl Izumi- Ultra!

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 4.00 Month: 54.50 Year: 776.00
Fastwitch Lifetime Miles: 82.50
Trail N1 Lifetime Miles: 86.50
Road N1 Lifetime Miles: 31.00
Stinson Lifetime Miles: 541.50
Trail M2 2 Black Lifetime Miles: 418.50
Trail M2 3 Lifetime Miles: 495.60
Trail N2 2 Orange Lifetime Miles: 418.00
Road M2 3 Orange Lifetime Miles: 333.50
Road N2 Purple Lifetime Miles: 313.50
Trail M2 Lime/black Lifetime Miles: 61.00
Race: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim (49 Miles) 13:00:00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
49.000.000.000.000.0049.00

Ran the Grand Canyon today from the North Rim to the South Rim then back to the North (aka R2R2R).  Not really a race, but deserving of a race report.  I had only been at the GC one other time, when Marci and I hiked halfway down South Kaibab trail, and had never been to the North Rim.  I ran with Davy, his brother Bob, and their brother-in-law Ed.  Davy has run in the GC a million times and was the resident expert.  The plan for today was run down North Kaibab to Phantom Ranch (14 miles, 6000 ft down), then run up Bright Angel trail to the South Rim (10 miles, 5000 ft up), then turn around.  Davy thought we would be around 12 hours, though the last time he and Bob ran R2R2R it took them 19.5 hours.

We met Fri and drove to Jacob's Lake, where we slept for the night.  Woke up at 3 am and were at the trailhead at 4:15 am.  Temp was cool, about 20 deg, though it rapidly warmed as we descended.  We left a bit of gear at mile 2, then filled up water at Roaring Springs.  The first 5 miles of descent are very steep, with up to 1000 ft per mile.  I have only done one hilly run in the past 2 months, so my quads were immediately complaining.  After the initial steep miles, the trail is a gentle descent to Phantom Ranch at mile 14.  The sun was finally up and I really enjoyed the scenery of the canyons.  We were essentially following a stream the whole way down.  My quads really hurt, though, which had me worried.  I also had 2 hot spots on my feet, but nothing that a little love, attention, and tape couldn't handle.  We celebrated the arrival at Phantom Ranch by filling more bottles and leaving another load of gear, including headlamps (this is important later- read on).  Phantom Ranch is very gorgeous and in a great location.  There are even some almost-tame deer.  We never kept specific time, but I think we had been going about 2.5 hours.


After a short rest, we crossed the Colorado river and begun the ascent to the South Rim.  Ed and I ran this together and really enjoyed it.  There were lots of people for us to pass and we had a good conversation.  It is a beautiful trail and both Ed and I felt much, much better climbing than we had on the way down.  The weather was still perfect, just cool enough.  The climb seemed to pass quickly and was punctuated by a few nice rest stops and some mule trains.  We reached the top in about 5.25 hours.

 

It was very breezy at the top as Ed and I quickly got chilled.  We went into a lodge and sat by a fire waiting for the other guys.  They ate some hot dogs and sandwiches.  I was testing out my 100 mile fueling strategy, though, so I didn't eat anything.  For the whole run, I drank gatorade and HEED, and ate about 25 gu's.  I never had any energy problems or stomach problems the whole time, which was great.  My stomach would have liked a bit of solid food, but I told it to keep its requests to itself.

 

 I was worried about the descent from the south rim due to my very unhappy quads.  But, they warmed up within a few minutes and I was able to fly down the path and had a very enjoyable time passing all the backpackers laden with 50 lb packs.  Tons of fun and lots of good views.  Even got within about 20 yards of a bighorn sheep.  When we arrived at Phantom Ranch, our stuff was gone.  Not good.  The ranger hadn't seen it and said they normally throw everything away that they find.  Really not good.  I had no idea how we would get up without headlamps, since we were on-track to finish 3 hours after sundown.  But, it ended up a [very unhappy] maintenance man had them and returned them to us once we tracked him down .5 miles away and 45 min later.  Crisis avoided.  

 

 

Starting at this point, with 14 miles to go, Bob and Ed were both bonking pretty hard but really toughed it out.  They ran-walked for a bit, then just walked the last 10 or so miles with no complaining.  Studs.  After leaving the ranch, I really relaxed and enjoyed myself, seeing some of the north canyons that were dark when we passed through earlier in the day.  I took lots of photos, enjoyed the views of this little canyon and stream, took a few detours for fun, and even did an experiment.  I tried to determine the effect of a human body diving sideways off a little 4 foot cliff onto dirt and rocks below.  I'm happy to say that my right ear, chin, chest, elbow, and both knees delivered such a stunning blow to the earth that it was helpless to fight back.  I even left some blood on the ground to mark my newly-claimed territory.

 

 

The last 7 miles were quite the bonk slog, with me bringing up the rear.  Ed and Bob took turns bonking.  Whoever was further behind was subjugated to my [not-so] witty remarks and [really lame] jokes.  They called me the chirpy caboose and couldn't believe how much energy I still had, most of which I used to pester them  They would finally get so sick of me that they would pick up the pace until they passed the other one, who would then enter my torture chamber.  This went on all the way through the very long, unrelenting climb to the rim.  The path just went on and on and up and up.  They were inspiring with their will to continue.  I had fun talking to them, and also occasionally turned off my headlamps and stared at the amazing number of stars that appeared as my eyes adjusted.  The weather got rather chilly and windy during the climb, but we had enough clothes to stay warm.

 

Finishing was a very happy moment.  I whooped and hollered and even skipped a little.  I felt relatively great and enjoyed the whole thing.  I really didn't try to track time exactly, so I'll estimate running time at about 13 hours, with total time of about 16.5 to 17 hours (4:15 am to about 9 pm).


My only regret is that I never saw the whole North Rim during daylight.  But it was a great run with some amazing people- thanks for letting me tag along, Dave, Bob, and Ed.  48 miles (plus 1 extra finding our missing gear) with some great guys in some absolutely beautiful country is a great way to spend a day.  I'm sure I'll be back. Thanks for letting me go, Marci. 

No pictures of Davy and company- sorry guys.  I'm sure Davy's blog will have a ton.

Today's run is my longest ever time-wise, had the most elevation change, and tops off my longest week ever.  Fun.

The next thing on my agenda is Rocky Raccoon 100 in Feb. 

XT Wings Miles: 49.00
Weight: 0.00
Comments
From Paul on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 08:17:33 from 174.27.196.20

Looking forward to seeing pics. Nice job.

From jtshad on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 08:26:37 from 69.20.183.178

Wow, what an experience! You are becoming a regular mountain goat.

Great job!

From Holt on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 10:11:31 from 204.113.55.41

Sounds awesome! Maybe someday I'll be able to do it.

From Cody on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 10:20:08 from 69.9.58.17

cool! One of those runs you never forget. I hope to make it with you next time.

From jun on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 10:24:33 from 66.239.250.209

Congrats Jon. Your report reflected the amazing time I knew you guys would have. Glad everyone made it back ok. What would an adventure run be without a little 'adventure', eh? I can't wait to get down there myself, eventually. You'll do really well at Rocky Raccoon. And as for not seeing the North Rim . . . you didn't miss too much. I think the South Rim is prettier, although not as green. Again, congrats.

From Dustin on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 10:38:21 from 204.113.48.77

Sounds like quite the adventure

From jun on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 12:36:01 from 66.239.250.209

Cool pics.

From JD on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 13:04:24 from 70.96.78.157

Well it's official - you're MAD, and your insanity knows no bounds!

Sounds like a truly awesome adventure. Thanks for sharing with this great write up and photos.

From Superfly on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 15:06:43 from 208.117.127.110

Totally wish I would have been there... We've always wanted to do that and need to get it crossed off the list soon.

From JamesH on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 15:10:56 from 74.211.22.194

That sounds like fun. Good job letting the ground know whos boss. Sometimes it gets a big head and needs to be put in its place.

From Burt on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 15:16:20 from 12.231.112.98

Great entry.

From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 18:02:20 from 174.51.250.151

That sounds like an awesome time. I'm definitely going to have to do that run at some point. That's interesting to hear about the Gu/Gatorade only technique. I can imagine the stomach being kind of jealous of the other guys food after 13 hours of eating nothing but gu...I hope you brought the variety pack!

From Adam RW on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 23:03:40 from 155.101.240.107

All I can say is wow! and scars to prove it. I really enjoyed the pictures mixed in. I'm with Clyde, let me know next time!

From Vis on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 23:07:38 from 208.88.8.20

Very cool accomplishment. Great time too. I thought it was hard enough one way. Thanks for taking the camera. It's hard to explain exactly what you see when you're down there. The canyon really is amazing.

From Adam RW on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 23:13:14 from 155.101.240.107

I almost missed the comment on the longest week ever. Congrats on breaking that record!

From crockett on Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 00:34:06 from 71.36.68.54

My Grand Canyon report is posted on FRB at: http://crockett.fastrunningblog.com/blog-Grand-Canyon-Rim-to-rim-to-rim/11-21-2009.html

A YouTube slideshow will be uploaded on Tuesday with 66 photos.

From Sandy Dune-Howard on Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 06:07:54 from 78.32.130.9

Wow well done Jon and excellent blog about the race, sounds so cool, sorry you had a few scars to show for it. and I hope your on the road to recovery now :-)

From Twinkies on Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 12:16:44 from 134.24.147.249

Excellent report. Sounded like a very fun adventure run. I need to add it to my list of runs to do.

From redrooster on Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 20:57:43 from 71.219.145.201

geez and I thought I had a tough saturday. you guys are animals. nice job.

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