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Moab Trail Half Marathon - Run

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Moab, Utah
United States
40F / 4C
Total Time = 3h 22m 5s
Overall Rank = 350/525
Age Group = F40-49
Age Group Rank = 80/123
Pre-race routine:

It has been a crazy few weeks. Three weeks before the race we embarked on a cross country road trip to bring DS2's car to CT. I managed to get in some short dm runs and a long run at sea level. Then two weeks before the race my Momma passed. Another road trip, this time to northeastern Colorado. Again I got in a few short runs at lower elevation (around the perimiter of the sleepy little town of Holyoke, CO). We got home (again) on the Sunday before this race and I wasn't sure I'd even do it but after some thought I figured I should.

So on Friday we headed out on yet another road trip, this time to Moab. We love that place. It's so.... theraputic in it's beauty. We arrived in Moab just in time to hit packet pickup, then went to a LBS to get some Skratch and SportLegs.

We then went to check in to our great room (one suite from a converted 4-plex) then headed to Zax for dinner of a Corona-rita and pasta with meatballs.

We stopped at City Market and I grabbed some buttermilk biscuits and honey for breakfast.

Back to the room to relax and make some (mostly) final decisions on what to wear. I settled on my Team RWB tech T, with some sleeves that I could slide down, throwaway gloves, my fave Oiselle shorts and my trusty Brooks Pure Grits. I got everything laid out with my bib and the warm clothes I would wear for pre-race and headed off for a good nights sleep.

I woke a couple times in the night, looked at the alarm clock on the night stand and fell back asleep. At some point in the night, around 0330 I think, the bed side alarm clock no longer lit up. I figured it was a setting or the battery had died but wasn't concerned and fell back to sleep. I woke at a bit before six and decided to get up and moving. I grabbed my clothes and headed to the bathroom where I discovered... no electricity.

I mentioned it to DH who got up and started investigating as I got ready by the slight sunlight and my phone light when needed. DH saw that the power outage was the whole neighborhood and this meant there was no microwave to heat my biscuit. More importantly, would I be able to find coffee?!

We were out the door by 0630 and in search of coffee. We drove to the edges of town (which in Moab doesn't take long) but to no avail. There were no street lights, no OPEN signs, just a quiet Moab morning made even more so by the lack of electrcity. We headed to the race site hoping there would be some semblance of coffee there.

We arrived at the race site and parked in a field where directed then walked the half mile or so to the race venue. There was no coffee, just kind volunteers cutting fruit for post race treats.

I hit the porta-john, which whithout coffee, was not as... beneficial as I'd hoped. We then stood around, waiting to get the party started. We watched as other racers milled around. I watched what they were wearing as I still had an idea at that back of my head of switching to my RWB singlet. Many racers were in long tights, a few were in capri length, and fewer still were in shorts. I couldn't really tell what shirts people were wearing as we were all bundled to ward off the morning chill.

As the time got closer for the pros and others in the first wave to start we made our way over to the race course so we could watch them take off. After seeing the majesty of the launch that is the pros we wandered back over to the central area. I was in the fourth wave so after the third group went I started peeling off layers. I stayed with the T and sleeves and sorts. Turned on my watch and got in to the corral.
Event warmup:

A bit of moving to stay warm.
  • 3h 22m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 15m 26s  min/mile

As we set off I was so excited to be there. There was a bit of a mash up and walking/running caterpillar thing going on for the first half mile or so. I wish I'd seeded myself closer to the front. Once we got on to the course it opened up and it was easier to "maintain" a pace (as much as you can with ever varying terrain). It was fun running the trails that are so similar to those that I've wheeled with the family over the years. There was sand, and slick rock, and climbing rock formations.

I was only about a mile in to the run when I needed to shed the gloves and sleeves. I tucked the sleeves in to my nutrition belt and held the gloves to drop at the first aid station.

From the first mile marker my watch was hitting the miles before the markers. The first aid station was supposed to be at 5.7 but my watch had it at 6. I was trying to prepare myself for the fact that the course was going to be longer than 13.1 based on my watch.

The first aid station was great. The Jeepers were there, parked the way Jeepers do and they were friendly and greeting us with goodies. Although I'd been eating my Skratch gels every couple miles or so I decided to have a "fun size" milky way and a small glass of coke for a quick sugar hit. I love the aid stations at trail races. Everyone takes the time to stop, get a bite, gather themselves and get moving again.

Once we headed out from the first aid station we were on single track. A lot of it was such that there was no passing. So we had the Pikes Peak famed conga line going. It was ok though. It was still a good pace and a chance to talk with those around me. At one point a guy yelled out asking if anyone was having PPA flashbacks. I told him that was exactly what I was thinking. One of the girls around me mentioned that the jam up had been much worse and moving much slower last year.

There was a lot of scrambling up and down rock formations so those slowed the crowd a bit (just like wheeling). We were moving down the side of a beautiful red wall which could have been dangerous if one weren't paying attention (see pix) At the bottom of that descent there was another aid station where I grabbed gummy worms (bad choice, it was still cold so they were hard) and another coke. My watch showed this being the 10 mile mark so I told myself 5k to go and headed out.

After this aid station we climbed a technically easy but very steep dirt road for about a half mile before it went back down for another half. Then... the creek. This was not a creek crossing. It was an in-n-out (but mostly in) of the creek for the better part of a mile. The creek was COLD!!!!!! The depth went anywhere from shin deep to above the knees. My feet were numb!

We were occasionally able to step up on to a sand bar or the banks of the creek to thaw for a few seconds but then it was back in the ice water. Toward the end of this crazyness the path led us to step up on the bank. The step was thigh high. My feet were numb and my quads were fried. I wasn't making that "step" so I went a bit further downstream and stepped out at a lower spot.

Finally we were out of the ice water where we faced a steep up hill climb to the final aid station (mile 12.2 by their calculations). One character at the aid station was making mountain goat noises at us, to help with the climb I suppose :) After the aid station we were back on dirt road for a short juant back toward the finish.

As we approached the finish (where I could clearly hear the announcer and where my watch said it was time to be done) they turned us back on to single track where we dropped back down in to the depths of the creek banks and criss crossed back and forth across the creek (this time on muddy planks as makeshift bridges) for what felt like another mile before we climbed a ridiculous dirt hill to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. It was fun and I'd had a crazy few weeks before so my plan was to just enjoy it. And I did.
Post race
Warm down:

I needed to sit! After sitting for a bit I grabbed a bag of chips then we walked back to the truck where I removed my muddy/sandy shoes and socks and covered them with the sleeves I'd shed so many miles before.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

genetics, crazy life, Moab is a beast

Event comments:

Trail races are pretty low key so I didn't expect a lot at the start/finish but everything else was very well done.

For an incredible read about the RD's story go to

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-09-21 12:00 AM
03:22:05 | 13.1 miles | 15m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 80/123
Overall: 350/525
Performance: Good
Course: Start at the Pritchett Canyon entrance, proceed up Pritchett Canyon trail (5.7 miles) connecting to Hunter Canyon Rim trail (1.8 miles), proceeding along the Hunter Canyon Rim single-track and down to Kane Creek Road (2.2 miles). Turn right and continue up the infamous Kane Road switchbacks for about a mile, then back down to the Hymasa singletrack into the depths of Kane Creek drainage. Continue for 1 mile in the drainage, exiting at the Amasa Back parking lot for another ½ mile dirt road before the final ½ mile of singletrack with two crossings of Kane Creek before the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2015-11-12 12:46 PM

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: Moab Trail Half Marathon

2015-11-13 10:10 AM
in reply to: #5151955

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Subject: RE: Moab Trail Half Marathon

I was just going to ask about Moab in your log! I can't believe you did it coffeeless

So glad you had a good time after a rough month. It really is a therapeutic place. Love that pic of the wall! And the creek "crossing"???? I can only imagine how much colder two weeks after our trip.


2015-11-14 9:53 PM
in reply to: #5151955

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Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: Moab Trail Half Marathon
great job. Difficult running for sure.
I can only imagine how cold that creek was.

Was there in the early summer (May) when they had another HM. Looked really fun.
2015-11-16 11:48 AM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: Moab Trail Half Marathon

Wow, that looked and sounded awesome!! Congratulations on a great run in really tough terrain!  Trail runs out west are just a tad different than trail runs in Florida

2015-11-16 1:38 PM
in reply to: #5151955

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New user
Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Moab Trail Half Marathon

Such a beautiful part of the world. Glad you got to race in it! And I'm sorry to hear about your mom passing. I bet you thought of her a lot on your run.

Thanks for the writeup on your race.

2015-11-16 2:39 PM
in reply to: #5151955

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Subject: RE: Moab Trail Half Marathon

That looks like a very beautiful and spiritual place to hold a race!  Minus the power outage, of course.  Thank heavens you awoke on time.   Big, big congrats to you for getting out there, braving the cold river and the coffee-less day.  Someday I'd love to do some races out there, or at least see the gorgeous sights!

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