Saturday, April 01, 2006

4/1/06 Moab Marathon

300 runners participated in the Moab Marathon on April 1st. Well, it would be much more accurate to say that 300 runners were FOOLED into participating in this event. Online, the course profile looked rather inviting. It appeared to have a relatively slight uphill for the first eight miles, then a nice long downhill until mile 22. It also showed a starting elevation of 6,000 feet, finishing at 4,500 feet above sea level, and the last two miles slightly uphill on trails. What the online information DIDN'T convey is the wind speed, or more importantly: the wind direction. Now keeping in mind that everyone says Moab consists of beautiful canyons and cliffs, I looked forward to seeing some amazing scenery. Problem was, I could barely look forward during some of this run. I was too busy being blown backward. During mile 22, I fully expected to see video cameras mounted overhead on the rock walls for the race director's viewing amusement as runners were redirected three steps back for every half step forward. But I didn't see any, so I assume they must have blown away from their positions. When I was able to see without dirt being blown into my eyes, there were some truly spectacular views. The start was especially breathtaking as it was at Dead Horse Point - so named because horses killed themselves trying to get down the canyon to drink the water below (no fooling). Well, I didn't blow away or fall down a cliff, and somehow managed to finish third female in 3:30:05.
The pilot and co-pilot on the little plane from Salt Lake to Moab.
I was the only passenger, but they still wouldn't let me fly.

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The most amazing scenery ever.
Well, maybe not in this picture, but definitely inside the park.

Image hosting by PhotobucketYou can't really tell just how big this is.

Image hosting by PhotobucketSo I put it in perspective for you.

Image hosting by PhotobucketTight rope walker.

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Dead Horse Point - so named for the horses that killed
themselves trying to get down the canyon for a drink of water.
This is where the marathon started... Yep, that's what I said too.

Image hosting by PhotobucketWindy and cold at the start of the race.

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Met a new friend Monica at the Slickrock Cafe. She's from Reno.
This was her third marathon, she finished in an impressive 4:02!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Beautiful and windy canyon.

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Third place finish award made from cedar - smells really good!