The race will feature a marathon, half-marathon and 5k events. The marathon, with its national championship title, has drawn more than 50 elite runners who will vie for top honors. Participants will run 13.1 or 26.2 miles on the beautiful, rugged course that features trails along the Kane Creek corridor, including Pritchett Canyon, Hunter Rim and Jackson Trail, as well as some unnamed trails, and trails through private property including a rope-assisted section. The top runners in the marathon will be recognized as champions and will receive a $3,500 prize purse.
The marathon has a reputation for being one of the toughest cross country races around. The course features a mix of Moab’s unique four-wheel drive roads and trails; this course travels up, down and through several stunning canyons. Rugged terrain and spectacular scenery bring runners from around the world to compete on this course. This is the ninth year of the race.
The course was designed by world-renowned local runner, Danelle Ballengee, who is known to set challenging courses. The course actually crosses the path of her famous fall in 2006 where she survived a 60-foot drop and two freezing nights with a shattered pelvis only to be saved by her dog, Taz and neighbor, Dorothy Rossignol.
The story and the race was featured on the show “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” as well as “20/20: In An Instant.” Trail Runner Magazine has named the race as one of the top-10 “bucket list” races.
This year race organizers have coupled with several local non-profit organizations that will also be helping out on race day. Proceeds from the race will go to benefit organizations including Community Rebuilds, Friends For Wheelin’, Humane Society of Moab Valley, Trail Mix, Grand County Red Devils’ cross-country, Grand County Search and Rescue and others.
The race starts at 8 a.m. on Nov. 4 and 5 (two days of races). Top finishers are expected to finish in less than two hours and the cutoff is set at eight hours. It is recommended that hikers, bikers and Jeepers wishing for solitude recreate elsewhere, although spectators are welcome.
The event is being held under permit from the BLM and SITLA.
For more information check out the website www.moabtrailmarathon.com or call Danelle at 435-259-7844 or 970-389-4838.
The event is fully registered, so organizers are not accepting new participants, although local children are welcome to compete in the ‘Kid’s K’, which features running through an arch and cave, going down a ladder, and through a tunnel. Parents need to sign their kids up online at www.IMathlete.com.