The Dead Horse Ultra returned to Moab last Saturday, Nov 18 with 50-mile, 5k and 30k races that challenged more than 600 runners on a course through the Magnificent Seven Trails and Gemini Bridges. The race boasted approximately 500 participants last year, and saw an increase this year after winning the “Best Destination Race” last year for the entire Rocky Mountain West region in Competitor Running magazine.
While a number of Moab residents took part in the races, no one was better than 2016 women’s champion in the 50-miler, Melissa Beaury, as she placed 13th overall and finished 3rd in the women’s side. Beaury finished the course in 8:23:55. Moabite Nathan Oglesbee finished in 53rd place on a time of 9:50:40.
While less grueling than the 50-miler, the 30k race also saw action from Moab residents as Sid Glick took 57th place on a time of 2:49:11. Herbert Stash finished in 64th place after running a time of 2:54:41 and Todd Murdock took 92nd place on a time of 3:07:15. Charlene Stash rounded out the Moab runners in the 30k with a 129th place finish on a time of 3:22:23.
The mens’ 50-mile winner, Jeason Murphy of Carbondale, Colo., bested his own course record in a time of 6:58:52. Vermont runner, Joshua Ferenc, and New Mexico runner, Ruth Senior, outdid last year’s times in the 50k event as well.
According to race organizer and distance runner Justin Ricks, the annual event features some of Utah’s most rugged and beautiful countryside, including the famed “Magnificent Seven Trails” which consist of 10 trail segments, including Bull Run, part of Gemini Road, Arth’s Corner, Little Canyon, Gold Bar ST and upper Gold Bar Rim, Golden Spike, a part of Poison Spider and the Portal Trail.
“The 2018 edition of Dead Horse Ultra is in the books,” Ricks said. “Although the days leading into the event were cold and windy, race day was blue skies and perfect temperatures. The 50-mile event started in the dark and ascended Gemini Bridges Road, towards Canyonlands National Park. As they arrived at the top of the rim, the sun rose over the newly snow-covered La Sal Mountains. Around this same time, the 50k runners began their race through the Moab desert.”
The three trails used in the race made use of varying levels of elevation gain, with the 50-mile at 4,500 feet, the 50k at 3,000 and the 30k at 2,000.
Complete results for the 2017 event can be found at ultrasignup.com/results_event.aspx?did=42906.