The event is full with runners signed up for either the marathon, half marathon, 5K, or Kid K events. The marathon, with its national championship title, has drawn over 50 elite runners who will vie for top honors. Participants will run up to 26.2 miles on the rugged course that features trails along the Kane Creek corridor including Pritchett Canyon, Hunter Rim, Jackson Trail as well as some unnamed trails and routes through private property including a rope-assisted section. The top runners in the marathon will be recognized as national champions in addition to receiving the $4,500 prize purse.
Not for the faint of heart, the Moab Trail Marathon has a reputation for being one of the toughest cross-country races around, said a statement from its organizers. The course features a mix of Moab’s unique four-wheel-drive roads and trails, traveling up, down and through several stunning canyons. Runners from around the world are expected to compete on the course.
This year is the 10th anniversary 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 accident in 2006 where she survived a 60-foot fall 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.
Race organizers have coupled with several local non-profit organizations that will also be helping out on race day. Proceeds from the race will benefit a number of organizations including Community Rebuilds, Humane Society of Moab Valley, Trail Mix, Grand County Cross-Country Team, Grand County Search and Rescue and Journey Racing.
The race starts at 8 a.m. on both Nov. 3 and 4. Top runners are expected to finish in less than three hours, and the cutoff is set at eight hours. Spectators are welcome. The event is being held under permit from the BLM and SITLA. For more information see www.moabtrailmarathon.com or call Danelle at 970-389-4838. The event is full; no new registrations are being accepted, although exceptions may be made for local participants.