Moab to host national trail marathon championships

moab national trail marathon championships
Participants rejoice after finishing the 2015 USA Trail Marathon in Moab. Courtesy photo

The top runners in the nation, as well as more than 2,700 recreational trail runners, will compete in the USA Trail Marathon Championships in Moab Nov. 2-3, according to an email from Danelle Ballengee, a renowned runner from Moab who designed the course.

Each event – marathon, half-marathon, 5K and Kid K – is full.

More than 40 elite runners will participate for the national championship. The 26.2-mile course includes the Kane Creek corridor, including Pritchett Canyon, Hunter, Rim, Jackson Trail, as well as some unnamed trails and private trails, including a rope-assisted section.

A $4,800 prize awaits the winners.

Not for the faint of heart, the Moab Trail Marathon has a reputation for being one of the toughest cross-country races around. “The course features a mix of Moab’s unique 4WD 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,” said Ballengee. This year is the 11th edition of this race.

The course actually crosses the path of Ballengee’s 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 were 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. Taz passed away last May at age 17 and this year’s race will be in his memory.

Proceeds from the race will benefit these nonprofit organizations: Community Rebuilds, Humane Society of Moab Valley, Trail Mix, Moab FC Soccer Team, Grand County Mountain Bike Team, Grand County Search and Rescue, Alzheimer’s Association and others.

The race starts at 8 a.m. on Nov. 2 and 3.

It is recommended that those hikers, bikers and jeepers wishing for solitude recreate elsewhere, although spectators are welcome. The event is being held under permit from the Bureau of Land Management and Utah Schools and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

For more information visit www.moabtrailmarathon.com or call 970-389-4838.

The event is full, so organizers are not accepting registrations, although exceptions may be made for local participants.