|Pre-Rim2Rim2Rim at 5:30am|
One of the biggest perks of being an ultra runner is that it allows us to get deeper into beautiful landscapes in shorter spaces of time. A great example is the Grand Canyon, a place most tourists only see from the rim but a runner can cover from one side to the other and back in a day.
The fastest route chosen by those aiming to set a fast time is about 42 miles with 11,000ft of ascent, plus the same descent, using the South Kaibab Trail then going up to the North Rim and back to the same point. I hadn't seen much previously except the South Rim so went along a marginally longer route going down the South Kaibab Trail but coming back via the Bright Angel Trail, making it closer to 45 miles.
Like many ultrarunners the Rim2Rim2Rim route was a bucket list run for me and it lived up to expectations. I ran with Sean Meissner, who paced me at Leadville and Wasatch last year. A few days before the run I saw a photo of Sean online at a recent race in an, umm, disturbing Superman costume so suggested he wear that through the canyon while I wear my old Spiderman costume (here it was the last time I used it). We were also joined by David Sooter and John Moore who didn't get the memo about wearing something stupid :)
Here's a selection of photos highlighting the beauty of the Grand Canyon. A great day by all accounts and virtually dawn to dusk on trails. This was the route.