I found a new epic close to home and I love it. The Moab Alpine to Slickrock 50-mile run, put on by the same promoter as the Red Hot 55k I did earlier this year.
While I did end up staying 2 nights in Moab, the plan was for one only due to the very early morning start because this is a point to point. The 2nd night? Well it was because of epic rains that closed the road home due to flooding!
I arrived in Moab to make the 4:00PM pre-race meeting at 5:00 PM and they started right away when I got there. Talk about timing! The course was so complicated that I decided not to study maps or directions and just follow the flags. My back up plan was a pocket GPS in the event I had to back track. Worked like a charm and I never missed a turn.
I slept near the meeting point at Slickrock Parking lot and it rained all night. When the shuttle came at 4:30 AM it rained even harder. When we got ready to start we all hid under an outhouse awning because the rain went even harder. At 6:00AM we ran uphill into the rain and it never stopped throughout much of the day. We even got hail in some parts!
The course is difficult - they call it the little Hardrock which is not an exaggeration. Lots of speed hiking up insanely steep terrain folled by a ~20 mile descent of 7k back to the Slickrock parking area. My Garmin GPS shos 11k of climbing in the 50 miles, but remember that the last ~20 are descending so that is 11k in 30 miles!
No need for the blow-by-blow account but thanks to those Hoka One One shoes I was + 3 on the descent and finished 7th place overall and in 1st Place Masters (old man) class.
The Red Hot 55k has a huge field, this one does not. Looking at the fellow contestants it was a clear these people were serious runners. I got lucky due to the weather as lots of people dropped out. Good gear and a positive attitude eventually will pay off. I froze a few times being soaking wet but I reveled in the thought that others might be less prepared. Vapor Trail taught me that.
Grassroots Events are must do for anyone that runs and Chris offers the big, the bad and even the beginner with the Amasa Back options. I'll be back for the 55k and hopefully if this does not interfere with Vapor Trail I will be back for MAS 50.