I ran the Zion 100 in Virgin Utah April 4.
Race Start Flying Monkey Trail to Smith Mesa
The Zion 100 consists of kind of a rough design of 4 loops, which each one culminates in climbing up (and down) a mesa.
The first mesa to climb from race start is Smith Mesa, via the famous Flying Monkey Trail. It’s very rocky and steep, just very reminiscent of Massanutten rocks. There is a small steep section where there is a rope to pull yourself up with. This is the traffic jam photo of it.
I had someone take my picture since we were just standing there in line..
What a view from the top! My pictures do not do a good job of showing the color striations.
But notice how white the sky is? That is cloud cover. I was very happy about the clouds. Race morning it was in the 40’s, and warmed to the 50’s pretty quickly.
Once we topped out on Smith Mesa, it was about a five mile downhill on road. This race has a good deal of road-which it does say on the website. It was easy to make good time back down to the desert floor.
I got through the second aid station, Sheep’s Bridge, Mile 14. and then it is single track trail on the way to Virgin Dam Aid Station. This was nice trail, right along the edge of the precipice, with the Virgin River below.
It was windy through here. Cold and windy. I was regretting a bit not having my face mask with me. It was packed in my drop bag for Grafton Mesa, late in the afternoon. I hoped that this cold air in the morning would not be an issue..
I glance at my Garmin through here, pretty astounded to see I am at mile 18-and I feel good. Miles seem to be just flying by, with the new scenery.
I came through the Virgin Dam Aid Station, Mile 23 for my first drop bag. The Ultra Aspire Arizona Rep was there, working the Aid Station. He offered me the new lids for the Ultra Aspire bottles and I gladly swapped out my old over-engineered tops! Thanks Turtle!
Notice the new Buff at each drop bag location? It felt really good to swap out a sweaty Buff for a new dry one. (Buff, are you listening? Still want to be sponsored!)
Now we are running over toward our next mesa climb, to the Goosebump AS. We will hit this AS at mile 31, 43, and 78.
There is a bit climb here, maybe one mile up? 2200 feet? It’s rocky, some loose dirt, runners are whining! It’s not that bad. Yes, it’s a bitch of the climb..but really, it wasn’t that bad.
New buff at Goosebump, mile 31!
Part Two to Follow, more texts, less pics!