I couldn’t attend the 3-day Grand Circle Trailfest, but my running buddies kept me connected to their group chat, sharing photos with me of this awesome spectacle. David, Rychie, Jen and Bob huddle together here in the sub-freezing shade before the start of the half marathon for day one in Bryce Canyon.
The smarter runners of our team pose in the warm sun with towering hoodoos as a backdrop. Joey, as an 8th grader, would go on to win his age division. Keith and Steve, forty years wiser, no doubt paced themselves, knowing they have another thirty or so miles to run over the next couple of days.
I was surprised to learn Jen and Bob completed today’s run without injury. The thousand foot climb between miles 5 and 8 perhaps tempered their speed. That’s a run-able slope for this crew, but I imagine it was a brutal climb at altitude.
Steve looks to be running up to an aid station here. The course would warm up by 40° before everyone finished, but it must be early still if he’s wearing full gear.
Jen’s smile is enough to warm up these sandstone hoodoos. I suspect she’s still smiling as her son Joey is a champion. I can’t imagine racing victoriously on such a dream trail while so young. It was Joey’s day for sure.