Hey everyone! I am so excited to be directing the 2018 Bryce Canyon Ultra event. We have made some significant changes we want everyone to be aware of before registering.
1) Date Change - We have moved the date up to the first weekend in June. We expect the event to be held every year on the first weekend of June for the foreseeable future, so you can plan ahead if you wish to attend in 2019 and beyond. For 2018, the 100 Mile will start on Friday, June 1st in the morning, and the 50 Mile, 50K and Half Marathon will start Saturday morning.
We made the date change due to the heat we experienced the past 2 years. While the nights will be colder for sure, the heat during the day won’t be so exhausting. We think this is the best date available for the Ultra and are so thankful to the Dixie National Forest officials for working with us on making the change.
2) Staging Changes - All starting lines and all finish lines will be in the same great location at Lucky 7 Ranch in Hatch, UT.
We know the logistics for the race have left a lot to be desired since the beginning of the event in 2013. 4 different starting lines, shuttles, and a crowded finish line area have soured the event for some. So we have made a big change. The Lucky 7 Ranch is located right at the mouth of Proctor Canyon. We’ll be running on mostly the same trails as in year’s past but now with ample space for the event.
There will be affordable Tent and RV camping available at Lucky 7 Ranch, along with a big pond that has a ramp and a rope swing. Check out this video by a Youth Group at the event: https://youtu.be/IFe155nAO-o?t=1m23s There will be a waiver you will need to sign to try some of the jumps and swings, but we think its going to be a blast.
3) Course Changes - Because of the staging change, all courses will be different this year. I’ll give you an overview of how the changes will impact each distance:
- 100 Mile - This distance will lose Crawford Pass, but will gain the Golden Wall section. Rather than 100% out and back, the course will be more of a lollipop. This is arguably a major upgrade from years past. View the new course map.
- 50 Mile - This distance will lose all points south of Proctor Canyon, but will gain the Golden Wall and Blue Fly. It will be more of a loop than a straight line like in years past. View the new course map.
- 50K - This distance will be an out and back with the turn-around just past Blubber Creek. No more Thunder Mountain or Blue Fly. View the new course map.
- Half Marathon - This is a much easier course than in years past and will be a lollipop loop that includes Blue Fly and, of course, Proctor Canyon. For those wanting to run the original half course, we encourage you to sign up for Grand Circle Trailfest next year. View the new course map.
4) Matt Gunn is back as Race Operations Director - For the last 18 months, Matt has been focused on some special projects including getting Coastal Redwoods Trailfest off the ground and developing our composting toilet systems. While he seemed to enjoy the break from the pressure of event production, lately he has been begging to get back in the game. He is so freaking excited to help produce next year’s race. He will be in charge of trail marking and aid stations. While you may not see much of him at the event, he will be working super hard to make sure everyone is taken care of on the trails. While Matt has designed courses to inspire the hashtag #mattgunnwantstomakeyoucry, he cares passionately about the sport of Ultra racing and will work harder than anyone you know to take care of each and every runner. We are lucky to have Matt back in the saddle directing the race experience.
5) GPS Tracking - In past years it has been difficult to keep track of your participant. This year, we are planning to have GPS tracking for all 100 mile participants and chip timing for all athletes. This will make the event safer for the participants, will help us deter cheating, and will make it better for support crews and spectators to keep track of your athlete. This is a change that we are super excited about.
Everything else about the event will be what you have come to expect from us. Great communication, stunning but challenging courses, race shirts for all participants, handmade finisher awards, zero-landfill approach to waste management, great trail marking, composting toilets, and lots of food at the aid stations.
We are so excited for the 2018 Bryce Canyon Ultra. We hope you can make it. It is going to be a blast.