Zion Ultras

100 Mile | 100K | 50K | Half Marathon

  • Location: Apple Valley, UT
  • Date: April 9-10, 2022 
  • Terrain: Mixed (trail & pavement)
  • Difficulty: Difficult (4/5 stars)

April 9-10, 2022

Apple Valley, UT

Difficulty:

Dirt trail

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Dates & Time

Date: 

100 Mile & 100K - April 9, 2022

50K & Half - April 10, 2022


Race Time: 

Depends on each race event


Race Expo & Bib Pickup:

Friday, April 8, 2022

11am - 7pm


Location

Ruby Rider Ranch

Apple Valley, Utah


Both bib-pickup and the race start/finish line begin at this address. Runners will chart a course through Apple Valley and Springdale.


Course Overview

New! Some distances have eligibility requirements. Check them out >>

Strollers allowed? No

Disability Friendly? No

Dogs allowed? No

Please train accordingly, terrain makes a significant impact on run times and physical endurance.

Course Descriptions & Maps

The Zion Ultras events offer a challenging, scenic run through the Southern Utah desert, adjacent to Zion National Park. We offer four distances- a trail half marathon, 50K, 100K, and a 100-miler. On Saturday, April 9th, the 100 Mile and 100K races begin. On Sunday, April 10th, the 50K and Trail Half Marathon will begin!

  • Half Marathon

  • 50K Ultra

  • 100K Ultra

  • 100 Mile Ultra

Course Time Limit: 4.5 hours  

Race Start Date: Sunday, April 10th  
Race Start Time: 7:00am - 7:30am (rolling start)

New! Recommendations

The Half Marathon course heads west on a double track dirt road toward Gooseberry Mesa until you hit the Goosebump Aid Station (mile 5.2). From here you will begin running on a modified portion of the iconic Gooseberry Mesa Trail. This is a beautiful single track trail section with amazing views of Zion and the beautiful areas surrounding it. Make sure and pay attention to the trail on this section. There will be a lot of single track mtn. biking trails that will be marked with white dots on the rocks. Even though most of the trail coincides with the white dots, there are sections where we will deviate to different trails. Our course will be marked with pink ribbons. So always follow the pink ribbons.

A water station will be set up part way through the loop of Gooseberry Mesa at mile 7.9. From here, you will continue on a mix of trail and dirt roads until it ties back into the same double track dirt road you started on. Then it’s back down the hill toward the finish line.

RUN FOR A CAUSE

Support Our Park Communities

Fundraise for your chosen race and your registration fee could be waived. All funds go to Wander Project to support efforts in and around the communities that host our events.

Learn more about Wander Project >>

Wander Project badge with title and lamp inside a circle

HOW TO PREPARE

FREE custom Training Plan for each event!

No matter what your skill level, when you're pushing your limits it's nice to have a little guidance! We're excited to offer FREE training programs for all levels.

training landscape

Know Your Guidelines!

- Read your race details! Following  event rules helps us to put on safe, sustainable events.

- We are a cup-free event! Please stick to reusable water bottles and avoid bringing disposable items to the race.

- Be courteous towards fellow runners on and off the course.

Join the Community

Vacation Races is honored to have a community of runners who actively support one another! We highly recommend joining one our Facebook groups to get input from other runners, share stories, and get the latest updates.

Zion Ultras Race Details

New! Requirements for registration
Please review our eligibility qualifications (required) and recommendations (suggested) before registering for a bib!

A link to the official race results will be required in order to participate. If the qualifying race is scheduled to take place after a runner plans to register, please include a link to the race's website. Upon completion of the qualifying race, your Zion registration must be updated to include a link to the official results*.

100 Mile
Qualification

Runners interested in registering for the 100-Mile race MUST have completed a 50-mile race (or a race of greater distance) between April 9, 2020 and April 8, 2022.

100K
Qualification

Runners interested in registering for the 100k race MUST have completed a marathon race (or a race of greater distance) between April 9, 2020 and April 8, 2022.

50K & Half Marathon
Recommendation

It is strongly recommended that runners interested in registering for either the 50K or half marathon races train on technical trails prior to race day. These are technical trail courses and should not be your first introduction to this type of terrain.

* Need to update your registration?  Log into your RunSignUp account, click Profile, click Manage Registration, click Questions, add the link in the text field under the qualification section and click Update Responses at the bottom of the page.

Race Schedule

Click here for directions to the expo location (start/finish line) parking area.

Friday

11am-7pm- All race distances may pick up their bib via a drive-thru bib pickup located at Ruby Rider Ranch
8pm- 100M/100K/50K drop-bag deadline

Saturday

4am- Last minute bib pickup opens
5-5:30am- 100 Mile race begins
6-6:30am- 100K race begins

Sunday

4:00am- 100K finish line cutoff

6-6:30am- 50K race begins
7-7:30am- Trail Half Marathon begins

12:00pm - Half Marathon finish line cutoff
5:30pm- 100 Mile & 50K finish line cutoff

Bib Pickup & Expo

Date: April 8th, 2022 (Friday)

Hours: 11 am - 7 pm (drop bags allowed until 8pm)

Location:  Ruby Rider Ranch just outside of Apple Valley, UT. 

Race day parking will be in the same location near the start/finish.

Do not park along Smithsonian Butte Road/Main Street. Please pull into the parking area as directed when you arrive.

example of 2021 event staging

Aid Stations

At our ultra marathons the aid stations play a critical role in getting you across the finish line!

Note: Each distance will have a different set-up of aid stations.

100 Mile - 16 full aid stations + 5 water-only stations

100K - 10 full aid stations + 3 water-only stations 

50K - 5 full aid stations

Half Marathon - 1 full aid station + 1 water-only station

Hours - Aid stations will close according to the posted minimum pace time.

Medic - At our busiest aid stations we try and staff a medical volunteer to help with larger issues. See your race guide for more details. 

All aid stations have composting toilets.

Food & Supplies

  • Water
  • Gnarly Hydrate (electrolyte drink)
  • Fresh-cut fruit
  • Soda
  • A variety of both salty and sweet items

Starting at the Virgin Desert Aid Station (mile 25.8) and on we will also have additional food and supplies which may include:

  • Boiled potatoes
  • Tortillas w/ Nutella
  • PB&J
  • Turkey sandwiches
  • Dill pickles
  • Chips
  • A variety of candies
  • An anti-chafing agent
  • Sunscreen
  • First Aid supplies

We will also have a limited supply of:

  • Gels
  • Salt caps
  • Electrolyte caps
Ultra Marathon Aid Station

If any item is of critical importance to your ability to finish, please consider putting it in your drop bag. 

While we do our best to help each runner finish the race, food selection and nutrient needs vary between runners. If you rely on a specific food or hydration routine, please use the drop bags to pack what you need along the course. 

Drop Bags (Ultras only)

For any ultra marathon distance you may use drop bags. You can leave a drop bag at designated aid stations. Please observe the following rules: 

  • All bags must be labeled with name, bib # (in large print), aid station, and race distance. Optional, but a good idea if your label comes off, is a card inside with the same information and contact information. Please label your bags the day before the race on your own or at check in.
  • All drop bags must be left in the designated drop off location (near the start line) by 8pm the night before the race.
  • No valuables or fragile items in your drop bags. We are not responsible for any lost/stolen items.
  • Watch the weather forecast. If there is any chance of rain, place your items in zip lock bags inside of your drop bag.
  • Minimum size: Gallon size freezer zip lock. No grocery store plastic bags or garbage bags.
  • Maximum size: Shoe box size for single pass and daytime aid stations. Small duffle or small carry on for multiple pass aid stations.

Half Marathon runners should not use drop bags. Please speak with a race official if this will create a problem for you.

Getting Your Drop Bag Back

Generally all bags come back about 90 minutes after the aid station fully closes (all distances that pass through it). There will be a "Return to Finish Line" area at all aid stations that allow drop bags. This is an area where you can place your drop bag after you no longer need it from that particular location and we will try to get it back early if possible. You must place the bag in this area. Crew or volunteers are not allowed to sort through them in order to reduce the risk of a drop bag inadvertently being returned to the start line.

If you do not want to stick around, we can mail your drop bags to you after the race for $10 per bag.

Offline Course Maps (Avenza)

NOTE: This year we will be reversing the direction of the 50K course. The current Avenza map does NOT reflect this change. Check back soon for the 2022 50K Avenza map!

Now you can use our maps offline with a gps-enabled device!

We plan to mark the course with such rigor that you should not need your own map to help you find your way. However, we have experienced blown down signs and vandalism in the past. We recommend downloading the free Avenza app (available for iOS, and Android devices) before the event. There you can find our uploaded maps that work without cell coverage.

Here's how:
1. Download the free app "AVENZA MAPS" to your smart-phone or tablet while your device is online. It’s compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
2. Open the app > Tap "Store" (Shopping Cart Icon) > Tap "Find Maps" > Search for the specific distance you would like to download. Type your search exactly as it appears below:
     Zion 100 Mile Ultra Run
     Zion 100km Ultra Run
     Zion 50km Ultra Run (not updated for 2022)
     Zion Half Marathon Trail Run
3. Tap on the label on the map > tap "install" and the map will begin to download.
4. The map is now ready to use “offline”. Simply open the app, click on the Map and your GPS location will appear on the map.

NEW!
Tap below to directly download your race distance map!

Timing Requirements

All who cross the finish line will receive a finisher award regardless of finish time. However, if you finish past the minimum pace time, you will be disqualified from the race and receive a DNF.

During the race, any runner may drop down to a short distance to receive the shorter distance’s finisher award. Doing so will disqualify the runner from the original distance and will be listed as a DNF at the original distance.

We publish a minimum pace time as a reference for the minimum pace you must maintain to finish before receiving a DNF. The Race Officials have the right to remove anyone from the race for any reason.

“Grim Reaper” check points are certain times cutoffs in the race that you must pass before the posted time or you will be required to drop out of the race. Non-Compliance with the Race Officials instructions will result in a DNF and may result in a ban from future events at our discretion. There are 4 Grim Reapers times for the 100 mile distance, and 2 Grim Reapers times for the 100K distance. 

Overall awards will be scored based on gun time. Both gun time and chip times will be published.

Minimum Pace and Cutoff Times

Your time starts from the moment you cross the start line! Please keep this in mind, as it means your minimum pace timeline may be different from another runner.

100 mile, Overall cutoff - 36 hours
100K, Overall cutoff - 21.5 hours
50K, Overall cutoff - 11 hours
Half Marathon cutoff - 4.5 hours

The link above is a guideline to help you gauge how you are doing in the race. Beating these times will help you avoid a DNF. If you find yourself consistently behind these minimums, your chances of finishing before the official close of the race will be small, but you will be allowed to continue as long as race officials believe you are in good health. Finishing after the minimum pace time at the finish will result in a DNF. HOWEVER, due to our staggered starts your individual pace times will be based on the time you officially cross the start line NOT the overall wave start time.

Don't Fear the Reaper: On the aid station cutoff sheet, there is a column for Grim Reaper times. Where applicable-specific Grim Reaper locations on this course. These are checkpoints that if missed, even by 1 second, will result in immediate disqualification from the race. There is no negotiation or exceptions under any circumstances.

A race official will be on site to ensure all runners are past this checkpoint before the Grim Reaper shows up. Runners must exit the aid station before the posted Grim Reaper times in order to beat the reaper.

Pacers & Crew

There is no cost to register a pacer. Runners will be able to register their pacer(s) when checking in. Runners may register multiple pacers for the event, but each runner will be issued a single PACER bib and is allowed only one pacer at a time on course. Pacers must have their PACER bib visible at all times. Failure to comply with these rules will result in disqualification of the runner being paced.

For the 100 miler and 100K, pacers may join their runner at Virgin Desert Aid Station or the Virgin BMX Aid Station. They may also join their runners at the Crew Access Point next to the finish line. This is a great spot to have a pacer join you for the tail end of your race on Wire Mesa and Grafton Mesa. 

*Pacers are not allowed for the 50k

Click here for walking directions to the Crew Access Point

(park at the start/finish and you can walk over to this access point)

Click here for driving directions to Virgin Desert Aid Station

Click here for driving directions to Virgin BMX Aid Station

There are no shuttle services for this event. Pacers and crew will need to plan and figure out their own needs for transportation or retrieving their vehicles. 

Note: You are responsible for the actions of your crew and pacers. If their behavior is deemed inappropriate by race staff, you will be disqualified. Please let them know this and only choose crew members that will treat our volunteers and staff with respect while you are out on the course.

Runner Tracking

Due to the remote location of this race, we do not provide runner tracking. We do have satellite phones and/or radios at the aid stations so that we can account for runners on the course and keep communication lines open among our staff members, but we do not have the ability to communicate runner whereabouts to your loved ones during the event. 

If you would like to let friends and family know your status on the course, you have a couple of options.

1) You can text them from the areas of the course with cell service (there are many points on the course where reception is good enough to get a text out, but it can be difficult to get a phone call out. If you're worried about your cell phone battery, you can turn it off after sending a text, leave it in airplane mode, or carry a small battery backup device.

2) Use a tracking app such as Endomondo which will automatically update your whereabouts when you come into a reception area. (These apps tend to drain your cell phone battery and the use of a battery backup device will be necessary if you plan on leaving it on for the duration of the event).  

Awards

Awards & Swag

The belt buckles (awarded for the 100 miler finishers only) are each hand crafted using organic materials gathered on the course and preserved in resin. A variety of locally made or unique custom made awards or finisher medals will be provided to the finishers of the other distances. Special awards will be given to the **top 3 overall male and female finishers for each distance as well.

**At our ultras we base the overall winning times off gun time, not chip time. Here's why: we offer a larger, more unique overall winner prize and if we waited to for all chip times to make sure we have the fastest we wouldn't be able to give out any of the awards and would have to ship them. These awards don't ship well, and we want to be able to give them out in person at the race - it's more fun that way. If you are interested in competing for a top award you will need to line up at the front at the starting line so your chip time and the gun time are the same. 

Packing List

Packing List

Whether this race will be your first ultra marathon, your first trail race, or your first time running in this area of the country- we recommend coming prepared. We've created a packing list to help you think through what you may need for your race, so you can minimize stress and feel prepared. 

Rules for Race Day
Please review these guidelines so you know what to expect during the race!

Course Marking
For course marking all distances/courses will be marked with pink flags and ribbons. Any tricky junctions will be marked well with signs and flour arrows. A piece of highly reflective tape is attached to each trail marker that may be encountered at night.

Checking in at aid stations
It is the responsibility of the runner to check in at each aid station (coming in only, no need to check out of the aid station). Seek out the aid station worker wearing the fluorescent orange vest and give them your bib number. Failure to check in at an aid station can result in disqualification. If you drop out of the race YOU MUST TURN IN YOUR BIB TO THE NEAREST AID STATION CAPTAIN. If you fail to do this, you will be responsible for all related search party costs.

Timing Checkpoints
Depending on which distance you are running, you will find checkpoints at the following aid stations: Goosebump, Wire Mesa, Virgin Desert, Smith Mesa, and Guacamole Aid Stations. We will have a short corral that all runners MUST pass through upon arrival at the aid station on each pass. Failure to do so will result in disqualification from the race. 

Dropping
Any runner dropping out of the race MUST hand their bib over to the aid station captain where they are dropping. Failure to do so will result in a 2 year suspension from all Vacation Races events.

Medical
At each aid station there will be a tent with self serve medical items like bandaids, salt tabs, etc. We will have trained medical personnel at the finish line as well as at Goosebump, Virgin Desert, and Virgin BMX Aid Stations. If you find yourself in an emergency, call 911. You will be personally responsible for any costs associated with medical dispatch. If the problems are not urgent, please contact race personnel. We are equipped to respond quickly to problems on course that are not life threateningly urgent.

Spectators
Due to the remote area of where the races run, this is not a very spectator-friendly event. The course and trails purposely get runners out into desert solitude while offering fantastic views of Zion. There are only a few spots to watch and cheer on runners. Virgin Desert A.S. and Virgin BMX Aid Station are both good places. Please be courteous and cautious while driving to these locations as runners may be on the same road that leads to the aid stations. Also, check with HQ before trying to access these locations if precipitation occurs. Of course, the finish line is one of the best places to cheer on the finishers.

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