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Western States 100 2023 QUALIFYING RACE

Zion Ultras

100 Mile | 100K | 50K | Trail Half Marathon

Come run on some of the most scenic mesas and desert trails on earth. Each distance includes unique vistas of the thousand-foot sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park. It's hard to beat seeing the sun rise and set over these towering cliffs. 

  • Location: Apple Valley, UT
  • Date: April 8-9, 2023
  • Terrain: Mixed (trail & pavement)
  • Difficulty: Difficult (4/5 stars)

April 8-9, 2023

Apple Valley, UT

Difficulty:

Dirt trail

  • Quick Info

  • Travel & Lodging

  • Explore The Park

  • Register June 10th!

Dates & Times

Race Date: 

100 Mile & 100K - Saturday April 8, 2023

50K & Trail Half - Sunday April 9, 2023


Race Time: 

Check the course descriptions for race starting windows

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

Strollers allowed? No

Disability Friendly? No

Dogs allowed? No

Some distances have eligibility requirements. Check them out >>

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

Bib Pickup Options

At the Race Expo

Friday, April 7, 2023

11am - 7pm (MT)


At the Start Line

Bib pickup is available all day on both Saturday and Sunday at the start line. Please avoid the morning rush hours when another race begins to avoid lines.



Course Photos

Get a feel for the terrain and landscape that await you out on the course!

Zion Ultras Photo 018

Let Zion push you farther...

Our courses are designed to push you physically and mentally. They're the perfect way to train for the next big thing on your bucket list. Check here to see which Zion Ultras courses may qualify you for other competitions!

UTMB 2024 Qualifiers

UTMB has updated their system and no longer uses points! The races listed here were considered qualifying races for 2023 UTMB events of a similar distance. We expect this to continue moving forward...
For more info, please reach out to UTMB.

Western States 2024 Qualifiers (pending)

Zion 100K

Zion 100 Mile

These distances qualified for the Western States lottery in 2022. We expect this to continue in 2023 and will update this page when final info is available.

Runners who complete either 100 Mile race within your time limit or the Zion 100K within 19 hours will qualify to enter a lottery where the runners for Western States will be selected late 2023.

Course Descriptions & Maps

  • Trail Half Marathon

  • 50K Ultra

  • 100K Ultra

  • 100 Mile Ultra

THIS DISTANCE IS SOLD OUT!

Register for a charity bib or take a look at Bryce Canyon 30K or the Zion Half Marathon (paved course).


Course Time Limit: 4.5 hours  

Race Start Date: Sunday, April 9th, 2023  
Race Start Time: 7:00am - 7:30am MT (rolling start)

Race Recommendations

The Trail 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.

Course Map for Zion Ultras Trail Half Marathon

Course map for the Zion Ultras Trail Half Marathon

Elevation chart for Zion Ultras Trail Half Marathon

Course map for the Zion Ultras Trail Half Marathon

GET INVOLVED

Wander Project Final Logo color

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 >>

Volunteer with Us!

Our volunteers help runners at the race expo, finish line, merchandise tent, and beyond! Join us for a 3-4hr shift and earn a $50 or $100 credit towards a future race (credits can be gifted!) 


HOW TO PREPARE

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 learn about the latest updates.

Zion Ultras Race Details

Come here for all your race weekend details!

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 8, 2021 and April 7, 2023.

100K
Qualification

Runners interested in registering for the 100k race MUST have completed a marathon race (or a race of greater distance) between April 8, 2021 and April 7, 2023.

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.

Bib Pickup & Expo

Bib Pickup Options

You have a couple of options for picking up your bib and race packet. When you register, we ask you to indicate when you plan to pick up your bib. If you plans change, don’t worry about it. We only ask to help us plan in terms of numbers.

Option #1: Race Expo (recommended)
Race expos are typically held the Friday before a race. They last for 5-7 hours and are your best chance to pickup a bib and ask our team questions.

Option #2: Race Morning (not recommended)
We will have limited race morning packet pickup. If it can be avoided, please do not pick your packet up the morning of the race.

Option #3: Shipped Before the Race
There is a cost of $30 if you want to have your bib and shirt mailed to you. You can add a shipped bib to your registration until one month before the race by logging into RunSignup, clicking Manage Registration, and Add Ons.

Refunds: Once your package is shipped, you are officially checked in to the race and no longer qualify for our refund, deferment, or transfer options.

Race Expo (Bib Pickup, Drop Bags, and Vendors)

Date: April 7th, 2023 (Friday)

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

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

The race expo and event say start & finish lines will all be located at Ruby Rider Ranch.

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

We’ll have our race expo the Friday before the race. We’ll have our merch table set up, so be sure to stop by and say hi! We'll have a variety of swag from shirts and tanks to our favorite Hydro Flasks and everything in-between.

Note: 50K runners will have an extended drop bag deadline of 2:00pm on Saturday.

Map of the parking and start-finish line area in Apple Valley, UT

2022 example event staging at Ruby Rider Ranch

Race Schedule

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

All times are listed in Mountain Time.

Friday

11am-7pm - Race Expo & Bib Pickup: All race distances may pick up their bib via bib pickup located at Ruby Rider Ranch.

8pm - 100M/100K drop bag deadline

Saturday

4am - Bib pickup opens at start line

5-5:30am - 100 Mile race begins

6-6:30am - 100K race begins

2pm - 50K drop bag deadline

Sunday

4:00am- 100K finish line cutoff

5am - Bib pickup opens at start line

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

Arrive early & get ready with us

We encourage runners to arrive early on race morning. Find a parking spot, grab some Summit Coffee or hot chocolate, and listen for updates from our race announcer (they're the one with the megaphone and early-bird energy)!

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 - 11 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. If you pass through after that time, the aid station may no longer be stocked.

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 Fuel2O
  • 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.
  • 100 mile & 100K drop bags must be left in the designated drop off location (near the start line) by 8pm the night before the race.
  • 50K drop bags must be dropped off by 2pm on Saturday before their Sunday race start.
  • 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 $15 per bag.

Offline Course Maps (Avenza)
avenza map logo home

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 2023)
     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!

app store logo
google play button
Timing Requirements
Overall Cutoff Times

You must complete your race within the respective cutoff time, otherwise, you will receive a DNF. Your time begins when you cross the start mat, so pay attention to YOUR individual start time and not just your starting window when assessing your progress throughout the race.

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

Minimum Paces (Guidelines only)

Below is a timing guide to help you gauge your progress throughout the race. Beating these times during training 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 are slim. Finishing after the minimum pace time or outside of your overall cutoff time will result in a DNF. 

If you do not meet these minimum times, you may be allowed to continue the race at the discretion of race officials. Race officials will consider runner health, extraction resources/accessibility, grim reaper times, etc. to make this determination.

Don't Fear the Reaper!

Grim Reaper deadlines are cutoff times that result in a DNF and removal from the course if you miss the cutoff time. Even if missed by one second, these deadlines are non-negotiable and exceptions will not be made.

A race official will be onsite to ensure all runners are past checkpoints before the Grim Reaper. You must EXIT the checkpoint before the posted Grim Reaper time to beat it. These cutoff times are shown in the cutoff sheet.

Competing for a Top Finisher spot?

While qualifying times are based on chip time (the moment you cross the start mat), overall top finisher awards are based on gun time. If competing for a top spot, you will need to be at the start line at the beginning of your race's 20-30 minute start window.

When competing for these top spots and starting before the official race start, you will have more of a buffer to beat aid station cutoff times. This does not mean that you have more time to complete the overall race. Regardless of when you start, you must complete your race within the allotted overall cutoff time (i.e. 30 hours).

Pacers & Crew
Pacers & Crew Guidelines
Registration

There is no cost to register a pacer (100 Mile and 100K only) or crew member. Runners will be able to register their pacer or crew 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.

Race Day Rules

- Pacers/crew MUST wear their marked bib at all times.

- Only one pacer is allowed on course at a time.

- Only one crew member allowed at each aid station out of their car.

Where to join your runner on course:

100 Mile & 100K Race

Pacer(s) and crew permitted

Virgin Desert Aid

Virgin BMX Aid

Runners will pass through twice

Crew Access Point 

50K Race

No pacers, only 1 crew permitted

Virgin Desert Aid

Crew Access Point

Trail Half Marathon

No pacers, only 1 crew permitted

Crew Access Point

Pacer & Crew Directions

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. 

Pacer/Crew Conduct

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).  

Packing List and Trail Gear
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. 

Trail Gear

Running distance trails is no joke. We highly recommend you give your gear some extra care as you prepare for your race. Make sure you have trail shoes that are right for your feet, a hydration system to get you across the finish line, and take stock of any special nutrition needs you may have. 

Looking for recommendations?

Or ask the community!

Search in the group for discussions about trail gear, training, and more.

Race Results and Photos
Race Results

Visit RunSignup for both current and past race results.

Racer times are available online ~20 minutes after you finish the race. Keep in mind, the results are not official until all racers have crossed the finish line, and have been reviewed by the event director. 

Top Finisher but missed the awards ceremony? You can request to have your place medal shipped to you!

Got questions about your placement? Please review our timing requirements for the race and email timing@runsum.com if you need assistance.

Photos & Videos

We'll have race photos available via the event page on RunSignup following the race. Photos are typically available a week after an event and you'll receive an email when they are ready!

Share your experiences with us! Our runners often document their Zion Ultras experience! We think it's a great way to get to know the course, the community, and all the ups and downs of ultramarathons. 

Be sure to use #zionultras so other runners can see your adventures!

Awards
Finish Line Facilities

We hope that you will join us at the finish line for as long as you’d like to welcome home the other finishers. One of our goals is to create a welcoming environment for you to hang out with old and new friends. We will have many amenities available to you at the finish line, including food and beverages, a recovery area, and a medical tent. 

ZU Awards

All finishers will receive a finisher medal or specialty award. In addition, we will have special awards for the top 3 male and female overall finishers at the Zion Ultras. Unlike our Half Marathons, we do not offer age group awards for these events. 

Curious what you'll receive?
Zion Ultras ZU 100 Mile award buckles in their boxes
100 Mile Finishers

You'll receive a hand-crafted belt buckle. Each are made using organic materials gathered on the course and preserved in resin.

+ a special award if you place in the top 3 finishers for male or female overall 

Zion Ultras ZU finisher medal option

OR

Zion Ultras ZU speciality award mug option
100K, 50K & Trail Half Finishers

You'll get to choose a finisher medal OR a locally-made award (like a ceramic mug or Navajo jewelry).* 


+ a special award if you place in the top 3 finishers for male or female overall 

*There will also be a Navajo family selling their hand-made designs at the start/finish!

Planning to compete for a Top Finisher award?

Overall awards are based off of gun time. If you plan to compete for a top overall award, please line up at the front of the starting line so that there is no delay between your chip time when you cross the starting mat) and gun time. 

Why Do We Use Gun Time?

We offer a larger, more unique overall finisher prize to our runners. If we waited for all the 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 funner that way.

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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