Zion Ultra Marathons

100 mile / 100K / 50K / Trail Half Marathon
April 20-21, 2018

Race Details

Race Location: Virgin, UT
Race Dates: April 20-21, 2018

Course Descriptions & Maps

Our courses will be slightly different this year than last year. We've adjusted them a bit to allow for staging out of the park in Virgin, UT and also to help prevent congestion out on course!

A challenging, scenic run through the southern Utah desert adjacent to Zion National Park. We offer 4 distances- a Half Marathon, 50K, 100K, and a 100 miler. The 100 miler and 100K will start on Friday, the half marathon and 50K on Saturday. 

  • Trail Half Marathon
  • 50K
  • 100K
  • 100 Miler

100K

This course starts out with a steep climb up Mesa Road onto Smith Mesa where you’ll find an aid station. You’ll do a six mile loop at the top and then come back down along the Flying Monkey trail before heading east towards the Dalton Wash Aid Station. There is a small stream crossing around mile 17, but if you cross it in the right place, your feet should stay dry. You will climb one more hill on single track until you hit the dirt road where you will find the Dalton Wash Aid Station for the first time. Runners will head up the dirt road 4 miles to the top of the mesa where the Guacamole trail begins. There is an aid station near the beginning of the 7.5 mile loop that you’ll pass through on your way out and back, then you’ll head back down to the Dalton Wash Aid Station for the second time (about mile 33).

You’ll then cross the highway and start across the desert towards the looming Gooseberry Mesa. You’ll scramble up a 1,500ft ascent to the Goosebump Aid Station and then head out towards Gooseberry Point. A half mile from the overlook point will be an aid station that you’ll pass through on your way out and back from the overlook (mile 43). You’ll then hug the south rim of the mesa for a mile or so before heading inland, angling back towards the Goosebump Aid Station, which you’ll hit a second time around mile 51.

You’ll now go back down the steep trail to the bottom of the mesa, then you’ll follow a faint doubletrack west along the foot of the mesa over to the Virgin Desert Aid Station before bringing it home.

The last 1.5 miles will be along a busy highway. There is a large shoulder next to road. Please stay as far away from the highway as possible.

2018 Zion Ultras 100K Map

2018 Zion Ultras 100K Map

2018 Zion Ultras 100K Elevation

2018 Zion Ultras 100K Elevation

Yup...DO IT!!! Best race experience I've ever had.

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Barb Wilkins
Antelope Canyon Ultras Runner

Hardest 50k I've done.

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Justin Pollert
Bryce Canyon Ultras Runner

The 55km this year was the best race experience I've ever had. Every single thing went perfectly. And the views...my god the views.

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Barb Wilkins
Antelope Canyon Ultras Runner

Great Event

Thanks for putting on such a great event! Also a huge shout out to all the volunteers, and the folks cheering us crazy people on!

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Katrina Morrow
Bryce Canyon Ultras Runner

Race Weekend Schedule

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

Thursday

4-8pm- 100 mile and 100K check in at the start/finish line. Bib pickup will be held at the Virgin city park. (Corner of 100 W and Main Street in Virgin, UT). 50K and Half Marathon runners can check in at this time or on Friday from 2-8pm.
7pm- 100M/100K Race Overview & RD Q&A at the expo
8pm- 100M/100K drop-bag deadline

Friday

5am- Last minute check ins (100 mile and 100K only)
6am- The 100 mile and 100K races begin
2–8pm- Half Marathon and 50K expo and bib pickup
7pm- 50K/Half Marathon Race Overview & RD QA at the expo
8pm- 50K drop-bag deadline

Saturday

3:30am- 100K finish line cutoff
5am- Last minute check ins
6am- 50K race begins.
7am- Half Marathon begins
12pm- Half Marathon finish line cutoff
4pm- 100 mile finish line cutoff
5pm- 50K finish line cutoff

Pre/Post Race Meal

For the race meal, you'll have the choice of a wood fired pizza, beans and rice or a smoothie bowl. You must present your bib stub to redeem your meal, which will be available at check-in on Thursday from 4-8pm, Friday from 2-8pm and on Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Crew and spectators can purchase food at the finish line.   

Minimum Pace and Cutoff Times

100 mile, Overall cutoff- 34 hours
100K, Overall cutoff- 21.5 hours
50K, Overall cutoff- 11 hours
Half Marathon cutoff- 5 hours

Click here for a detailed table of individual aid station cutoffs

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.

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.

Aid Station Info

The 100 miler has 16 fully stocked aid stations
The 100K has 11
The 50K has 5
The Half Marathon has 2 aid stations (the 1st will only have water and honey stinger gels)

Food & Supplies

Here is a tentative list of items available at the aid stations:

  • water
  • Go Gnarly electrolyte drink
  • fresh cut fruit
  • soda
  • a variety of both salty and sweet items
  • Starting at Guacamole Aid Station (2nd Pass) and later, the aid stations will also have real food that may include:
    • boiled potatoes
    • tortillas w/ Nutella
    • PB&J
    • turkey sandwiches
    • dill pickles
    • chips
    • a variety of candies
    • anti chafing agent
    • sunscreen
    • first aid supplies.
  • We will have a limited supply of:
    • gels
    • salt caps
    • electrolyte caps
  • Composting toilets.

Hours: Aid stations will close according to the posted minimum pace times.

Drop Bags

Click here for a detailed table of drop bag locations and options.

You must also use the following guidelines: 

  • 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 designated drop off location by 8pm the night before race day.
  • 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.

Getting Your Drop Bag Back

Generally all bags come back about 1 hour after the aid station closes. At Goosebump and Virgin Desert aid stations, there will be a "Return to Finish Line" area where you can place your drop bag after you no longer need it and we will try to get it back early if possible. You must place the bag in this area. Crew or volunteers cannot 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.

Pacers & Crew

Crew access is shown on the aid station cut off spreadsheet found here.

For 100 milers pacers can start at Grafton or after, for 100K pacers start at second pass through Dalton Wash or Virgin Desert. 

Click here for driving directions to Dalton Wash Aid Station

Click here for driving directions to Grafton Mesa Aid Station (Road between Rockville and Grafton Mesa is usually in horrible condition. Unless you have experience driving on extreme rutted roads and have high clearance/4wd if you drive it we suggest avoiding it). Otherwise take the longer approach using Hwy 59.)

Click Here for driving directions to Virgin Desert Aid Station

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.

Due to the remote location of this race, we will not be able to provide live updates for your friends/family to follow you from home. 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.)  

Race Rules & Guidelines

For course marking all distances/courses will be marked with pink flags and ribbons. 100 mile course includes 3 loops in the Virgin River desert starting at mile 76.5. The order of the markings and loops will be Red, then White, then Blue. These loops will be signed and marked with Red, White, Blue flagging and markers. 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.

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.

Finish Line

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 this year is to create a welcoming environment for you to hang out with old and new friends. To make this possible, we will have the following amenities present at the finish line to keep you comfortable- shade, seating, drinks, food vendors, and recovery area.

Showers: For those that may need a location to shower after the race, Zion Outfitter is allowing shower access to our runners. Showers are $4 and is a 20 minute drive from the finish line.
>Zion Outfitter- https://www.zionoutfitter.com/zion-outfitter-showers-laundry

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 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.

Zero Waste Event

Garbage

All Vacation Races events are zero waste, with the goal of sending no trash produced at the event to the landfill. We've created a system that recycles/reuses everything, but it requires your help to make it work. Please place trash in the appropriate containers. Littering on the course will result in disqualification.

Toilets

We also use Great Outdoors Composting Portable Toilets which conserve water, eliminates the use of harmful chemicals, and create a nutrient rich soil amenity. It is the best pooping experience you will ever have. To learn more or to have them at your event visit GreatOutdoorsToilets.com or ask the race officials for more information.

Hydration

We encourage all runners to carry their own form of hydration. Whether it be a cup, handheld, waist pack, or running pack- it’s up to each runner’s preference. We do not provide disposable cups at aid stations or anywhere at the event. However, we will have reusable mugs at aid stations that are washed after use. There will be water and recovery drink at the finish line, but no cups. Please use your own methods to fill up at the finish line. We will have some limited compostable cups, but these are unnecessary if your bring your own cups.

Travel and Lodging

Getting Here

The start/finish and expo are back at the Virgin town park (same as a few years ago). Located at the corner of 100 W and Main Street in Virgin, UT.

Event parking will be in the church parking lot, the empty lot across the street from the church, and in the city streets near the park. Please observe posted parking signs. You can use the map below for guidance. Anyone blocking a residential driveway will be ticketed and towed at the vehicle owner's expense.

The St. George airport is about 45 min from Virgin. Las Vegas International Airport is about 2 hours and 15 minutes from Virgin.

Lodging / Camping

Virgin is located right between Hurricane and Springdale, about a 15 min. drive to either of them. We highly recommend staying in Springdale if you can- hotel prices are higher than Hurricane or St. George, but the proximity to the park and the ambiance of the town are worth it.  

Follow this link for more lodging options around Springdale. (Links to lodging in the Hurricane and St. George areas are also available through this same website.

ADDITIONAL HOTEL, VACATION RENTAL, AND CAMPING OPTIONS

Whether you prefer a hotel, the convenience of a home-like living space, or want to be a part of the great outdoors there's an option for you! There are a few companies we've partnered with to search for the best options in the area for hotels, vacation rentals, and camping areas:

HOTEL

VACATION RENTAL

CAMPING

Things to See and Do

We realize that the races in this series are out of the way for most runners, and it may be the only time that you visit these breathtaking areas. One of our biggest desires at Ultra Adventures is that you walk away from this event having fully experienced what the region has to offer. Even a 100 mile course can only capture a portion of these unique areas. We want you to get into and explore the heart of the national park, walk through that remote slot canyon, see that incredible overlook that is not part of the course.

Most often, these spectacular areas are protected as part of a national park, monument, or wilderness area where races are not permitted as part of the management plan. These are often the areas most frequented by tourists, but are nevertheless places that we feel you must see while you’re visiting. It's our hope that through a more in-depth exploration of the area, you'll become more connected to the local landscape, thus creating more stakeholders in its preservation.

We would love to see your pics and even share them on our social media platforms! If you're okay with this, email them to us or use the hashtag #ultraadventuresbucketlist for a chance to be featured.

The Zion Bucket List

  1. Angels Landing: This popular hike offers spectacular views of the main canyon from 1,500ft above the valley floor. (Click here for trail description.) If you have any energy left and you are looking for more miles after making it to the overlook, we would encourage you to continue up the amazing West Rim trail, which you will be using to access the Angel’s Landing spur trail.
  2. The Narrows/Riverside Walk: This is a “must see” while you are here if the spring runoff is in your favor. Your feet will get wet on this one, and other than the approach on the paved river trail, there will not be much running involved. (Click here for a trail description of the Narrows.) ***April runoff can make it difficult to get very far up into the narrows. If that's the case, you can substitute this hike with an exploration of Hidden Canyon. Click here for Hidden Canyon trail description.
  3. Observation Point: This trail will take you to an overlook that peers down into the main canyon from the top of the cliffs 2,100ft above the valley floor. (Click here for trail description.)

Other Options

These other amazing options can replace any of the above trifecta legs but are not required due to price and/or distance:

  • Taylor Creek: This would be an easy and beautiful warm up run that you can check off if you're coming from the north on I-15. It's a stunning and scenic 2.5 miles in (5 miles round trip) w little elevation gain. It is less than 5 minutes from I-15 to the trailhead via the Kolob Canyons entrance to Zion National Park. (It has always amazed me how little use the trails in this area of the park get when they are so close to the freeway. They are tucked away and well hidden from view from I-15 although very accessible.)
  • Kolob Arch: This trail can substitute any of the 3 legs of the Trifecta that you’ve done before if you’d like to try something new. There are two ways to access the arch, both are beautiful and about the same distance (about 7 miles each way). You can take either the Hop Valley trail or LaVerkin Creek trail.
  • Parunaweap: An out and back down to the river via the Checkerboard Mesa Escape Route requires some route finding skills (I probably put in an extra mile when I did it). This canyon is pristine and seldom seen and well worth the effort.
  • Eagle Crags: This is one of the BLM trails located in the Mt. Canaan wilderness area adjacent to the park that is every bit as scenic as trails located within the park boundaries. Beautiful views into Lower Parunaweap Canyon from the overlook.
  • Water Canyon–Squirrel Canyon : If you’ve seen it all in Zion or want to get into the rarely visited outreaches of the backcountry, this 11 mile loop is one of my favorites of all time.
  • Trans Zion (Zion Traverse): Anyone crazy enough to do this epic route within a week from race day would not need to do any of the other Trifecta legs. 30% off your next event if you have the legs to pull it off. Take a pic in Hop Valley, one from the top of the West Rim trail and one from the top of the East Rim.
  • The Subway: If you're one of the lucky ones to obtain one of the 80 daily issued permits to hike the Left Fork of North Creek, don’t pass up the opportunity.
  • Pine Creek: You’ll need a wetsuit, rappelling gear, and a permit for this one but oh man is it amazing.

Past Races

Photos & Videos

Tough but breathtaking

I ran Bryce as my first 50k last year. Ultra adventures races are tough but breathtaking.

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Nidhi Shah
Bryce Canyon Ultras Runner

Most difficult thing I've done

Easily the most difficult thing I've done in life. First Hundo in the bag!

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Matt Cowgill

The 55km this year was the best race experience I've ever had. Every single thing went perfectly. And the views...my god the views.

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Barb Wilkins
Antelope Canyon Ultras Runner

Beautiful race

Beautiful race, coming back next year!

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Susy Gutierrez
Bryce Canyon Ultras Runner

Great event!

I just wanted to extend a THANK YOU on behalf of myself and my 2 friends (who I dragged along to run the 50 miler) for putting on a great event! Please pass this message along to as many of the squad / volunteers possible for making the race so well run.

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Dude in the official race shirt crop top
Grand Canyon Ultra Runner

Race Results

Race Reports

2015


Packages & Pricing

100 Miler

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    Zion 100 entry
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    Official Race Bib
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    Official Race Shirt
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    Finisher Medal

$350 / RUNNER

100K

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    Zion 100K entry
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    Official Race Bib
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    Official Race Shirt
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    Finisher Medal

$225 / RUNNER

50K

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    Zion 50K entry
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    Official Race Bib
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    Official Race Shirt
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    Finisher Medal

$175 / RUNNER

Trail Half Marathon

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    Zion Half entry
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    Official Race Bib
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    Official Race Shirt
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    Finisher Medal

$149 / RUNNER

Registration Periods

Early Bird: July 14 – Oct. 15, 2017
Regular: Oct. 16, 2017 – Jan. 28, 2018
Late: Jan. 29 – Apr. 13, 2018


Merchandise

Get the gear to make the memories last longer! Shop our store for race apparel.

Questions and Comments

  • eduardo jose paiva borba says:

    Are there required items for 100km race, like ?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Eduardo – No required items, just bring what you personally need.

  • eduardo+jose+paiva+borba says:

    HI, to pickup Bib will be necessary to show any kind of document besides passaport ? thank you.

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Eduardo – You will just need a form of ID, so a passport will work.

  • Chris says:

    Are pacers allowed for the 50k?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Chris – Pacers are not allowed for the 50k distance.

  • Trudy says:

    I signed up to volunteer but haven’t heard anything yet. I would love to volunteer.

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Trudy – Hang tight just a little longer, we’re working on the volunteer spots now.

      • Trudy says:

        Thanks Kaelee. My husband is on the medical team at the Virgin aid station on Saturday from 7-3. We are only going to have one car so if we could volunteer at the same aid station and at the same time, that would be helpful.

  • Maggie says:

    Hi, How can I volunteer? I would love to help mark or tag the course before hand the race day. I will be there a week before..

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Maggie – Please email info@vacationraces.com and Kaelee will be able to help you find out if course marking is needed.

  • Lucia Chacon says:

    Can you post a map I can download to Avenza?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Lucia – The maps have already been uploaded to the Avenza map. Search Zion Ultra in the app.

  • Dustin McQuay says:

    For the 100k, if my life pacer starts at Dalton Wash, but is unable to complete the 25 miles to Desert aid station, is there a reasonable option for them to end earlier?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Dustin – Your pacer will need to be able to get to an aid station. They could go Dalton to Grafton or Grafton to Virgin Desert.

  • Dustin McQuay says:

    Do drop bags move from aid station to aid station? Or do I have to provide a drop bag per station that I want and each bag will only be available at that one station?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Dustin – Drop bags will not be moved to different aid stations. You will need to have a drop back for each aid station and they will need to be labeled.

  • Dustin McQuay says:

    I created a spreadsheet that predicts my arrival time at each aid station. There is a column to enter actual arrival times which causes all predictions to be automatically updated. I thought others might find it useful. It is for 100k only, but someone with Google Sheets know how should be able to update it for other distances. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KbqIH-9WTls7l9s0c1wla2chNYWapXu2-5sBGcr4laQ/edit?usp=sharing

  • Morgan says:

    What is the total elevation change with the 100k?

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Hi Morgan – I’m happy to help – which race are you referring to? If you visit that race’s website and click on ‘course’ you should be able to see an elevation map.

    • Kaelee Clifford says:

      Oh sorry, I just saw that you sent this from the Zion Ultra page. Here is the elevation map for the 100k:
      https://vacationraces.com/ultras/zion/#tab-con-27

  • Francien says:

    How can I volunteer? My husband will be running the 50k and I want to help out while he is running!

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