Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dan trail runs the Grand Canyon

Dan and some friends trail ran/hiked the North Rim to the South Rim and back to the North Rim last weekend-46 miles total, taking 15 hours. I have never seen Dan so sore and so happy at something he accomplished. I'm just so proud that he did it because I know how much he wanted to check this off his list!

(This is going to be long, but here is the trip report he put up on TGR):
Started and finished from the door of our cabin at the GC Lodge, 46.6 miles and 10k of climbing. Ended up finishing in just under 15 hours, sneaking in just before the sun set for the day.

We made it back to Phantom Ranch (~30 miles) in 9 hours I felt great through about mile 35. Then the wheels began to fall off rapidly. By the time we hit the cottonwood campground I was wrecked and would have been happy to quit right there. Unfortunately, there was still 8 miles and over 4k of vertical left to go Not finishing is simply not an option so I somehow willed myself to the top one step, one switchback and one rock layer at a time. The last 2-3 miles were especially rough, I was starving but my stomach would not accept even the most meager amounts of food. Pretzels were like chalk and gels tasted like castor oil. I could maybe muster 1.5-2mph, any faster and my stomach twisted up tighter than Ahhnold's mighty fist.

Reaching the North Rim meant the end of the climbing, but we still had 1.2 miles back to our cabin. Temps were dropping quickly as the sun set, since we were no longer climbing (or running, chaffing and fatigue meant we hadn't run a step in miles) we weren't producing much heat and by the time we got to the cabin we were shivering pretty good. Even after a long hot shower we climbed into bed fully clothed and shivered for another 15 minutes.

Finally warmed up we celebrated with a great meal at the lodge. Our stomachs could only handle about half our dinners though, the rest ended up being eaten at about 3am. I didn't really get my appetite back until noon the next day.

It was an incredible experience, but far and away the hardest thing I have ever done. I was completely destroyed by the end, easily twice as wrecked as I have ever been. It took two full days before I could walk normally again and going down stairs is still a bit of a chore. Already though the memory of the pain is fading I am beyond psyched at what I was able to accomplish. My previous one-day mileage record was the Mid-mountain marathon, and I trained for that for an entire summer. I can't believe I did something this big this early in the season.

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