Friday, November 7, 2008

Grand Canyon Running - Rim to River to Rim

I joined in on a run in the Grand Canyon on October 27th with my brother Nick, our friend Brian McKinley from Flagstaff, and Jenn Shelton from Ashland, Oregon. Jenn won the World of Hurt ultra marathon the weekend prior and wanted some friends to take here on a run in the canyon. We started down the South Kaibab trail on a spectacular day and reached the Canteen at Phantom Ranch a short time later. After drinking way too much of their really strong lemonade, we headed back up to the top of the south rim via the Bright Angel trail. The up part was especially tough for me since I had not run more than 2 miles total in the previous 7 weeks. Ouch! We all made it to the top, Nick and Jenn smiling while leading the pack, me trudging along well behind them, and Brian in the back (he qualified for Boston at the Denver marathon the week prior). Brian's famous words at the top, "Never Again" were later history as he now can't wait to go back. I was so sore for the next week that I could barely walk! A run in Grand Canyon is truly breathtaking and I was never "higher" on life than I was running down the South Kaibab trail. It can also be said that the climb out can be one of the biggest "lows" if you are undertrained!Lesson of the day: do not try to ride the free Grand Canyon shuttles with no shirt on (they yell at you and will kick you off). A big thanks to the tourists who lent Nick and I a shirt so we didn't have to walk back to our car! Jamil

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