Ran a TRAIL 1/2 Marathon in Moab, Utah!
I still can't believe that I made it, but I ran my dream trail half marathon in Moab, Utah on Saturday!! It was the National Championships for the Trail Marathon run and I was just lucky enough to sign up early enough that I got to take part! It was one of the best runs of my life!
Feeling the excitement (and nerves) the night before the race.
My parents and brother, Jonas, drove up from Arizona to cheer me on and my dear friend, Liz Snyder, came down from Oregon to drive down to Moab with me. I was praying that my body would work with me and I was AMAZED to find that the Lord blessed me with a body that day that was working at its best. Miracles happen!
Me and the Family
I was a little nervous at the start, but as soon as we began running, I couldn't keep my mouth closed - Moab has some of the most beautiful country in the world! All my nerves dissappeared. :)
In awe at the creations around me!
I did my best to take in all that I could as I ran. At one point I just let myself sit on a rock and soak it in for a few minutes. I think Heaven is made up of wide open spaces and gorgeous rock formations. :)
We started by running through sandy riverbeds before climbing...and climbing...and climbing to run along the top of the mesas.
The views were stunning as we'd make it to the top!
Incredible view at the top of the mesas.
There were times that we had single lane trails but we spent a lot of time climbing over rocks and lowering ourselves through the crevices in the rocks. Places that you CAN'T access by anything other than foot. It was incredible!
Again, not much of a trail - we just made our way around the rim over and under rocks.
When I reached mile 9, I couldn't help but get sad that I was already done with 2/3rds of the race. I've been dreaming about this run for so long that my heart didn't want it to end (although my feet were just fine with the thought. :) )
After climbing and running along the mesas, there was an immediate decent to the bottom of the canyon. We had to scoot down the side of the cliff on our bums and hold onto shelves of slide rock to get to the bottom.
Hard to capture how steep on camera - look at the angle of the
man in red in front of me to get an idea. You can see little people
at the bottom on the left who have made it down and across the ravine.
This is the view from the other side of the revine. Crazy steep!
The next section was mile 10 and a long, steep dirt road. Mom and Liz were at the top waiting for me, cheering on every runner that passed. It was SO good to see them and such a surprise! :D
Liz took this great shot with the incredible views around me.
The last two miles of the run consisted of wading through a FREEZING cold stream. It was so cold it hurt - that was the hardest part of the run, hands down! Mom and Liz cheered for me from above the river which was helpful as I had to break through some serious mental barriers to stay in the water and finish the race.
Fording the river (I'm the tiny person in black).
We came right up to the finish line (where my Dad and Jonas were cheering for me!) before going along the last leg of the race that went through the water again a couple of times. The finish line was so close, it was a killer!
Dad and Jonas at the finish :)
As I came up to the end, the official said, "The finish line is right up there" and pointed to a STEEP sandy path under a rock overhang to a finish line I couldn't see. It was a crazy end to a crazy fun race!
It was great to cross the finish line to hug my family and just soak in the fact that I had made it!
LOVE these shots Liz took of Mom and I! She's my ultimate cheerleader :)
I did it in 4 hours and 20 minutes even - way good for me and definitely for a trail run! Besides the river, I felt strong and was definitely prepared for this run. What an AWESOME feeling! :D
I just can't believe that I actually did it! I could tell the race designers had fun making it crazy hard - sand, climbs, rock climbing, steep decents, and river crossings - and I loved it!!
Just had to share my "happy" this morning. I'm just feeling so much gratitude today... Miracles Happen. Period.
Absolutely incredible views, incredible weather, and incredible opportunity!