Race: Arches Ultra 50 miler

Runner: Jeremy L

Race Date: 01/26/2019

Location: Moab, UT

Results: 8:34:38 (11th)

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. The view
  2. Some great single track
  3. Petrified dinosaur tracks (seriously how amazing is that)
arches ultra 50 mile
Photo: Jeremy Lynch

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

So “slickrock” is actually not slick. But it is like running on pavement and this course had miles and miles of slickrock. I wasn’t used to that kind of pounding and it shredded my shins.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

You have to run past the finish line and continue for one more mile before looping back (that really sucked).

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I maintained my pace within 18 seconds the entire race. I passed 14 people after mile 26 and was never passed after mile 15 (finished 11th overall).

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

  • Slickrock = pavement. Be ready for it.
  • And mud… the course uses a good bit of jeep trails that get really muddy (heavy mud that sticks to your shoes like cement).

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Lost 12 minutes of time at the aid stations. If I would have cut just 2m38s off those stops I would have finished in the top 10.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Have I mentioned a lot of miles on slickrock.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

If you’ve ever been to Moab you know… if you haven’t you should go.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Yes and No. Not much climbing. It is very dependent on the conditions. If those jeep trails were dry they would have been fast (they’re flat). Although this year the 50 miler only had a 67% completion rate.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

From a runners perspective it seemed like a well-oiled machine. From my wife’s perspective as a volunteer, not so much.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Top 3 all finished in under 7h20m… that still amazes me.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Nope. Nothing special and Moab in winter is amazing (lots of hotel rooms, no waiting for tables at restaurants, and a nearly empty Arches National Park).

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Standard fare. Although they use Hammer products and they just aren’t my favorite (but you better believe I still used the gels).

Weather and typical race conditions

Cold. Started in the low 20s. High in the upper 30s.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

Shoes with some extra cushion for those rocks.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes, the aid stations where crews are allowed are easily accessible from the mail road.

How’s the Swag?

Sweet… t-shirt, hat, finishers medal.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

8/10. Moab is beautiful and the if you’ve never been it is a great way to get some nice long views of some spectacular scenery.

arches ultra 50
Photo: Jeremy Lynch