Race: Behind the Rocks 50K

Runner: Mike Aparicio

Race Date: 03/23/2019

Location: Moab, UT

Results: 6:29

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/2235227494

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

  1. Gorgeous Moab landscape, especially the canyon section
  2. Post-race sunshine and hangout
  3. The killer chocolate chip banana bread at the turnaround

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

Slick rock is a pounding. Weirdly, some sort of pavement training emphasis may be helpful for some.

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

Dropping into the canyon is a surprise the first time you run this one. You’re thinking, wait, we gotta climb down there?!

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

I felt strong and cruising the first half. Go, Mike!

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

Rack up some pavement miles. Wear your most cushioned shoes (road should work). Hold back on the first half, because the second half is uphill (though super runnable)

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Oh yeah, especially around the middle ~5 miles

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Deceptively so because of the slick rock and sand. Not too technical, though you’ll want to be careful climbing in and out of the canyon at the turnaround

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

Super well-run and marked. Mad Moose does a really great job.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

There always seem to be some elites. With this being an early-ish season race and an escape from winter, it’ll always have a draw.

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.

Moab has plenty of hotels. I don’t think the race sold out, though it seemed fuller than last year.

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

Standard fare

Weather and typical race conditions

Dry (even though it drizzled the day before). The merest of puddles to run through at one point (and then on the return).

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes, with a short walk or drive you can get to the turnaround point’s aid station. Actually, all aid stations are accessible via jeep/dirt bike/atv roads

How’s the Swag?

Hat + cotton t-shirt (need to mix it up with the colors next year), good looking medal

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