Black Canyon Ultra 60k Race Report – Georgia Porter

Photo: Kameron Harder

Race: Black Canyon Ultra 60k

Runner: Coach Georgia Porter

Race Date: 02/13/2022

Location: Spring Valley to New River, Arizona

Results: 5 hours 14 minutes. 2nd Female, 6th Overall

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

The scenery was absolutely beautiful. Nothing like starting off a race with a beautiful desert sunrise. Aravaipa does an epic job of hosting a race. The trail was well marked, the aid stations were amazing and the volunteers were fantastic.

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

This race has a lot of downhill. Steeper downhill sections at the beginning and technical downhill sections at the end. If your quads are ready for it, this can be fun! If not this can put you in the pain cave pretty quickly. Because the race takes place in the desert, the start of the race was very cold. But as the day went on temps climbed into the 80s.

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

There are a lot of cows and bulls on the course the first several miles.

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

I really loved running with a pack for the first 10 miles just soaking up the sunrise and beautiful views while crushing through the desert.

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

It’s very easy to go out too hard the first 12 miles because of all the downhill. But if you go out even a little too hard it can trash your quads and hurt the second half of your race. Holding back a little more than you think you need will help you have a faster and more enjoyable race.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Train for the downhill! Also, top off water at every aid station from the halfway point on.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The downhill at the beginning of the course.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

This course is desert running at it’s most beautiful.

Difficulty – Is the Black Canyon 60k a tough course?

Difficulty is such a subjective experience. The course was very runnable, many sections flowed quite nicely. There was a lot of downhill at the beginning and it can trash the quads pretty early on. Once your quads are trashed the technical downhill sections later in the race can feel very difficult.

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

This is a very well run event.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

The 60k has a decently competitive field but not nearly as competitive as the 100k.

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.

This race was open by registration and easy to get in.

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

Aid stations at this race were awesome! Plenty of water, electrolytes and food. There was also ice water and sponges where volunteers would dump water on you if you needed.

Weather and typical race conditions

Cold and windy at the start, hot and dry the second half of the race with little to no shade.

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

Fuel/hydrate early and often. The second half of the race is hot and dry. If you pass an aid station, top off your water!

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

For the 60k spectators are able to see the start, see/crew runners at about the halfway point (Bumble Bee aid station), and then again at the finish.

How’s the Swag?

The SWAG is good! We got a nice tech long sleeve and a small dry bag both with the Black Canyon Ultra artwork.

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


Georgia Porter is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about her or to work with Coach Georgia, check out her coaching page.