We’re now starting the second year for a race in the Most Beautiful Countryside on Earth.
This race starts near Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah (elev. 6644 feet). The entire course is on Scenic Byway 12. The course runs in a southwest direction and is mostly downhill until Mile 12, where the road crosses the Escalante River (elev. 5275). It then turns northwest and is mostly uphill until Mile 18 (elev. 6200). From Mile 18 on, the course is a gradual westward descent to the finish line in Escalante, Utah (elev. 5812 feet). You can view the course map and elevation profile on the USATF website, using the following link: http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=493426. You can also search for the Escalante Canyons Marathon route by going tohttp://www.usatf.org/routes/search and looking for routes in Escalante, Utah under America’s Running Routes.
Both sides of Byway 12 will be closed for the first hour of the marathon. After that, the westbound lane of the road will remain closed, and all runners will complete the course on the right-hand side of the road. The course will include up to 16 aid stations, spaced at roughly 2-mile intervals on the downhill portions of the course, and at 1-mile intervals on the uphill portions of the course. All aid stations will offer water, and selected aid stations will offer energy drinks, energy gels, and fruit.
Course highlights include the mile-long Hogsback, where the road runs along a rock spine that drops off precipitously on both sides, the rock canyons near Calf Creek Falls, the extraordinary S-curve that announces the longest uphill stretch, the Boynton and Head of the Rocks scenic overlooks, No matter where you are on the course, though, you will enjoy unparalleled vistas.
The courses for both races will be closed at 1:30 p.m. See the Terms of Service
This race starts at the Head of the Rocks Scenic Overlook on Scenic Byway 12 and ends at the high school track in Escalante, Utah. After a half-mile uphill start, the course runs mostly downhill until Mile 5, where it levels out to a series of flat stretches and rolling hills. Like the marathon, the course runs first southwest, then northwest. At Mile 8, at the Hole-in-the-Rock Heritage Center, the course will turn right off of Byway 12 for a mile-long loop/spur. This section of the course is unpaved and will be freshly graded. It runs past the Heritage Center, then up a dirt road before turning back toward Escalante with a nice overview of the town. When the loop rejoins Byway 12, you’ll be less than half a mile from the finish line! You can check out the entire route and zoom in on the Heritage Cente loop by going to the following link: http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=495446.
The course will be run in the westbound (right-hand) lane of Byway 12, except for the Heritage Center loop described above. Six aid stations are planned for the course in conjunction with the marathon aid stations.
Slickrock and canyon vistas grace the beginning of the course, which then traverses the Escalante Flats, high plateau terrain.
The courses for both races will be closed at 1:30 p.m.