So, what's the deal with this run?

View of the North Rim
We are by no means the first to do a rim to rim to rim run.  In fact, R2R2R runs in the Canyon are fairly common in the obscure world of ultrarunning.  But, it will be a first for each of us.  While some members of our group have completed runs up to 100 miles, for others this will mark a new distance milestone.  But, speaking as one of those who has completed a 100 miler before, I can assure you that this is no small undertaking.

One major difference between this run and ultramarathons we have completed is that, of course, there are no aid stations in the Grand Canyon.  Other than a few scattered locations along the route where we will have access to a water supply, we need to carry everything else we may need:  food, electrolytes, emergency medical supplies, lights, extra clothing, etc.  The temperatures in the darkness of the pre-dawn hours at the south rim where we start are likely to be in the mid 20s to low 30s, but the mid-afternoon temperatures in the inner gorge may reach the mid 80s to low 90s.  From the river to the north rim and back, we need to plan for the possibility of having no access to potable water for a total of 28 miles and 5660 feet of elevation change since the few water sources on the north side may not be turned on yet by April 24th.  If we get ourselves into trouble, rescue will be extremely difficult to come by.  Smart planning is key.

Our planned route is to take the Bright Angel Trail from the south rim down to the river, then the North Kaibab Trail from the river up to the north rim, then turn around and retrace our steps back to the south rim again.  The round trip should be about 47 miles, with a bit over 10,000 feet of climbing and descending.

We plan to start around 4 AM, April 24th.  It's hard to say just how long it will take.  We estimate it could be anywhere in a range from about 12 to 18 hours depending on numerous variables.

It will be an adventure!

Here are a view images describing the details of our planned route as taken from this National Park Service brochure. Click on each for a larger view.

Overview of the Route
Elevation Profile

Bright Angel Trail Distances/Elevations

North Kaibab Trail Distances/Elevations

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