First Member of Team R2R2R4H Successful!

I'm late in officially reporting this to the site, but a hearty congratulations is due to one of our runners.  Kamil Suran was unable to do the R2R2R run on the same day as the rest of us due to a prior race commitment that weekend.

But, that didn't stop him!

Kamil completed the run (about half of it with his brother, the remainder solo) on March 30th.  Sounds like it was a tough ordeal.

Kamil was kind enough to write up a report of his experience for the benefit of the rest of the team to give us an idea just what to expect, and I've copied his report below.

Congratulations, Kamil!

Here's his report:

This is my R2R2R report which is nothing more than my notes how to avoid some unnecessary mistakes and complete this endurance feat as fast and efficient as possible next time I’m heading out to Grand Canyon. (And I am already thinking about a repeat, I think 12 hours is within the reach)
4:30am - down the canyon we go….

Part 1 - Bright Angel trail head - Phantom ranch 0 - 9.5 miles
Hard to run in the dark with a head lamp and on steep down hill. We chose mostly to hike to avoid twisting of an ankle but after dawn there’s no excuse for not running this down hill plus you can gain so much time.
Ice on first few miles, later just soooooo dusty !!!! (need hair in the nose J ) 
At phantom ranch break 30 minutes - that was just too long (needed to change clothes, had a breakfast and took too many photos of deer etc). 
Checked my camel back and it‘s more than half full so I‘m not refilling at this time.
Left all extra weight (extra clothing) by the trail. We had just too much extra stuff - lesson learned: don‘t listen to locals or people living in southern climate!!! We run in subzero temperatures in Chicago so 28 and windy doesn‘t mean to dress like for Siberia. 

Part 2. Phantom Ranch to Roaring Springs 9.5 miles - 18.5 miles
This section is must to run!!!!! “only” 2500 elevation gain in 9 miles 
I ran all these miles but lost time and gained distance by taking a wrong turn to the Ribbon falls.
So be careful at the Ribbon Falls/Cottonwood campground intersection. All other campground arrows go off trail so I got little confused (there’s no sign for North Rim). I decided to wait for my brother who was carrying the only map. I gained 40 minutes in 5.4 miles on him because he was mostly just hiking!! 
From here I was continuing solo. 
After the bridge - Roaring Springs there was a sign - last water before the North Rim. I’m glad I didn’t miss it. I checked my Camel back and it was almost empty so I filled up to the max. 
Up to here I was carrying also 2 full 20oz water bottles. That means unnecessary 3 pounds for 18.5 miles. I could have filled them up at this point too.

Part 3. From Roaring Springs to the North Rim trail head 18.5 - 23.2 miles
Gets steep and with occasional flat parts to run. Last 2.5 plus miles and almost everything past the Supai tunnel is compacted snow (ice) trail which was getting too soft (because of warm temperatures) and I was sinking knee deep countless times. Don‘t get frustrated, you‘ll not go too fast. The snow/ice is like quick sand.

Part B (as a bonus) - from the North Rim trail head to Bright Angel Point - aprox. 4 miles
I wasn’t sure if this is supposed to be the end because there’s no overlook of the South rim, so I follow the road to the village, past the Grand Canyon lodge. I never made it to any overlook because I’m sinking just too much into the snow and I don’t see any trail or snowmobile tracks. Day later when I (finally) get a detailed map of the trail I saw that I was little bit south of the Bright Angel Point (overlook).
Add this section if you’d like to make it a 50 miler or if you feel that so far everything was piece of cake.
Otherwise save the energy 4 miles in the snow will feel like another 8.

Part 4 - From North Rim trail head to Roaring Springs 23.2 - 27.9 miles
Snow/ice is much softer now (about 2pm) and I’m falling knee deep almost every other step and few times as deep as waist!!! And there’s nothing you can do about it, so don’t get mad! Fortunately it’s a downhill so it goes much faster than going up. Last couple of miles before the Roaring Springs (and bellow the snow line) you can start picking up some speed. The altitude drop will make you run easy again.

Part 5 - From Roaring springs to Phantom ranch 27.9 - 36.9 miles
Refilled camel back and 2 bottles!!! (almost all empty)
I run almost whole section till about a mile from Phantom ranch, when I completely ran out of fuel. 
Fortunately my brother was waiting for me with more bars and gels at the Phantom ranch.
This section is must to run and it will feel great to be running 7 minute miles after 30 plus mile journey
(nice gradual downhill)

Part 6 - From Phantom ranch back to the top 
Everything up to here felt easy. 
Make sure you have plenty left in the tank otherwise you’ll spend eternity climbing this wall.
I was going step by step and was thinking about all the warning signs they have on the top about how many people have to be rescued each year from the canyon. Am I going to be one of them??!! 
It took us about 5 hours (9+ miles), the longest 9 miles in my life. I couldn’t even walk and had to sit down few times (I never do that). At the top it was freezing again and so windy that I didn’t care about taking photos on the top. 
10:58pm on Tuesday March 30 of 2010 mission accomplished (including 30 min stop at Phantom Ranch, 50 min delay - detour, waiting for my brother and 1h20min for extra loop on top of North Rim) 
Ran approximately 30 miles out of 50. 
The few hundred yards to the parking lot changed into a couple of miles in just half a day. We were so glad to make it to the car and so tired to do anything else that sleeping another night in the Camry was better than Royal suite at the Ritz.
I could add how bad I looked the next day but I don’t want to embarrass myself (try to imagine 100 year old grandpa - very slow)

Here are the 7 keys to your success (and mine in the future)
1. Don’t carry unnecessary weight - extra clothing or extra water if you can refill later on the course
2. Proper fueling !!!! You gonna need lots of calories!!!
Must have some solid food - not just bars and gels (I’ve never been so hungry in my life)
Great would be packs of Perpetuem and have one bottle mixed at all times
3. Don’t make too many stops in the first half - one every two hours at most usually associated with water refill and refueling. Ideally stop only at Phantom ranch for partial refill and then at Roaring Springs - fill up everything you have (100 oz camel back, 2 x 20 oz water bottles - I drink more than average person) and than stop all the way at the top. 
4. Absolutely no sight seeing detours!!! Stay focused this is not a vacation, you are on the mission!!! 
Stay as much efficient as you can. 
5. Drink!!! It’s gonna get hot after the turn around. From the high 20ies in the morning it got to 87 degrees in the afternoon. I was drinking 4-5 times more in the second half!!!
6. Make sure you have something left in the tank when you cross the Colorado river for the second time, otherwise you gonna be climbing those last 9+ miles for a very, very, very long time!!!
7. Have fun and remember that “What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger!” What might also help you towards the end is that you’ll get plenty of respect from anyone who finds out that you’re doing the rim to rim to rim in a single day. 

Post a Comment