Set in one of the most beautiful places in the United States, the Moab Half Marathon provides a scenic and challenging course. Gaining nearly 2,000 vertical feet, the course covers a variety of terrain ranging from canyon rims to the actual Kane Creek drainage. Runners will get a taste of everything that Moab has to offer while on this course.
Features: River/Creek — Views — Waterfall
While this trail race doesn't have a staggering elevation profile, the dryness of the desert will sneak up on you. Be prepared with plenty of water, even between aid stations.
The course for the 2015 half marathon starts out at the Kane Creek Trailhead. Much of the first few miles head gently uphill as runners take a south-eastern course along the Pritchett Canyon
trail. One of the most gruelling climbs and the high point of the race occurs near the 5-mile mark, but don't expect a cruise down to the finish.
At about 5.5 miles, racers will turn right from the Pritchett Canyon
trail onto the Hunter Canyon Rim
trail. Views abound here, and racers will have plenty of opportunities to admire the local geology. Soaring Windgate sandstone cliffs loom overhead, and the brown Moenkopi unit degrades into the drainages below.
Racers will continue on the singletrack trail for approximately 4 miles before the trail turns into a dirt road near the 10-mile mark. This is the Kane Creek road, and it will start to bring runners back to the shared starting and ending point. The rolling elevation of the past few miles turns into a killer climb, as racers ascend an infamous set of switchbacks.
Once the top is reached, the course hops back onto the HyMasa Trail
and into the depths of Kane Creek. Depending on the year, this is a potentially soggy section so be prepared for water!
After that, runners are on the home stretch! With one more mile to go, the last portion flies by. The first half is a dirt road, followed by 1/2 mile of singletrack to wrap up the event.
Desert flora and fauna tends to be delicate and unfriendly. You'll likely pass by many spiky or prickly desert plants. Big cottonwood trees line the Colorado River, but the course only gets tantalizingly close to their shade. The observant runner may notice small desert lizards scurrying away from the race.