Just for fun, I decided to see if I could get close to the 3 hr mark on the first crossing going south to north. I have been putting in a few big weeks both in miles and vert so I knew I wasn't going to feel fresh, but this is was just another big training run and why not make it a solid effort.
Somewhere below Skeleton Point and just past half way down I caught up to the mule train. Luckily I only had to walk behind them for about 30 seconds before they let me pass. A few minutes later I was getting my first views of the mighty Colorado river and soon after that I was crossing it (0:45). Right on pace. After a quick water stop at Phantom Ranch (0:51) to fill my bottle I was on my way again. The gradual climb up to Cottonwood campground went by fairly quick and although I forget my split through there, I knew I was still close to 3 hour pace. Having run this a couple times already I began preparing myself for the grinding climb to the north rim. Soon I was at the Residence where I would fill my bottle one last time before the final push.
Oh well, I put in a solid effort and know that I can easily get it next time. I had no intention of going hard on the return trip so I took a few minutes to enjoy the cool air and talk to some other runners who were making the trek. On the way back I stopped ant talked to the rest of the group as we cross paths and also to some random hikers along the way. The Grand Canyon is such an amazing place and I made sure to take it all in yet again. A photo here, stopping to admire the view there, all mixed in with some more running and hiking. Eventually I made it back to the south rim with a total time (including stops) of 7:57.
Gear: Altra Torin's, 14 VFuel gels, UD Essential Belt & Jurrek Grip handheld
Splits: River (0:45), Phantom (0:51), Cottonwood (?:??), Residence (?:??), North Rim: 3:02:34