Total Distance: 43.68 miles
Total Running Time: 6:14:52
Total Hiking Time: 7:23:07
Total Ascent: 11,405
Total Descent: 11,429
South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch:
This 7-mile section was done mostly in the dark as we started at 4:20am. We ran the entire downhill section, and it was way more technical than even Barr trail that I trained on for the Ascent. I was so happy to follow Dionne on this section.
Phantom Ranch to Manzanita:
This 9-mile section was amazing. We ran 90% of the canyon floor as it was a flowy trail with a gradual ascent of almost 2000ft. We stopped plenty of times for photos and once to apply moleskin to my toe.
Manzanita to North Rim:
Manzanita was a zoo. There were so many people who were coming from the North Rim and South Rim since this was the last weekend before they turn off the water at the North Rim. This 5-mile ascent was relatively easy, and we hiked the entire thing except for a few flatter sections that we ran. We even got to see the solar eclipse. The only tough part was the last 2 miles. When we got to the top we were floored to see Mike wander up there only 15 min after us. We thought he was going to turn around at Manzanita! He’s a beast and even did a few pushups at the top to prove it!
North Rim to Cottonwood:
We thoroughly enjoyed running down this section and spent some time admiring the amazing rock formations and cliff views. We blew past Manzanita and filled our water at Cottonwood. Then it was time for the hot box.
Cottonwood to Phantom Ranch:
I had been warned about the hot box (Canyon floor in the afternoon) on the way back. Most people do not realize but the canyon floor is 15-20 degrees hotter than it is at the rim. We were extremely blessed with magical wind and shadier sections when we got to the canyon walls. After a few miles I knew we weren’t going to make it in time for the lemonade before it closed at 4pm. Dionne encouraged me to keep going and since I had legs left I booked it for 5 miles down the canyon floor. I flew and it was fun. I got to the lemonade stand at 3:58pm and then saw it was open until 8pm. They had changed the time. Oof. Either way, we got our lemonade. We waited around for an hour but didn’t see Mike, so we made our way out of the canyon.
Phantom Ranch to South Kaibab:
First 2.5 miles were spectacular with great views. We even saw Mike making his way up and he was fast. He is such a good hiker. As the sun was setting we put our headlamps back on. We eventually waited for Mike at Ooh Ahh point and made the most horrible 4 miles out of the canyon in the dark together. Those were truly grueling miles that tested everything I had. I didn’t think I was going to make it. It truly was one of the hardest things I’ve done in terms of endurance. I’m so glad we all finished this amazing adventure together!