About a month ago, I posted about my next year, what it’ll bring to me in running and life. I vaguely talked about running around the world, traveling to see a few places and dive into running communities I’ve always wanted to check out. The Bay Area running scene is incredible, but I want to spread my wings little and see what else is out there, what it’s like to run in other parts of the country and who I can meet while I’m out there. Even though I wrote about it right before TransRockies, it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while, and I’ve been planning and mapping out this adventure for a few months now.
In August, I was off to TransRockies to explore the Colorado Trails and met some really cool people. It was one of the scariest leaps I’ve taken in a while, but one of the most rewarding too. I proved to myself that it’s the moments in life when we face discomfort and fear that we make memories and find happiness.
So this month isn’t any different, I’m off again to explore new dirt. Right now I’m flying over the California clouds on my way to Flagstaff, ready for the next big thing. Maybe you’re wondering “why Flagstaff”? It’s 85 miles south of the Grand Canyon, where I’ll spend most of tomorrow morning, day and even night running from Rim to Rim to Rim. We’ll run the rim trails, starting at the South End, heading up to the river, continuing up to the North End and then heading back down. The route is in the 40’s mileage-wise and climbs about 20k feet in elevation. Realistically, it’ll be more of a hike than a run, but I can’t wait to check out the trails, snap some photos, and just take everything in.
But we’re not just running the Canyon. I’ve heard for a while now that Flagstaff is “a hotbed for endurance athletes”. Some of the best trail, ultra and road runners live and train in Flagstaff, so there’s got to be something to this town and the community they’ve built surrounding the sport. After running Rim to Rim to Rim, we’ll head back to Flagstaff and support a fundraiser for Run Flagstaff, an incredible run club and store. They’re hosting a 24-hour run in the center of town where will chip in and run for a bit to raise money for the club.
It sounds funny, but I’m probably just as excited for both parts of the trip. Based on the tips I’ve gotten from friends and family, the Grand Canyon should be epically beautiful. But I’ve also found from training with RUN365 and other Bay Area groups that it’s the people met through running as much as the places you go that make it so rewarding. Popping in and joining the Run Flagstaff-ers for a day should be a lot of fun.
Tomorrow’s run is a big one, without a doubt it will be tough and take us a loooong time. But I can’t wait to knock this one off of my bucket list. I’ll post photos and a recap tomorrow, but before I head out, does anyone else have any Grand Canyon tips? Anyone from Flagstaff have ideas for places to eat or visit while we’re here? If anything, I’ll just hope drinking the Flagstaff water gives me superhuman strength.