I'll start by saying this was supposed to be a leisurely camping trip on the rim. I haven't been training much at all, certainly not for anything like this. But when several other friends weren't able to make the trip, it turned into just us two trail runners.
Signs all around the park specifically advise against it, especially in 100+ degree heat... but as is usually the case when I'm with @ldubgnar it didn't take much convincing to chase him to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out in an afternoon.
We got a late start down South Kaibab trail at exactly 10am- temperatures already climbing. With only a couple short breathers to take in the vistas, we made it down and across the Colorado River in pretty good time and pretty good spirits. However, heading back up the steep Kaibab trail the same way we came in, our water refills drained almost as fast as our leg power. We decided to take a beautiful, but sun-exposed singletrack called East Tonto that traverses west towards the Indian Gardens.
Despite proper hydration and nutrition leading into the day, it was here, around mile 16, that I started to feel the first signs of heat exhaustion. Luke was patient and encouraging. Now on the upper portion of Bright Angel trail, our run turned into a brisk hike with several stops as I curbed my nausea and cramping leg muscles for the last couple miles out of the canyon. Our final motivational push came from a group of hikers who had started on the north rim of the canyon at 5am and were just as anxious to be done as we were.
I'm coming to learn that if you leave Luke and me alone for more than a couple hours, we're bound to go off and do something epic while pushing each other's limits. We all need at least a few of those friends- but a little heads up to train for the next big run would be nice.
Surely a day for the books.
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