In the world of ultramarathon running, 200 miles is the new 100. But when 200 miles is not enough, runners challenge the Moab 240 race. This weekend, a record number of Canadians are toeing the line for the Moab 240 mile endurance run through the desert, canyons, and mountain ranges in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks in Utah, USA. The 2018 route has been altered due to snow, and runners will not be going through the La Sal Mountains along the Utah and Colorado border.
146 runners toed the line at 7am Friday October 12th. They have until 11pm on Tuesday, October 16th to finish. Runners have 4 days and 16 hours to complete the race (112 hours). The course is a 238 mile loop (383K) with 17,964 metres of elevation gain (58,934 feet). That’s over twice the elevation gain of Mount Everest.
Despite its 38 mile bonus, the Moab 240 can run as a faster course compared with the Bigfoot 200 and Tahoe 200 courses. Even so, the weather can be extreme. Randy Duncan from Victoria, BC ran the event in 2017 and recalls the “big temperature swings and very cold nights with a low of -13℃.”
Who to track
More Canadians than ever are toeing the line down south this weekend. Some Canucks to keep track of include Brian Vatne (B.C.), Benoit Letourneau (Que.), Richard Turgeon (Que.), Eric Deshaies (Que.), Charlotte Vasarhelyi (Ont.), Lizzy Hughes (Ont.), Dennis Marchant (B.C.), Rob Gryfe (Ont.), Nick Reynolds (B.C.), Claire Heslop (Ont.), Gillian Smith (Yukon), Charles-Ettienne Carrier (Que.), Kendra Olsen (Ont.), Iris Cooper (Ont.), Grant Monette (Ont.), Daniel Legresley (Que.), Bert Stark (Alta.), Michaela Pye (Nfld.), Cal Mitchell (Ont.), and Richard McDonald (Que.).
How to track
As 200 mile races increase in popularity, so does the excitement of tracking endurance runners from afar. Every runner has a mandatory SPOT device for tracking and safety. Follow along here.
The Triple crown of 200s
Race director and ultrarunner Candice Burt of Destination Trail Series created the triple crown award for runners who complete all three 200 races in one year. This includes the Bigfoot 200 in August, Tahoe 200 in September, and Moab 200 in October. Rick Arikado from Vancouver, BC is the only Canadian to complete the triple crown, and did so for 2015, 2016, and 2017. The first females to complete the triple crown were Sylvia Greer and Katie Graff in 2017.
If 100 mile races are a lifetime in a day, then 200s could be the chance to live again and again.