Ancient Roman philosophers once said that if you have never participated in a relay race that involves riding a chair lift, then you haven't truly lived. Red Rock Relay Zion was developed in strict adherence to that age-old wisdom.
Teams of 12 run relay style through 187 miles of southern Utah's most stunning landscapes in a journey that starts on a Friday morning at Brian Head ski resort and ends sometime the following day at the base of Zion National Park. Teams split into two cars so one set of six runners can rest while the other set of six takes turns running their legs of the race. Teams switch off running and resting until each runner has run three times, and then they are all standing together in a exhausted daze at the finish line, gazing up at the base of an extraordinary red rock monolith.
At this moment you can see the pride and sense of accomplishment welling up within them and fighting to get to the surface, despite being blocked by some severely over-taxed sweat glands. For 24-36 hours they have kept each other hydrated, eaten out of a cooler, laughed hysterically and danced maniacally, stayed close together in the dark, and possibly slept for a minute, and it has been the journey of a lifetime and has handed them far more fulfillment than they had expected.
Oh, yes...and there was a chairlift.
Runner number one, get ready to sprint! The race begins at the Doubletree Grand Lodge in Brian Head, Utah, and runners have a one mile dash through the chilled morning air. Their first destination is the ski resort, where they wrap up in blankets and board a chairlift that takes them up to the start of their 3.5 mile trail run.
From that illustrious beginning, things just continue getting more scenic and delightful as the teams cruise through Cedar Breaks (HOLY COW gorgeous overlooks), down Cedar Canyon (OH MUH HECK speedy downhill runs), through Newcastle and Veyo (SHUCKS, DANG stunning views) and through Hurricane out to Springdale (GEE WHIZ awesome sauce finish line). The start line elevation is over 11,000 feet and the finish is 3,000, so for those of you who never were good at math, that means a net loss of 8,000 feet in elevation over the course of 187 miles.
That there, my friends, is the formula for a stud-sandwiches relay course. Come eat up!
SNOW VAN #1
Brian Head to Duck Creek
SNOW VAN #2
Cedar City to Newcastle
SNOW VAN #3
Veyo to Washington City
SUN VAN #1
Duck Creek to Cedar City
SUN VAN #2
Newcastle to Veyo
SUN VAN #3
Washington City to Zion
Early Bird Registration
Regular Team (12 person) - $1099
Ultra Team (6 person) - $549
High School Team (12 person) - $549
Regular Team (12 person) - $1199
Ultra Team (6 person) - $649
High School Team (12 person) - $649
Regular Team (12 person) - $1299
Ultra Team (6 person) - $749
High School Team (12 person) - $749