Greetings from Las Vegas.
3 days to the start of the 2016 Grand to Grand Ultra…
It is almost time to take on the Grand to Grand Ultra. This will be my eighth international multi-stage desert race and the fifth leg of my quest to complete one of these races on all seven continents.
The Grand to Grand Ultra is the first and only self-supported multi-stage footrace in North America. First held in 2012, it starts at a remote location on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and finishes on the summit of the Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase, one of the world’s most iconic geological formations. Participants will encounter a mix of desert and other terrain, including hard packed sand, soft sand, sand dunes, forest trails, red rock climbs, rocky roads and slot canyons.The race covers approximately 273 km spread over 6 stages in 7 days. Daily distances to be covered are 49.6km, 43.3km, 84.7km, 41.9km, 41.9km and 12.3km. The first stage starts at 1 629m above sea level, and the final stage finishes at 2 651m above sea level, a net gain of 1 1022m. The total ascent over the six stages is 5 499m.
The Grand to Grand Ultra has already made its mark on the international running scene, and in 2015 was invited to join the prestigious Ultra-Trail World Tour as one of 18 races held worldwide.
After months of training and preparations, I’m excited about running this unique race and sharing the experience with the 150 plus other participants. At the same time, I am under no illusions that the terrain, altitude and elevation changes awaiting us will be tough physical challenges to overcome.
This afternoon I travel to Kanab, a town in Utah where all participants will gather for final medical and gear checks before we travel to the Grand Canyon on Saturday for the start of the race on Sunday morning.
The countdown to the Grand to Grand Ultra continues…
I’m using my participation in the Grand to Grand Ultra to raise public awareness about NTDs, highlight the work of the END Fund, and mobilise $10 000 in support of the END Fund’s work in Africa.
I invite you to support my fundraising campaign with a donation and encourage others to do the same.
Follow updates on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, fundraising page, and via the END Fund’s various online platforms.
Together, we can END NTDs!
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