Mar 23, 2012
Distance today = 38.85 km; Total distance = 3898.39 km; Location = Desert View – 36 01.465′ N, 111 49.525′ W; Start time = 0734, Finish time = 1457
Well, I did reach a new record high elevation today, and pretty early on. I got to 2,284 metres, which is higher than anywhere in Australia, and only 350 metres lower than the Col du Galibier, the third highest pass in Europe. I'm pretty sure it's downhill from here for a while, though.
But, first things first. I ran 5 km early this morning before taking a break to have a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. Once again, I will refrain from the superlatives, and simply say that anyone visiting here should take this ride. It is particularly exhilarating when the chopper approaches the canyon surreptitiously from low over the trees, and then it suddenly appears and the pilot drops the craft down into canyon, leaving your stomach up in your mouth.
From there it was straight back to where I left off running, and I completed another 34 or so kilometres of very enjoyable running, right along the south rim of the canyon. The whole way the Grand Canyon was just over to my left. When there weren't stunning views, there were pleasant Ponderosa pines lining the road – a great forest run in itself, even if the canyon wasn't there. There couldn't be too many better single day runs in the world. Not sure why, but I was a bit faster than normal today, and feeling good.
Tomorrow I bid adieu to the Grand Canyon, and head toward Monument Valley. I expect to reach it before the end of the coming week.
PS I passed 2,000 km of running in the US today. It has only taken me 20 days to run the last 1,000 km.