Three years ago a horrible accident occurred in Crandall Canyon, just two hours south of Salt Lake City. On august 6, 2007, a mining accident trapped 6 miners 3.4 miles from the mine entrance and 1500 feet underground. When a rescue effort proved nearly as fatal and three more workers were killed and 6 others injured, the efforts to rescue the original 6 were suspended after 10 days. The Crandall Canyon Memorial Run, which consists of a half-marathon, 10k and 5k and is put on by the people at Mammoth Marathons, is meant to honor the those who are still entombed to this day in the mine.
With nearly 1500 feet of downhill running in the half-marathon, one would think this could produce some fast times. However, one has to take into consideration that this race is the highest half-marathon in the entire state of Utah, beginning at 8,800 feet above sea level. And then it goes up!
But for those who love challenges, this is definitely the race to give yourself some bragging rights. As this will be my 5th half-marathon in 49, I hope that this will be the culmination of my efforts to shoot some speed back into my legs, in spite of both the high elevation and subsequent lack of oxygen. If the event is like any of the other events I have done with the Mammoth Marathon people, it will be a beautiful race with top-notch people putting together an event that will only continue to grow in the future.
If you haven't signed up yet, I can think of fewer better ways to close out the month of July. Hope to see you there!