What is R2R2R?
R2R2R stands for rim to rim to rim and is very well known in the Ultra Trail Running World. The Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim takes place in The Grand Canyon and entails running from the South Rim all the way to the canyon floor then up the north side. Then if that 21 mile 5500ft journey wasn’t enough, your turn around and head back down to the canyon floor and back up to where you parked your car. A journey of around 42 miles and 11000ft of climbing. Oh and 11000ft of descending. Here is what what the route profile looks like.
R2R2R Overhead view & perspective
I am looking at attempting R2R2R in Spring 2018. The general consensus for a good attempt at R2R2R is to get it done in either the Fall or the Spring. During the Winter the Canyon looks a little something like this…
So obviously an attempt in the winter isn’t very smart. Apart from the obvious ice & snow issues there are picnic spots in the canyon & some of them have water spots etc. During the winter these are turned off as they freeze so there would be no access to water.
Summer in the Grand Canyon can get super hot. Whilst temperatures at the Rim ( 7000ft ) are normally a cool 80 degrees temps in the canyon below ( 2400 ft ) will regularly hit 100 degrees so its key to hit the canyon with optimal temperatures and conditions.
In a month like April the average temps at the RIM are about 50 degrees and in the canyon it can get up into the 80’s which I think is perfect weather.
R2R2R down to the river
I found this cool video on youtube of the trip down the first rim into the canyon. Its great to follow on the treadmill & gives you a great sense of what the first couple hours will be like.
FKT – Fastest Known Time
The FKT came in October 2016 by a young man by the name of Jim Walmsley. He ran this full exact route of 41.07 miles in 5hrs 55 min 18 seconds. Wait What?? Yip, 5 hours and 55 minutes…but a kind of more normal people with some ultra running / ironman experience normally run it around the 14 or 15 hour mark so initially thats a number I am looking to achieve at this point.
Training is starting right now. I have signed up for a 100k race in September which will have a lot less elevation gain BUT will give me a good idea as to how my body will handle the time. Im expecting a run around 12 hours for the 60 miles / 100 kilometers.
In January I’m also hoping to do another 100k down in Houston at a race called Bandera. The goal there is to go under 17 hours. That may seem a lot but weather normally plays a big part at Bandera and some downhills can get covered in ice etc. Another reason I want to do that particular race is if I go under 17 hours I can get a lottery ticket to be entered into the 2019 Western States 100 miler in Squaw Valley California. For the next 3 months I will be slowly bumping up my mileage to 65 miles per week getting ready for The Piney Woods Ultra in Tyler State Park on September 23rd 2017.
Thanks so much for reading.
Looking for a cool / hard track workout to spice things up a bit, check this out!