We return to Moab once again. This time we tackle the Behind the Rocks 50K.
Our rental, a Ford Fiesta, was the worst care ever made. I am not a tall man, at 5’8″, but even for me, the driver’s seat was not able to go back far enough. The interior design is atrocious. The driver’s position is awkward and awful. The seats are uncomfortable to say the least. The wipers operate backward to all other cars. The mirror adjust occurs at a 90° angle to the view, which is not conducive at all. Plus, it is just ugly.
The worst car I have ever driven.
Race Report: Behind the Rocks
What a course and what a race. Definitely a harder course than Arches, but a far prettier course. If I had to choose between the two, I would select this one every time. Arches was great, but this was over the top and so much better.
It is entirely exposed from start to finish. The weather started in the high 30’s (°F) or low 40’s (°F) but fairly quickly rose to the point of running in a minimal top. By the turn around it was getting downright warm. I’d suffer through the cold and strip a layer at the first aid station.
Speaking of aid stations, they were well stocked, as you can expect from Mad Moose events. There were 3 advertised, but a 4th snuck in. Do keep in mind, you will go 9-10 miles between aid stations twice. Be sure to fuel up, carry fuel, and bring plenty of water containers. They had a 40oz carry requirement for one section and I drank thought 2L on that stretch. It might be spring, but it is the dessert. It is dry, dry, dry. Prepare to carry that 40ozs plus of water.
This course has a mixture of hard pack trail, soft sand (like the beach), slick rock, traversing up and across a small stream, and scrambling up, down and generally over large boulders. No kidding, there are sections that are literally climbing up or down a small cliff face. Tiptoeing around slim ledges with a drop-off better not make you nervous. This canyon covering course has you on the edge in more ways than one.
What is easily the hardest part of this course is the 8-mile trek uphill which starts at the 16-mile mark and the 50K turnaround point. It simply goes on, and on, and on, and on. You pray that the next corner hides the summit but it is, at best, a small flat followed by, more uphill. Eventually, you see the finish in the distance, and at this point, you are a good mile from the end. Probably more like 2. The course, as advertised, is a couple of miles beyond a 50K.
That all being said – I would gladly run it again. I see why this race sold out (I heard) and why some folks suspect a lottery for entry is coming soon. Check it out while you can. It is a beaut’.
Race Website: https://www.madmooseevents.com/behind-the-rocks-home
Lowest Point: 4,062 feet
Highest Point: 5,544 feet
Approximate Gain: 4,100 feet
Approximate Descent: 4,100 feet
Average Grade: 4%
Max Grade: 35%
Annie's Finishing Time: 8:16:20
Scott's Finishing Time: 8:16:22
View all race results by clicking here.