Once again I return to Moab, this time to run the Dead Horse Ultra.


While I did not rent a car in Moab, I still had a wonderful transportation experience. I drove from Denver to Moab and on a whim, took 128 into town. If you like to drive and hit the road at an off time, it is 40 miles of gleeful driving. Overcrests for days, blind corners, and excellently smooth pavement left me grinning from ear to ear. My only complaint is that I was not in something a bit sportier.

If you are heading toward Moab on I70 westbound, I highly recommend taking the early turn. It is a smaller road but is a shorter distance and 10x the fun to drive.

Race Report: Dead Horse Ultra

What a fantastic race. The course is generally runnable, with a mix of packed trail, pillowy sand, and slick rock. The ups and downs are not that dramatic and the terrain is not all that technical, for what it is. The views were fantastic and presented something a bit different than what I had seen in Moab before.

Dead Horse 50k Course Profile

Dead Horse 50K Course Profile

The weather was reasonable and the course was bone dry from tip to tail. I heard numerous folks discussing that they had overdressed for the temperature. One said specifically, “If the race had started 30 minutes later, I would have left half of this in the car”. The thing is, Moab is dry and if the sun comes out, things warm up quickly. The race started about 40°F and rose to 60°F. I ran in shorts and a tee-shirt, with gloves and thick wool socks. I brought 5 neck gaiters to swap in and out as needed. This kept me comfortably warm without having a lot of excess weight to carry around. There was a time or two that I was a bit chilly, but overall I was comfortable and not lugging around a jacket I did not need.

Having run Arches and Behind the Rocks, I would say Dead Horse is a close race for the best of the three. Behind the rocks was harder, and perhaps more scenic, but Dead Horse was highly runnable and had some particularly great views. Behind the Rocks was a tad long whereas Dead Horse was a tad short.

Race Website: https://www.madmooseevents.com/dead-horse-ultra

Lowest Point: 4,578 feet

Highest Point: 5,763 feet

Approximate Gain: 2,670 feet

Approximate Descent: 2,670 feet

Average Grade: 3%

Max Grade: 14%

Scott's Finishing Time: 7:00:42

View all race results by clicking here.