03 February 2013

iRunFar in the Canyonlands

 “No friendship is an accident.” - O. Henry

If you had been in southeastern Utah yesterday, you would have had clear skies, 30° - 50° temps and dry, runable trails to enjoy.  If you had decided to drive 45 min south of Moab to Canyonlands National Parkyou would have found this national treasure nearly deserted.  Moreover, had you been in the Needles District, you might have seen me and two other lovers of the landscape: Bryon Powell and Meghan Hicks from iRunFar.  I'm sorry that you weren't there, because it was a great day of jaw dropping beauty and incredible desert running.

Bryon and Meghan run a website that keeps ultrarunners informed on just about anything that pertains to the sport, such as race reports, training advice, gear reviews and articles from some of the talented runner-writers they have amassed.  I became a regular reader last year as I was starting to chew on the idea of moving into ultras.  

Through a random tweet to Meghan last month, tweets led to emails and BAM, an adventure run was planned.  She suggested Canyonlands and I heartily agreed.  Not much beats going to a beautiful place I’ve never been and enjoying the landscape with like minded folks.  Getting my last long run in before the Red Hot 55k couldn’t have been more perfectly timed.  As an added bonus, Bryon joined the fun and even hung back with us for much of the 24 mile run, before bounding off and snagging a few extra miles for himself.
(Photo courtesy of Bryon Powell)
(Photo courtesy of Bryon Powell)
Snack time (Photo courtesy of Bryon Powell)
(Photo courtesy of Bryon Powell)
Confluence of the Green & Colorado Rivers
(Photo courtesy of Meghan Hicks)
(Photo courtesy of Bryon Powell)
Cyclone Canyon
Bryon geeked out over the fossils
Class 3 scramble - loved it!
Snow capped La Sals to the east
A smile-worthy day (Photo courtesy of Bryon Powell)
Meghan is training for her fourth running of the Marathon de Sables -- a 6-day, 156 mile stage race in the Sahara Desert.  This amazing adventurer, beautiful inside and out, has an appreciation for the desert and it was a delight to join her on this amazing run. Bryon,after years of hard work building iRunFar, is re-prioritizing his own running and overall health while training for the big dance, Western States 100.  

Good luck Bryon and Meghan as you continue with the Moab Project and pursue your 2013 goals!  I know that all of us who enjoy iRunFar are grateful for the gift that you give to us.  Thanks for letting me spend the day with you and showing me the beauty of the Canyonlands.

If you haven't been there, do yourself a favor and put the Canyonlands on your bucket list of National Parks to explore.  I love coming to Moab in winter when I can escape the heat and the crowds while staying cheap during the off-season.  Keeping an eye on the weather, folks within driving distance can book a last-minute trip and enjoy some great scenery and trails.  

I'm looking forward to returning with J-man and seeing Meghan & Bryon again for Moab's Red Hot 55k, my first race of 2013!

Happy Trails,



  1. Thanks for such a fun day, Shelby! You have such a kind and positive spirit. After this training run, Red Hot Moab is in the bag. ;)

    1. Aww, you're sweet. I think that I may take Bryon's suggestion and dump some sand in your pack at the Red Hot so I can keep up with you, just in case... ;-)