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Running The Grand Canyon - Rim to Rim to Rim!

by Dr. Jason Barker October 28, 2020

Running The Grand Canyon - Rim to Rim to Rim!

Well, we did a thing last weekend. 

We ran one of the crown jewels of ultra running, the rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon.  

It wasn't an organized race.  It was just a couple of friends doing something super fun (and challenging)!

And, the best part is that this thing just came together...kind of out of nowhere.

You see, my friend Joy is an Ironman triathlon competitor, and this being 2020, her two big races for the year were cancelled in late August.  Out of frustration, she reached out on social media (to all of her friends) asking "what else can I do now that my races are cancelled"? 

Someone mentioned "r2r2r" - short for the rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon. This immediately caught my eye, as I had a few buddies that did this last year, but I wasn't in proper shape to join them.  So, I was the first to (prematurely) shout out "I'll do it with you!" 

dr barker grand canyon run

This was in late August -  I had about 6 weeks to train 'for real'.  

Long story short, we found ourselves peering into the dark void of the canyon at 4am on October 16th getting ready to take this challenge on.

The rim to rim to rim involves running from the south rim of the Grand Canyon down 5,000 feet to the bottom of the canyon, running across the bottom of the canyon before running up to the north rim. Then, you turn around and run back through the canyon, then up and out of the canyon to the south rim.  

47 miles, 20,000 feet in elevation change (1 mile elevation decent into the canyon, 1 mile up to the north rim, 1 mile back down in elevation, then 1 mile back up out of the canyon.  

I made a fun video to detail our run - if you've got a few minutes to spare, come along as we run the canyon in all it's glory!

It was a successful run - we finished in about 20 hours - we were tired and spent, but healthy and better for the grueling experience of it all. 

The canyon is a truly magical place, and I already feel called to return and do it all over again - it was one of the greatest challenges I've done!

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker


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