Running R2R2R was by far one of the most incredible things I’ve ever had the privilege of doing. 
I was 11 months old the first time my parents took me to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and it has held a special place in my heart since then. Running it just added to my love for the place. 
The original plan of having my best girlfriends join me slowly feel apart in the months leading up to the run, and in the end I ran it solo. This turned out to be quite amazing and good for the soul. 
When the alarm went off at 3:30am, I was already awake and reeling with excitement. My dad was up early with me to make coffee and get me to the south Kaibab trailhead. 
I set out on the trail at 5am for an unforgettable day of running bliss. I passed a few larger groups of runners as the sun was coming up. Some had run the canyon before, others were first timers, like myself.
The first seven miles are downhill, and I had so much adrenaline going that the time passed very quickly. I got to the river just before 7am and it was the most beautiful emerald color I have ever seen!
As I began weaving through the canyon bottom
and up the North Kaibab trail, I felt truly blessed that my legs would carry me on this adventure and that I was able to experience such a magical place. 
To be honest, I’m not sure where my relative speed came from that day, but I just happened to have a good day.
The last four miles of the north rim are quite steep, and I was surprised to reach the top just before 11am. I refueled at the almost halfway point, and again talked with a few of the other runners out there for the day. 
Then came the fun part: 14 miles of glorious downhill to return to Phantom Ranch before the final climb back to the top of the south rim. The views were stunning, the weather was perfect and I felt great. When I got to Phantom Ranch, I seriously would have paid $20 for a Coca Cola, but since they didn’t have any, I settled for a lemonade and finished the other half of my PB&J with bacon.
Then, as I headed up the Bright Angel Trail, I ran a few miles along the Colorado river again, admiring its beauty and stunning color. There were multiple steam crossings which I took full advantage of by getting my feet wet and splashing water on my face. 
Don't get me wrong, this was one of the harder things I’ve done, but I genuinely enjoyed it and felt better than I have in quite some time. 
My parents and some friends had hiked down the Bright Angel and were waiting for me with a mile and a half to go. I was pretty high on endorphins at that point and so happy to see them! They have always been my biggest supporters and it was so great to have them there. 
The sense of accomplishment when I reached the top of the south rim a little before 5pm is hard to describe. I was so happy, so tired and in awe!
The Grand Canyon is a beautiful place and I would go back to do this run again anytime. Maybe it would go as well, maybe not, but, either way getting to experience such a place and so many miles on foot is pretty special. 

Lots of love and gratitude, 


Copyright © 2016 *Urban Fyt*, Maya Ramsay, All rights reserved.
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Urban Fit · City of Albuquerque · Albuquerque, NM 87106 · USA

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