Join Canyon De Chelly Ultra
Beyond the Painted Desert, much of the far northeast of Arizona is barren and not particularly scenic, as the land forms wide, empty valleys interspersed by low, scrub-covered mesas. Three of these, named the First, Second and Third, lie at the center of Hopi Indian territory but most of the northeast is Navajo land, including Chinle which is the largest town in the area and the gateway to Canyon de Chelly National Monument. This comparatively little-known canyon is not as immediately spectacular as others in Arizona or Utah but it does have sheer sandstone walls rising up to 1,000 feet, several scenic overlooks and many well-preserved Anasazi ruins, and the area provides a fascinating insight into the present day life of the Navajo, who still inhabit and cultivate the valley floor.
The Canyon de Chelly 55K is the only Navajo owned and operated ultra-marathon on Navajo land. The race will take place entirely in Canyon de Chelly, one of the most significant spiritual locations to the Navajo people. It will start by signal from the birth of a new day, the rise of the sun over the canyon rim. Runners will experience the traditional values of Navajo distance running by running as a celebration of life, running as a form of prayer and learning to use the sport as a mentor to better ourselves, on canyon and trails that are normally off limits to all non-Navajos.
The race’s purpose is to support Navajo youths who want to pursue running. With the proceeds from the race, Saun Martin, race director, has purchased new uniforms for the junior high and high school cross-country and track athletes.
The race starts at the entrance to the canyon and runs 17 miles up Canyon De Chelly, passing ancient ruins, petroglyphs and pictographs to Spider Rock. We then run up Bat Canyon trail, which climbs 1,200 feet from the canyon floor to the Spider Rock overlook turnaround point. From there we turn around and head back home. On the return trip, you will see many views you passed on the way up but may have not noticed. The canyon takes on an entirely new perspective on the return. Although not much vertical gain, the canyon offers sand, single track, creek crossings and many more obstacles to add to your journey. The first and last 2.5 miles will be in sand and has the same effect as big vertical climbs.
directions_runStart Address: Canyon De Chelly,us
flagFinish Address: Canyon De Chelly,us
Lodging available at: Holiday Inn Canyon De Chelly, Sacred Canyon Lodge,Best Western. Camping is also available at the Cottonwood Campground for $10 a night.
After Race Services
Awards ceremony at Finish Line. Navajo foods will be available to all runners post race.
Aid stations will be every 5-7 miles. White House aid station at mile 5 and 26, Sliding House aid station at mile 10 and 21 and Spider Rock Overlook aid station at mile 17. All aid stations will be stocked with normal aid station foods/gels/water/drinks. No cups will be provided, please use a handheld or pack.
The top ten individuals will have a choice in order of finish of a hand made Traditional Navajo Turquoise Necklace, a hand made Bow Guard (men) or Turquoise Bracelet (women) and an embroidered Pendleton Blanket and other traditional Navajo items. All finishers will receive a hand made turquoise necklace.
Drop bags will be at Spider Rock Overlook aid station.
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The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.