Greetings from Moab, Utah!
If you’re a runner Moab is the kind of place that makes you love it. If you aren’t, it could inspire you to start.
Yes, it really is as beautiful here as these pictures show.
I’m here with my sister, and today I ran the Canyonlands Half Marathon, and she ran the Canyonlands Five-miler.
We arrived yesterday after a six-hour-plus car ride from Denver. Our trip was breathtaking at times — passing through snow-dusted Vail Pass, for example, and into spectacular Utah — a place I’ve dubbed “God’s country” for its many, unique regions.
I confess: I feel that I’m blessed to live in the Rocky Mountains and near other gorgeous U.S. states that define the American West. The sweeping, opening vistas and powerful, dramatic changes from place to place make me want to pound my chest and croon out “God Bless America” like Ethel Merman.
Moab, for example, is Utah’s only city along the Colorado River, and the latter part of the half marathon course snaked along beside it.
Moab is also the gateway to two national parks — Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
Here’s some more fun facts. Moab got its name from two references: the Ute Indians called a green oasis in the area, “Mohapa,” meaning “mosquito water” and pioneer settlers named it Moab after the Biblical name for the land just short of the Promised Land. (The Bible has 137 verses that reference to Moab.)
Today’s course felt like part heaven, part Mars-mission landing, surrounded by the soaring red-rock walls of the canyons on both sides. We traversed rolling hills throughout, with a big hill at about mile 9.
The race was well-organized. Race officials bused runners to the start along Highway 128. There was water, Gatorade and Porta-Potties every two miles and Clif Bar gels at mile 6. It was perfect running weather — overcast the whole time, temperatures in about mid-40s at the start and in the 50s near the end. The course finished up at a city park in town.
Today’s run wasn’t a PR for me, but a solid effort and confidence-booster before Boston. It was one of the prettiest, most peaceful races I’ve done.
My sister enjoyed it, too. We are relishing a rare treat — sister/girlfriend bonding time with a brief respite from household chores, responsibilities and our children and husbands.
Tonight we’ll cap off the day with well-earned margaritas and Mexican food. Tomorrow we head home.
Also, she and I ran the race in the new “Boston or Botox” T-shirts, which arrived yesterday. I got pictures of myself finishing the race wearing one, but I don’t have the technology with me to upload them today.
Details of how you get a Boston or Botox T-shirt, too, and my race finish photos at Moab will be posted tomorrow (or soon thereafter) once I get back to Denver.
Another fun, high note today and shout-out: My friend Pam, who’s running the Boston Marathon, too, ran a 5-mile race in her town along the East Coast and won the women’s division overall! Woo-hoo and congrats Pam!
That’s the scoop from God’s country for now. Stay tuned.
Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!
Mileage today: 16; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1467.5; Miles left to go: 302.5.
Greetings from Moab, Utah!