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Yaateeh runners! Welcome to MV Ultra weekend!
HISTORY OF THE NAVAJO PARKS RACE SERIES – The Monument Valley Ultra is a part of the Navajo Parks Race Series – nine races throughout the year in some of the most dramatic landscapes in Dine’ Bikeyah. Initiated in 2015, the Race Series is a joint effort of Navajo Parks & Recreation, the nonprofit NavajoYES, Office of Navajo President & Vice President. Other events are staged at Four Corners, Window Rock, Camp Asaayi, Little Colorado River Gorge, Rainbow Bridge/Navajo Mountain and Shiprock. Events include community runs, ultras, road races, relays, Kids Marathons, 10Ks and trail races. Native runners may use the coupon code ULTRA19 for 50% discount on the 50 Mile and 50K.
REGISTRATION – Online registration for the Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay is now open through March 1 or until the events are sold out. The caps for each race are: 70 for the 50-mile; 150 for the 50K and 250 for the half. Online registration is available at the NavajoYES website: www.navajoyes.org If there are still open slots, on-site registration will be held on Friday evening for all three races and Saturday morning for the half marathon only. The Native American runners should register for the "Native Runner" events for a reduced fee.
Your registration includes professional timing, race poster, on-course support (including bountiful food and drink, medical support and portajohns), performance shirt, overall and age- group awards, unique finisher’s award and post-race food. All proceeds benefit community health and wellness programs on the Navajo Nation.
LOCATION – Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located 23 miles northeast of Kayenta, Arizona and 20 miles south of Mexican Hat, Utah. The park straddles the Arizona/Utah border, and the races all start and finish in Arizona.
PACKET PICK-UP & PASTA DINNER – Packet pick-up will take place on the patio of the Monument Valley Visitor Center on Friday afternoon/evening from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. There will be last minute pick-up one hour before each race at the start line. The View Hotel is sponsoring a pasta dinner on Friday evening from 5:00-8:00 p.m. in The View Dining Room. Runners’ meals are included with registration; family members may purchase a meal for $10.00.
RACES – The 50-mile race is capped at 70 runners, while the 50K race is capped at 150 runners. Both of these races are challenging routes, with the majority of miles on singletrack trail, dirt roads and a few miles on the Valley Drive. The 50-mile starts at 7:00 a.m. (cut-off is 15 hours) and the 50K at 7:15 (cut-off is 12 hours). You may need a headlamp in the final miles of the race. The very scenic Half Marathon Trail Race course near Sentinel Mesa is capped at 250 runners and begins at 8:00 a.m. (Cut-off is 5 hours). The route is a very challenging singletrack track course for the majority of the route, with some sandy doubletrack at the end. There will be a fun run on the Wildcat Trail at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. There is no fee for this event and runners will receive a vintage MV Marathon t-shirt.
COURSE – The routes of all races are very scenic and challenging. Please study the course map and “MV Ultra Course Guide” to get a feel for the course. It is important that you know the routes prior to the race and develop your energy and hydration plan. There will be medical support throughout and music along the course to keep you motivated.
AID STATIONS – There are well-stocked aid stations throughout the course, providing hydration, medical support and a variety of nutrition. Stations will include an assortment of the following: Honey Stinger energy gels and chews, Tailwind Nutrition, salty snacks, fresh fruit and sweet snacks. The 50K and 50-miler will include stews, sandwiches, quesadillas, and other hearty fare. We will have major medical support at Three Sisters Aid Station and the Start/Finish area, along with first responders on the course at Mitchell Mesa, the Arches Loop, Valley Drive and Wildcat Trail.
TOILETS & TRASH – There will be portajohns spread throughout the course, including Three Sisters Aid Station, the Hub viewpoint, near Sand Springs and North Window. Please use common backcountry etiquette if using the restroom elsewhere: dig a cat-hole for the waste and pack out used toilet paper. There will be trash bags at each aid station for small items. This is a cup-less event so please plan to have a hand-held bottle or hydration pack for use throughout the day.
DROP BAGS – Drop bags are available for the 50K and 50Mile race, at the Three Sisters Aid Station. Drop bags must be left in the drop location near the start line before the start of the race. Please include your name and bib # on the drop bag. Drop bags will be returned to the finish line one hour after Three Sisters A.S. closes. You may also pick up your drop bag on Sunday morning on the MV Visitor Center patio.
PACERS & CREWS – Pacers are allowed on the final Rain God Mesa loop and the 3.5 mile finale to the finish line, which is essentially the race’s final eight miles. Crews may access their runners at Three Sisters Aid Station, which is the hub of the 50K and 50-mile race, throughout the day. Crews may also access their runners along the Valley Drive and at Stables Aid Station.
WEATHER – The average March high temp in MV is 60, with an average low of 37. The weather in the high desert is variable and early spring weather, wind and rain are possible, as are much more mild conditions.
LODGING – Our host hotel for race weekend is The Monument Valley View Hotel. You can reach them at 435-727-5555 for reservations in the hotel, cabins and campground. All are within a few minutes walk of the start/finish area. (They expect to sell out quickly). You can see more about The View at the website: http://monumentvalleyview.com/
If you are interested in more rustic camping or staying in a hogan, please contact Jamieson and Lorraine Black at Dineh Trailriders at (928) 209-2692. The Blacks campsite is at the Three Sisters Aid Station, which makes it an ideal base for family members. The Blacks also offer horseback rides and guided tours, for interested families.
Additional lodging and camping is available at Gouldings Lodge and Gouldings Campground, about five minutes from the start line. You can reach them at 435.727.3235; visit their website at www.gouldings.com.
Kayenta, Arizona (25 minutes) and Mexican Hat, Utah (20 minutes) also have additional lodging options.
AWARDS – There are unique finisher’s medals for all finishers, plus pottery awards by artist/runner Herbert Stash for the top finishers. There are overall pottery pieces for winner and runner-up, male and female, in each race, plus top two in age groups. The Monument Valley View Hotel is offering $1000 gift certificates for the overall male and female winners in each race, plus $100 awards for age-group winners. The certificates are redeemable in The View’s world-renown arts & crafts gift shops, and includes a wide array of quality Navajo rugs, jewelry and art.
The MV Marathon and the Navajo Parks Race Series are co-sponsored by the nonprofit organization NavajoYES, The View Hotel, Navajo Parks & Recreation and the Office of Navajo President & Vice President, with major support from Navajo United Way, Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC), Division of Natural Resources, the Navajo Rangers, Running Medicine and Navajo Nation EMS.
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