One hundred twenty one people, ages 22 to 68, from 24 countries, signed up for the 2013 Grand to Grand Ultra (G2G). Of the 113 who initially started, 98 made it through the long Stage 3 (nearly 53 miles) and went on to complete the 167-mile race.

Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito of Spain won the ultra marathon in a total time of 31 hours 9 minutes and 25 seconds. Katia Figini of Italy was the first female across the finish line in a total time of 37 hours 26 minutes and 33 seconds.

G2G has been good for our area. Willow Canyon saw a big increase in their business, as competitors stopped in to buy last minute supplies. Glazier’s Market supplied much of the food and other needs of the event, while the Chuckwagon Cookout served up 200 dinners on the Friday before the start for competitors and volunteers.

Mel Heaton and his team served up 1,500 meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) for the volunteers and workers, beginning their day at 4 a.m. each morning and lucky to get to bed by 10 p.m. They set up and moved their cooking camp every day, for six days straight.

Fotoworx provided printing and photography services. G2G trophies and souvenirs for all participants were made by Nature’s Showcase, featuring Kanab Wonderstone. Holiday Inn Express was the headquarters for the G2G lodging, while the Victorian Inn took the overflow.

Many competitors and volunteers came early to get acclimated, frequenting many of our local businesses – restaurants, stores, gas stations. And the list goes on and on.

Events like G2G help to stimulate our economy and give us an opportunity to make a difference. By word of mouth from the world’s most elite ultra-marathoners, and global media coverage from National Geographic to athletic magazines, a pervasive message is: The scenery is fantastic. Kanab is a wonderful place. The people are so nice and so helpful.

One participant echoed, “I am so thankful for the town of Kanab. People who run in this type of event are not right-in-the-mind people. We pay to be taken to the limit. Yet here are all the volunteers and staff, ringing cowbells, giving us hugs at the finish line, calling us by name. It all matters. It matters a lot. I’m treated as a person, not as a number.”