The fourth edition of the Grand to Grand Ultra will take place in just a few days from September 20-26, 2015. G2G 2015 is a 170-mile footrace, which starts at a remote location on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and ends on the summit of the Grand Staircase. The race is unique in America as it is entirely self-supported. This means competitors have to carry all of their food, sleeping bag and other essential supplies for the week-long event, which takes place over six stages. Organizers provide water at checkpoints and a tent at a roving camp each night in the desert.

This year, it is expected there will be 131 competitors taking part from 27 countries, including two locals from Kanab. This is an increase from the number of entries in 2014.

Colin and Tess Geddes, the founders and co-directors of the event, continue to passionately organize and improve the race. One major change this year is the addition of a second ultra stage race on the same course at the same time.

“This was in response to enquiries from runners over the last three years who felt that the Grand to Grand Ultra was a little too demanding. The new race is called the Grand to Grand Challenge and is a total of 108 miles compared to the 170 miles of the Grand to Grand Ultra,” said Colin.

This race is considered to be one of the toughest footraces on the planet and attracts some of the premier endurance athletes from around the world.

This year, the Grand to Grand Ultra has attracted Mohamad Ahansal from Morocco, five-time men’s champion of the famous 156-mile Marathon des Sables, as well as Laurence Klein from France, three-time women’s champion of the same race, which takes place in the Sahara Desert.

The winner of Grand to Grand Ultra 2014, Michelle (Micky) Graglia, is also returning this year, but in the capacity of volunteer. He will be helping to mark the course as part of the course team.

Spectators will be able to see the competitors at race check-in on Friday, September 18, and again at approximately the halfway point of the G2G Ultra as they pass through Angel Canyon at Best Friends on Tuesday, September 22.

You can read about the competitors on the G2G Ultra website to get a sense of the amazing world-class athletes who are participating. And stay tuned for some feature stories next week – romance may be in the air.