And a finish just under 16.5 hours!
Our first R2R2R, two years ago, was a test of survival. Upon finishing the thinking was “It can’t be this bad. We’ll have to do it again just to see.” And last year indeed we had a much better go of it.
And last year of course led to this year.
Two weeks ago John and I teamed up for our 3rd “annual” R2R2R joined by his brothers Peanut and Bean. We reprised the 3am start, and all finished before 7:30.
The weather was good, quite warm in fact, and while very pleasant at the rims was at the limit of comfortable at the river. I say good as one week earlier it was over 100, and the week before that it rained and snowed.
Our small group was well matched all reaching the north rim within 20 minutes of one another, and finished within 10 minutes. This made pacing easy as we moved steadily with 20 minute rest stops at Phantom Ranch, Cottonwood, the North Rim, the Pump House, Phantom Ranch, and then a couple of 5 minute stops at the Tonto Trail and Cedar Ridge on the hike out. Water was on at the Pump House so the only long “dry” stretch was to the North Rim and back.
I stuck to my food plan: 2 probars at start, and then along each 7 mile segment I ate ½ a probar plus a caffeinated gel at roughly 3.5 miles, and the other half plus a liter of G2 (carried powder) at each rest. And then one extra bar at the North Rim for good measure. John, Peanut, and Bean ate a mix of homemade burritos and bars. None of us fell prey to the temptation of the Phantom Ranch lemonade and the resulting sugared upset stomach. All this says is that there is more than one way to eat for an endurance hike.
In all it was a 2nd good experience. And this year leads to next year. Mark your calendars…last weekend of April.
Me, Bean, Peanut, John