Where and when is the Grand to Grand Ultra?

The race takes place in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, USA at the end of September each year.

Where do we meet?

Race check-in takes place in Kanab, Utah.

What is the cost of the Entry Fee?

Details of the entry fee and payment options can be found in the Race Entry Details on this site.

What is the format of the race?

The races will comprise 6 stages over 7 days, with overnight camps provided each night as the event travels north. The stages will vary in distance, ranging from approximately 8 miles (12 kms) to approximately 53 miles (85 kms). There will be cut-off times on each day, although these will be generous and will more than adequately accommodate athletes of various ability levels.

What does self-supported mean?

From the time you wake up on the morning of Stage 1 through to the morning of Stage 6 each participant will be responsible for carrying and utilizing all the equipment, clothing and food that are deemed necessary for the 7 day period to see you complete the event. That said, we will provide water at all checkpoints, hot water for breakfast and dinner at our overnight camps and we will provide the shelter (tents) at the camps as well. Other than that, runners are expected to know how to handle themselves without external support during the week. Don't worry if you haven't participated in this sort of event in the past; we will be available to answer all your questions and to provide information during the preparation time leading up to the race.

Do I need to know how to read a map, and a compass?

Compasses are required in the compulsory items list, and participants should know how to use them. However the Course will be well marked and the need to use a compass or other navigation device brought by the runner (i.e. GPS) would only be anticipated in rare emergency situations where a participant might have become disoriented. Competitors are provided with a Race Course Book which provides details of distances between checkpoints, elevation gains and losses, terrain, views, risks, interesting facts, stage maps and elevation profiles. They are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the information contained in the Race Course Book.

How much experience do I need of this type of race to compete?

Some sort of outdoor experience in sandy and rocky terrain is certainly a benefit, but not a must. Participants who have trained seriously and selected gear and supplies carefully will do well regardless of previous experience.

How fit do I need to be to take part in the event?

Anyone planning to participate in the event should be in good general health and should have trained to manage the rigors of this specific event (carrying a full pack, traversing long distances for several days in a row, effectively managing nutritional needs, etc.) Make use of the Grand to Grand Ultra Facebook Group page for specific questions and answers related to training, equipment and supplies.

What should I include in my pack?

A mandatory items list is included on the web site, including the required food to be carried (minimum of 2000 calories per day, with the balance for the remaining days always being based on this figure). Participants are free to choose whatever additional clothing, gear, equipment, emergency and/or medical supplies that they wish to use throughout the week. How participants decide on a final list is very individual and based on personal experience. This is the sort of matter that is discussed and debated frequently on the Grand to Grand Ultra Facebook Group page. We highly recommend you consult and contribute to the Group regularly in order to obtain the most comprehensive understanding of the options available. In general, pack weight at the start of the first Stage will typically range from 8kg to 12kg (17 to 26 lbs) depending on the size of the individual.

Will you store my main luggage?

You may store one large suitcase free of charge for the week at the event.  Your suitcase will be stored after you check out of your hotel on the morning of Saturday, 24th September and before you depart for Camp 1.  You will be given detailed instructions on arrival as to the storage location.  You will be reunited with your luggage when you return to Kanab from the finish line on Saturday 1st October.

What sort of food should I buy?

With weight being such a crucial factor for a self-supported event like this, de-hydrated meals and other light weight snacks will be the preferred selection.

Can friends and family come to watch?

The remoteness of the area does not lend itself to spectator access and no allowance has been made for that eventuality. However, the public will be able to witness part of the race during the Long Stage at one location, details of which can be provided upon request. A limited number of spots will be made available to friends and families who wish to attend the Finish Line. Please contact us in advance should you wish to do this in order to receive directions and information on restrictions. Non-competitors will not be allowed on the course or at camps and checkpoints. In the event that non-competitors try to get on to the course (including camps and checkpoints) they will be asked to leave immediately. A wide range of outdoor options in the area are available to friends and family members while the participants complete the event. Consult the website here for details.

Can I decide which stages I want to do?

No, all of the stages must be completed by the daily cut-off times, and in order. Anyone not finishing a stage will be disqualified and will no longer be allowed to participate.

Will I be running mostly on sand?

About half of the course will be on sand or a sandy track.

How dangerous is the event?

Running long distances in extreme environments is by its very nature a taxing activity and therefore a serious health concern. The physical and mental challenges associated with participating in the event should be taken seriously; proper training and preparation are essential for ensuring the safest and most successful outcome. 

Do you provide beds for us to sleep on in the tents?

No, participants are required to carry sleeping pads for use under their sleeping bags at night.

Should I be worried about snakes and creepy crawlies?

Snakes, scorpions and camel spiders do live in the environment our Course traverses. During the pre-race briefing, we will be addressing the best way to avoid encounters with potentially dangerous animals/plants, and the appropriate way to call for emergency aid in the event of an incident.

What happens if I am physically exhausted and cannot continue?

If a participant is incapacitated for any reason (exhaustion, injury, or other), they will be required to drop from the event and notify a Course official immediately. They will then be transported off the course by event staff or if, in the opinion of the Medical Director and Event Directors they are physically able, they may continue to volunteer for the remainder of the Event. Given the limited transportation available for moving staff and volunteers around the course, only a few competitors will be able to take up this option, at the discretion of the Event Directors. All those who DNF (did not finish) but remain on course either as unofficial racers or volunteers should be prepared to consume their own food.

Can I get my own room at the hotel in Kanab?

Double occupancy rooms are provided for each participant in Kanab as part of the entry fee on the Friday night before the race starts and on the night of the last stage/awards dinner.

What precautions have the Organizers taken to evacuate participants who are injured and need to reach a hospital?

Depending on the severity of an injury, the need to immobilize an injured participant, or the relative accessibility of an area where an injury might have taken place, the race officials have a range of options available for emergency response (4WD vehicle, ATV's, horses, helicopter).

What are the cut off times for each stage?

The cut off times will be 13 hours on Stage 1, 12 hours daily Stages 2-5, except for Stage 3 (Long Stage) which will be 34 hours and Stage 6 which will be 2-4 hours, depending on staggered start times. 

There will also be cutoff times for checkpoints.

What can I expect at each checkpoint?

Check points are provided mainly to distribute water rations and to confirm the progress and physical condition of the participants. Participants can also use the check points for a short rest stop or to access equipment or supplies from their packs. Timekeepers will also be recording your time and will punch your Race Passport.

Will the Organizers be taking any official photographs?

Yes, professional photographers will be part of the race support team and they will be taking plenty of shots throughout the stages and at the camps. Thousands of photos will be taken of individuals, groups, action and landscapes so you can rely on these exclusively and not have to worry about bringing a camera. These photos will be made available for the participants to purchase and you will be notified in due course of the packages available.

Should I take my own camera?

Yes, absolutely. We encourage you to take your own still shot camera and take photos of some of the world's most beautiful and varied terrain. Please note however that we do not allow video cameras on the Course. Any commercial use of such photographs is prohibited.

Can I use my mobile phone and will I get a signal?

No. The rules prohibit the use of mobile and satellite phones on the Course including at the campsites and checkpoints and cell coverage is in any case poor. Phones are banned so that all participants can enjoy the feeling of solitude and isolation. You should consider this an opportunity for a digital detox!

Is there a vegetarian option for the meals that are provided?

Yes, the meals included in the event will include vegetarian options.

I am travelling from outside the USA. Would you recommend that I fly into Las Vegas?

Yes, Las Vegas McCarran International Airport is the closest international airport to Kanab.

How do I get to Kanab?

Please refer to the website here for details.

I would like to volunteer. Do I need to have previous experience?

Previous experience in similar outdoor events is preferred. Please fill in our Volunteer Application form.

I would like to bring my spouse and family with me. Is there space at the hotels and is there anything for them to do while I am at the race?

There are a wide range of wonderful activities that friends and family members can take advantage of—the region is simply loaded with options. Check the website for details here. Hotel rooms can become scarce in Kanab closer to the G2G so we would highly recommend that friends and families book well in advance.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, provisions for pets can be made at selected hotels in Kanab. However, they will not be allowed on the Course.

Should I expect hot weather in September?

Average daytime temperatures for mid-late September are around 80°F (27°C), with typical overnight lows around 47°F (8°C). Please note that temperatures can drop dramatically in the high desert at night so be prepared for colder overnight lows.

Who can provide me with advice on the gear that I need to bring with me?

Check out the Training Corner page on the web site, and make use of the Grand to Grand Ultra Facebook Group page. In addition, specific questions can always be addressed by way of contacting the race officials via the Contact Us option on the web site.

Can you recommend a trainer to prepare me for the event?

Yes, approved personal trainers will be listed on the Training Corner page of the web site.

Shall I arrive earlier into Kanab to acclimatize?

Yes of course. In fact, we encourage this especially if you normally live at or near sea level.  The Grand to Grand events take place in the high desert at an average altitude of over 1,850m (6,070 ft) so most people will require at least 3 days to acclimatise to this altitude.

What arrangements have been made for myself and family if I want to arrive early or stay longer after the race?

We are pleased to advise that we have negotiated special promotional room rates that you will be able to take advantage of, if you would like to stay longer in Kanab, either before or after the event. Consult the website here for details.

Why do you have a list of mandatory equipment?

You will be attempting to complete a self-supported endurance event in extreme conditions.  The mandatory equipment list has therefore been developed to minimise the risk to you and give you the optimum opportunity to finish the race.  The organizers take the safety of the competitors seriously and therefore the mandatory equipment, recommended equipment and Rules and Regulations have been designed to mitigate any and all risks to competitors.

If I complete the Grand to Grand Ultra, am I entitled to any qualifying points for entering the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® ?

Yes! All finishers of G2G will receive the maximum 6 qualifying points (new scale) for Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®.