Zion half marathon at night guaranteed to give you an uplifting runner’s high

Is running Zion half marathon at night on your bucket list? It should be. Zion, Utah was a last minute add on for me and Jenn. We had just completed Vacation Race’s Yellowstone half marathon that was epic, and we were so thrilled by our runner’s high we immediately sought out another Vacation Race. Zion half marathon was only three months away and we considered ourselves trained enough to sign up. However the only catch was, we had to run Zion half marathon at night. We had never run a half marathon at night before, so we added it as yet another challenge on our journey to run the states.

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Zion Half Marathon at Night- The Run

Vacation Race’s has been, by far, my favorite series of races. Extraordinarily organized, and very conscientious of the environment; Vacation race’s is also very attentive to social distancing in our current covid prominent world. So for the Zion half marathon at night, you choose a time slot from 7pm to 7am with a wave start every 30 minutes. This allowed smaller waves to maintain social distancing. You had the option to run with the sunset. Through the deepest dark of the night through the desert. Or as we chose, rising with the morning sun.

I had anticipated a very cold start, however the weather forecasted mid 50’s so we dared to run in shorts and a tank top. There was a breeze, but it felt genuinely amazing the whole run. After mile 6 we left the safer dirt trails for what felt like rock climb running through the night. Pink reflective flags helped guide us through the course. There’s something about running and jumping on rocks, with the stars sparkling above for 13.1 miles that gives such a runner’s high.

Jenn and I were actually surprised by how giddy we were. Extraordinarily appreciating the life and day god had given us. Again, we hadn’t even planned on this Zion half marathon at night until a few months before, so we felt beyond blessed. We finished with the sunrise, and although with some very tight calve muscles, we got our jumping high five finish as always.

Zion Half Marathon at night

Zion half marathon
Zion half marathon
Zion half marathon
Zion half marathon

Things to Do

Zion is a rock climber’s dream, with sandstone cliffs ever changing, mostly from flash floods. If you’re lucky you can spot a bighorn sheep, or catch a sunset over the blood red mountains. Zion landmarks can be experienced only by shuttle or walking quite a far distance. Although the shuttle’s stop every 4 minutes, it did take nearly an hour of walking to get to the ‘start line’ as parking was very impacted. (Even during off season).

Plan on a full couple of days exploring. The first day we were able to drive the upper canyon towards Bryce canyon and venture off a bit on our own. The second day we were limited by time in order to make our flights home, so we only got to experience one of the landmarks. If we could repeat our trip, I wish we had been a bit more prepared for sight-seeing, as we missed the opportunity to hike Angel’s Landing.

Emerald pools trail is absolutely stunning 3 mile hike that features a waterfall and leads to three tiers of natural ponds. One tip is Pack your lunch. Jenn and I inevitably got hungry after all our hiking and there is only one concession stand throughout Zion canyon. This tiny cafe took nearly 35 minutes to hand us an already pre-cooked slice of pizza due to the long line of others who forgot to pack their lunches also.

Zion Canyon

Zion half marathon
Zion half marathon
Zion half marathon
Zion half marathon
Zion half marathon

The Food

There aren’t many stops along Zion for food, so again, pack a lunch! But Balcony One was a gem along the way. The tranquil atmospheric ambience was such a relaxing end to our Very long day. You could tell a lot of thought went into the design of the restaurant, and we even had the opportunity to meet the hospitable owner.

Zion Half marathon at night was absolutely epic, and really encouraged our love for running each state. Another run by Vacation Race’s is the Grand Teton half marathon, be sure to check it out. Up next we have Hilton Head island half marathon, South Carolina.

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