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Running: What is the Moab 240?

Julie Moulton encountered all types of terrain in the 5-day Utah Moab 240, a gigantic loop through desert canyons and snow-covered mountain ranges. (Photo by Scott Rokis)

The Moab is a 238.3-mile footrace for ultra-trail runners that begins and ends in Moab, Utah, traversing some of Utah's most stunning and challenging terrain.

It is classified as a non-repetitive race meaning that it is one huge single loop, never covering the same route or terrain. Racers face desert trails, slick rock, canyons and mountain ranges.

The race route runs southwest from Moab following the Colorado River through the Canyonlands National Park, south to the Abajo Mountains, then north to the La Sal Mountains, finishing back in Moab. During the course of the race, runners will climb and descend 29,467 feet of elevation. Heat in the canyons and high altitude cold conditions in the mountains are a challenge to participants.

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Moab 240 facts:

Race dates: Oct. 12-16, 2018

Race course: 238.3 mile non-repetitive single loop

Registered racers: 153 (113 men, 40 women)

Finishers: 111 (84 men, 27 women)

Men's winner: Piotr Hercog, 42, Poland, 60:14:47

Women's winner: Jessica Pekari, 33, El Paso, TX 77:26:01 (9th overall)

More information on Moab 240 and Triple Crown of 200s can be found at www.grandslam200.com/home.html

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Registration is limited to 250 participants (153 registered for 2018) and runners have a cutoff deadline of 112 hours—that's nearly five days of running.

It is an entirely non-stop race without stages or relays. There are 14 aid stations, 8-20 miles apart, with food, water and medical assistance. A number of the stations have full sleep setups (tents), but racers have a time limit of six hours for sleeping.

The first Moab 240 was held in 2017 and was dedicated to Stephen Jones, an avid runner of 200s, who planned the course before dying while skiing in 2016. It is held in October and is the third, final and longest race of the Triple Crown of 200s which begins with the Bigfoot 200 in Washington in mid-August followed by the Tahoe 200 in California and Nevada in September.

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