I am in Arizona this week where I took a day trip to the Grand Canyon. When I stood on the South Rim, I considered not only the breath-taking beauty of this National Park, but also what it would be like to be a “Double Crosser.”
Double Crossers are runners who leave from the South Rim (at over 7,000 feet), proceed down into the canyon, cross the Colorado River, and then ascend the North Rim (over 8,000 feet). Afterwards, they simply turn around and retrace their steps, all in the same day. Depending on the chosen route, the rim-to-rim-to-rim adventure can cover anywhere from 42 to more than 50 miles.
Not surprisingly, the “Double Crossing” isn’t sanctioned by the National Park Service. Author and Olympian Don Kardong, however, told me that running across the Grand Canyon is something every runner should attempt at least once in their life. Though he has done it himself, the “Double Crossing” part is not something he recommends. “Once across is plenty,” he says. “It’s difficult, logistically challenging . . . but unforgettable.”
Well then, maybe on my next trip!