The wild horses are gorgeous, the finish line food is delicious, and the desert has its own beauty.
The Pony Express 50 is a 50-mile trail race along the Pony Express National Historic Trail. The race began at Lookout Campground (near Faust, Utah) with a stagger start each hour from 5am to 7am. After I registered, I received my start time via email—7am. I picked up my race bib and swag on the morning of the race.
My crew and me.
Because the Pony Express 50 is a very remote race without aid stations, runners are required to have a crew (or share a crew with another runner) for water, food, and basic needs. My crew was my family: my desert-loving and dirt road-loving husband, Ryan, and our beloved, 7-year-old pup, Rowdy. My husband and I loved the family aspect of the race.
MY RACE EXPERIENCE
My friend, Andrea Christensen, gave me a pep talk the night before. During the whole race, I sported my Salomon Advanced Skin Backpack (12 set). Miles 1-10 were dark and easy, full of friendly chatter with other runners. Miles 11-40 were scenic.
The first checkpoint was at Simpson Springs Corral—a more rocky, technical trail slightly off of the Pony Express. But we were back on the Pony Express trail quickly where I ate a bunch of PB&Js, drank plenty of Nuun electrolete drink, saw wild horses and a coyote, took pictures, and trail danced with Ryan. Thank you to the people that pointed out the wild horses! What an awesome sight! Miles 41-50.1 were more focused but full of more mountain and desert views. Ok, let’s get this done!
When I passed the finish line the first time, another checkpoint, I kept running to complete the short out and back to finish the 50-mile distance before the official finish line. The dirt road from the turnaround to the finish was super soft like sand. I remember smelling and hearing the finish line food preppers. The finish line chute was being built as I ran through.
I ran a bit past the finish line since it’s the farthest my Garmin GPS watch had been. Davy, the race director, was standing at the finish line with the 50-miler medallion and the stallion trophy. It was a notable moment with my Ryan holding Rowdy while taking pictures and cheering!
Then I thoroughly enjoyed the chimichurri sauce, cheese, and chicken with all the sides were delicious. This race seriously had the best race finish line food I (and my crew) have ever eaten.
Shout out to Ryan, insta—@lostoutdooradventures, for those race photos as well as myself insta—@4season2run for photos.
About the Author:
Holly Geilman is a frequent Outdoor Adventurer who enjoys road and trail races. I use running and adventuring as a way to manage stress; asphalt/trail/mountain therapy is the best therapy. Boston 2018, 3:29:30; Pony Express 50 2018, 8:06:59 & First Overall Finisher. Follow Holly at on Instagram @4season2run .