White Rim in a Day (WRiaD) is not a new thing, but it has become more popular ever since the likes of Peter Stetina, Keegan Swenson, and Payson McElveen set it upon themselves to have a little showdown during the lack of races during COVID.
Ever since my failed attempt in 2020, I have been planning and centering my training around another attempt in 2021.
This time around an unfortunate soul decided to join me for whatever reason and we set out to do the White Rim in a Day on October 22, 2021.
On-gravel at 5:30, we set out down the 1000 feet of descent towards the Mineral Bottom switchbacks, hitting first light just as we reached the top.
Another few minutes and we hit the edge of Canyonlands just as there was enough light to ride without lights.
From there we were feeling really good and had covered a lot of miles. For now the pace was high, the stoke was burning, and the miles were flying by. Every mile was a slightly different perspective on an absolutely incredible landscape.
The watts came a little harder around mile 40 when we began ascending Murphy Hogback. Still feeling good, we pressed on with vigor, though never burning too many matches. We walked a fair number of the steep punches and worked hard to conserve ourselves for the rest of the day.
We hit the halfway mark and were rewarded with a rest, unworldly views, and a sense of awe and humility.
The trail stretched on and the legs started to feel the day. From now on, each mile was hard earned and the breaks were short. We were racing the clock to finish before dark as our pace slowly crept away from the 10-hour finish that we were absurdly targeting at the bottom of the switchbacks.
Scale expanded as we reached the stacked canyons around White Crack. Always humbling and inspiring.
The crux of the ride came at the end and in the form of 1600ft of ascent over 4 miles. Easily spun on fresh legs, we walked every bit of it over the 2 hours from sundown to darkness. We crested the top and sat at the edge to take in the pre-moon darkness and stars all around us, having largely finished the task of White Rim in a Day.
After that, it was a “simple” task of 10 miles of pavement back to van. No more would we struggle through sand and over rocks. Instead, we battled sleep demons and delirium, a testament to the body’s preference to, frankly, not put up with this bullshit.