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Originally published Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 03:33p.m.

In the beginning of October, Magdalena Romanska, owner of the Be Fit Fit Training Studio in VOC and Realtor® at the Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International in Sedona, participated in the three-day Grand Circle Trailfest. The event’s headquarters were in Kanab, where the organizers build a “tent city” to host the runners. Festivities, expo, night time movies, s’mores, and massages were all located right there to the delight of the relatively spoiled athletes.

The course proved very muddy and rainy, which contributed to a collective frozen state, especially at night, some major but benign spills, sliding down the hills rather than running down, and shoes getting stuck in the mud as the runners progressed till the finish lines. Day 3 also saw some major alterations of the course, unfortunately sparing the runners the experience of running through the slot canyons, which were deemed unsafely flooded.

Day 1 was Magdalena’s bellowed Bryce Canyon, with stupendous views thanks to the rain and clouds. Day 2 featured Zion and Magdalena had to skip it in order to write an offer and counteroffers for her real estate business. Day 3 was the Horseshoe/Grand Canyon and, weather-wise, was the easiest of them all on the athletes. However, if you want to know what it takes to run far in the sands of Sahara and on the slide rocks, run that course!

The race featured competitors from 45 states, Canada, Australia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Great Britain, St. Kittis and Nevis, Sweden and Switzerland.

73% of the runners, including Magdalena, signed up for all three races of the event. There were 350 male and 681 female runners registered for the event. Magdalena placed in the top 34 percentile for both female and male runners (overall) for Bryce, and she placed 272nd out of almost 800 male and female runners for the Grand Canyon run.

After a day on the trails, the organizers provided for activity-filled evenings, including yoga classes, daily awards ceremonies, music bands, preview meetings of the day ahead, s’mores round the fire pits, running-related movie festival, massages, abundance of food, and speeches from top-notch trail runners.

The Trail Circle Race Series, which organized the event, are well-known for the cup-free, zero-waste race setting, making it clear that running without affecting the environment is possible. Each race separates waste into “Compostables”, “Recyclables” and “Everything Else” buns. The goal is to send, actually, less than ONE bag of actual trash to the landfill (with hundreds and, oftentimes, thousands of participants).

They are the organizers of multiple ultramarathon trail races in and around the most spectacular areas of the South-West, such as Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, as well as the Redwoods in California, and more.

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