Stage 1 was a fairly flat run that started a stone's throw from the rim of the canyon. There were not one, but two remote-controlled video camera helicopters buzzing around the starting line as the racers took off. From there they followed mostly double-track 4x4 tracks along the canyon to CP1 before turning north and heading away from the canyon. The last two sections proved to be the hardest here, as they were off-trail and simply following the markers across the desert. Some sections were quite rocky, and the cactus density increased as they moved further along the course. Many racers had painful run-ins with the prickly buggers, and the consensus seems to be that cacti suck.
The weather could not have been better for running in the desert: cool and overcast. There was the occasional short, refreshing rain shower to boot.
In a nutshell, a Spaniard (Salvador) and an Italian (Stefano) ran and finished together with a sizable lead over the rest of the racers. The women's tope 3 - and 7th-9th overall - are only separated by a total of 8 minutes. If you are looking for complete results, go and check the daily leaderboard on the event website, grand2grand.com. Daily summaries are also posted on the site here.
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