1982 CHM Winner Ron Palcic
The first Canyonlands Half Marathon was run on May 1, 1976. All of 22 runners (including one dog) crossed the finish line at Lion’s Park at the intersection of Highways 191 and 128. The next year a Five Mile Run was added; it had 7 finishers. The race grew steadily over the next decade and a half. In 1983 when the Rim Rock Roadrunners took over from the Chamber of Commerce, there were 631 finishers in both events. That same year the RRR instituted the Winter Sun 10K. The 1990s saw the discovery of Moab as a tourism destination and participation really took off. By the time current race director Ranna Bieschke was appointed in 2002, over 3200 people were crossing the finish line. She and course director Sheri Simmons added The Other Half to the race roster in 2004, then founded Moab Half Marathon, Inc. in 2006. In 2012 they introduced the all women's Thelma & Louise Half Marathon. Today the organization employs 11 event staff and coordinates with dozens of local organizations and hundreds of volunteers to present the Canyonlands Half Marathon, Thelma & Louise Half Marathon, The Other Half and the Winter Sun 10K.
In addition to striving for logistical perfection (an admittedly elusive goal), Moab Half Marathon, Inc. seeks to give back to the community and landscape that makes our events possible. We donate proceeds from the races to charities and non-profits, contribute to a scholarship fund for local graduating seniors and sponsor road cleanups for the two half marathons. We work to reduce the environmental impact of our races through various green initiatives, too. Additionally, our staff are involved in numerous community organizations, including Girls on the Run and the Grand County Cross Country Team.