Reading through everyone's posts, going West -> East sounds like the best decision for all involved, whether that be runner, potential crew or support member of some kind (ie. family or friend), shuttle service, etc. It just makes sense. I haven't seen a speck of Zion, so the entire experience will be eye opening no matter which direction we decide to go.
Having the "bailout" option at mile ~35 if anyone of us can't safely make the full traverse is a nice Plan B and adds an additional safety net in the event the day turns for the worse. That said, running/hiking 47 miles is supposed to hurt and stretch us thin, so I'm really hoping I'll have the mental resolve to abstain from prematurely cutting the run short for the tempting warmth and comfort of a convenient shuttle up to camp!
Sweet! I would love to see both of you guys out there. My friend Dan Carter, you may remember him from the R2R2R, is planning on either running the race if he's healthy by then or being out there to hang out and possibly crew if needed. Another friend of mine from ABQ is also planning to run the race. The timing of the Black Canyon 100K is ideally situated for our run at Zion in April. If all goes well (*ahem....knock knock), I plan to recover for a solid two weeks after the 100K, then slowly resume maintaing base fitness through all of March for Zion. BIG assumptions on my part, come April I may be eating crow, but that's the extent of my training plan at this point.