With a past steeped in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Park City has no shortage of uber-athletic types with competitive spirits who are itching for a reason to get their race on in the heady months of summer. This Saturday July 30, as trail runners hit the hill for Mountain Trail Foundation’s first in the trifecta of heart-pumping Triple Trail Challenge races — the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase — here is a rundown of other warm weather races.
You haven’t truly arrived in the inner circle of hard core Park City trail runners until you’ve completed the top three summer trail races organized by the Mountain Trails Foundation (www.mountaintrails.org). Kicking off the Triple Trail Challenge this Saturday July 30 is the legendary Jupiter Peak Steeplechase, a 16-mile vertical loop from Park City Mountain to Jupiter Peak at 10,000 feet and back. Total elevation gain on this 21-year-old race tradition exceeds 3,000 vertical feet. Sure makes the $10,000 prize purse worth the sore calves!
The next race in the trio is the Mid-Mountain Marathon (mountaintrails.org/mid-mountain-marathon/) on August 16, a full 26-mile single track marathon that traverses Deer Valley, Park City Mountain and back down to Canyons Base. Known for its picturesque surroundings, the trail links runners up with the Mid-Mountain Trail on the crest line, and affords awe-inspiring views of the historic mining town from various perspectives.
The final race in the Triple Trail is the Park City Half Trail Marathon on September 17, which doubles as the conclusion of the 4-part Park City Trail Series (pctrailseries.com/) through Round Valley that ramped up from a 5K on June 11, to 10K on July 9, and 15K on August 13. The goal of the series is to introduce new runners to longer distance running.
Looking for a family-friendly run for your budding racer? Look no further than Newpark Miles (cooperwynnevents.com/newpark-miles/) hosted by congenial active mom poster girl, Whitney Kowzlowski, of Cooper Wynn Events and Beau Co. Held every Monday evening at Newpark during the summer (July 11 to Aug. 8), kids of all ages race one mile along the pretty paved path that skirts the Swaner Nature Preserve. Kids get their own race bibs and get a read on their speed with the live time clock.
In between all that pounding the packed dirt, adrenaline junkies will get a kick out of witnessing Stage Seven of the Tour of Utah (www.tourofutah.com) which blazes through Historic Park City on August 7. Riders approach from Heber on uphill switch backs and cross the finish line right on Historic Main Street.
Got a sense of humor and aren’t afraid to ride a bike with it? Then the 33-year-old party on bikes, the Tour de Suds (www.tourdessuds.athlete360.com) on September 18, is for you. This hilarious 7-mile bike race from City Park to the top of Guardsman Pass has 2,700 feet of heart-pounding elevation gain and a fun-factor twist – riders don silly costumes for the duration of the ride….. The crazier the outfit the better. Ride on!