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Coming on us fast is the May 24 Timp Trail marathon, a trail marathon much like an ultra marathon that is held on all mountain trails and fire roads.
Too tame? Then try the July 5 Moab Alpine to Slickrock race, which is a 50-miler that travels over three mountain passes for about 11,000 feet of elevation.
Closer to home is the Wahsatch Steeplechase scheduled for June 21 at Memory Grove. It’s a mere 17-miler, but the 8,000 feet in elevation gain, with 4,000 of that coming right at the start, will have racers panting before they hit the first ridge. After that, they’ll negotiate loose terrain guarded by rattlesnakes and tarantulas, what isn’t to love?
Virtually every major city in Utah seems to have a marathon these days, which are all well and good. Running for 26 miles straight shows not only a great deal of physical but mental strength.
But not everyone wants to blow snot for 26 miles, so we are going to highlight a few other races, such as the first annual "Heaven Can Wait," 5K sponsored by Leavitt’s Mortuary in Ogden on June 21. The idea is to raise awareness for organ transplant. We like the fact that with a 5K, there won’t be a need to cough up a lung.
Others that caught our eye are the Famous Fruit Way half marathon on Aug. 9 in Ogden, the Cedar Express 31 Mile Relay on Aug. 16 and Provo’s Midnight run on June 27, which starts at 10 p.m. Runners, glow sticks and Provo at midnight — how can you top that for fun?
Many people view triathlons as a true test of fitness, with big efforts required in swimming, running and biking. However, there are more and more beginner and intermediate events being offered, which we see as a great thing to introduce more people to the sport.
The Sept. 13 Bear Lake Brawl offers an Olympic distance tri with a swim of 1,500 meters, a bike of 24.9 miles and a 6.2-mile run. But there are plenty of fun races featuring shorter options before that hard-core effort.
The Sand Hollow Triathlon on May 31 in Hurricane offers an Olympic distance, but several shorter options as well, while Cottonwood Heights on May 31, the Daybreak tri on June 7 in South Jordan and the Tooele tri on June 28 all offer sprint distances.
So get out and give one a try (bad pun intended).
Off the beaten path
Any serious XTERRA athlete already has the National Championship, scheduled for Sept. 20-21 in Ogden, on the calendar. This race crowns the champion of the mountains at the pro and rec level by testing racers on the mountain bike, trail run and swim portions on a beautiful course based at Snowbasin resort.
But why wait until September to test yourself? There are several growing events that racers should know about and put on the calendar now.
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