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Letter: The ultramarathon runners caught in winter conditions are thankfully OK, but the forecast warned of what to expect

(Courtesy Stephanie Coleman) Runners Stephanie Coleman, left, and Katie Wilkins pose for a photo in the snow at the top of Francis Peak during an ultramarathon on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.

I was disheartened to hear about the DC Peaks 50 ultramarathon where dozens of runners were caught in hazardous winter conditions. My heartfelt thanks go out to search and rescue and first responders for getting all participants off the mountain safely.

However, I was shocked to hear race officials state, “It was raining at the starting line, and it had forecasted rain,” and, “Nobody had forecasted over a foot of snow at Francis Peak. Nobody.””

The forecast for winter conditions in the Wasatch Mountains on Saturday was made many days in advance and the Hazardous Weather Outlook from the National Weather Service issued Friday stated “Colder air spreading into the area early Saturday will lower the snow level to around 7500 feet across northern Utah, allowing for accumulating snowfall across the higher elevations.”

I am grateful the outcome of this event was no worse, but this weather event was well forecast by our local meteorologists and I thank them for their ongoing work.

Maura Hahnenberger, Sandy

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