Preview: Park City Mini Trail Series

By Rhielle Widders- race director
Trail running is one of the fastest growing divisions of the sport of running. People have discovered that getting out of traffic and into the open air is more relaxing, trails are being made more accessible to urban spaces, and trail running equipment is becoming highly diversified to meet the needs of every runner. Traditionally, trail races consist of a 13-20 mile run that takes you from a mountain valley toa mountain peak and back down. After getting out of shape one season, I wanted to do a trail race and couldn’t find anything that was short or easy enough for me to join in on the fun. So that is what this series is designed for, to provide a race series for beginners, out-of-shapers, speed-workers, and all other types of -ers that can be used to meet their needs.

The series is made up of three races, a 5k, 10k, and 15k. The races are spread out to last all summer helping you stay motivated to keep training. The races take place on the Round Valley Trails in Park City, UT. This trail system has a reputation for catering to beginning to moderate level trail runners and bikers. It is popular for a wide range of recreationalists, including cross-country skiing in the winter. Instead of a t-shirt, you receive a signature pint glass at registration (who needs another shirt?!). Do all three races, and you will receive a bonus fourth glass to round out a 4-glass set. Worried about water or where to go? There are aid stations manned with friendly volunteers about every 1.5miles and every trail intersection is marked to prevent anyone from getting lost.

The 5k starts you out on June 25th. The trail is pretty much all double-track (a wide trail that can fit a car or two sets of wheels on it) and is covered in gravel so there are no puddles in this early season. Don’t let the double-track deceive you, however. This race has plenty of up hill running in it. You should plan to make your way up about 500 feet of vertical gain during this race, but as you know,what goes up must come down.  The last full mile is all downhill.

The 10k, on July 9th, is a great way to step up the challenge level a bit but I always say that with challenge comes reward. Cammy’s Hill will take you to a scenic outlook of the entire Round Valley area. After passing the second aid station, you will descend down into the valley and get your first taste of single-track trail (wide enough only for one pair of wheels), and switchbacks. Adding distance and challenge is a great a great way to add to your trail running resume.

The final event, a 15k on August 13th, steps up the challenge level one more time. Last year, this race won title of  ‘favorite.’  A section of the race is a 1.5 mile uphill followed by a 1.5 mile downhill, all single-track. This 9.3 miles is nothing to bawk at, but if you are well-trained and have learned to enjoy a little uphill challenge, this race will prove to be very rewarding. Being the final race in the series, the finish line of this event has more of a party ambiance. Those athletes who completed all three races will be honored with extra swag. Post-event refreshments will be boosted a notch to provide more flavors and awards will be great.

Overall, you don’t want to miss out on this great trail series. Even if you can’t do all three, get yourself out to the trails for at least one of these great events! Your running legs will never be the same. Formore information and to register, visit www.R-U-Nevents.com

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