by Anna Bernard
Utah is an awesome place to be a runner. Not only do you have the options of running on the road, the trails, or around beautiful parks, but there are races and running events all the time! Whether you’re looking for a little extra training motivation or something fun to mix up your routine and hang out with all those other people who “run for fun,” here are some events that you won’t want to miss. Grab a friend and sign up for something together so you’ll be able to share the experience.
Leprechaun Lope 10k, 5k, and 2 mile Fun Run
– Saturday, March 15, 8:30am
If you love the Irish, costumes, and/or the color green, this one is for you! The 25th Annual Leprechaun Lope features leprechauns hiding along the course and distances for everyone in the family. You’ll join other costumed runners starting at the capitol and ending in Memory Grove. If you really want something to remember, you can form a “centipede” with some of your closest friends (if you’re not close already, you will be by the end of this). Centipedes are teams of 4 linked together by a costume or ribbon and run and finish as a team. Register here for a fun event for the whole family!
Riverton Half Marathon and 5k
– Saturday, March 22, 9:00am
I love great deals, and this half marathon is one of them! If you register now, it’s $50 for the race, goody bag, technical shirt, and finisher’s medal! Who doesn’t need some more bling to add to their collection?
The Riverton Half Marathon runs partly on the Jordan River Parkway, so you’re not running next to traffic all the time and you’ll have some scenery to keep your mind occupied if you get bored seeing the same sidewalk for mile after mile. There are aid stations along the way and also the option to run a 5k if you’re not quite ready for the half yet. Register by March 21! Visit Riverton Half Marathon for details.
Run for your Life! 5k and 1 mile Fun Run
– Saturday, April 12, 9:00am
Love supporting good causes? Enjoy showing off your dance moves, or lack thereof, in Zumba?
Want a free health screening? Check out the Run for your Life! Diabetes 5k, 1 mile run, and Health Fair sponsored by Roseman University and the University of Utah Colleges of Pharmacy to promote diabetes awareness and raise money for local and international outreach.
This event features a pre-run Zumba warm-up and the opportunity to get your cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose screened at the health fair following the run in Sugarhouse Park. Bonus: face painting and other activities for the kiddos! Register and learn more at http://www.runforyourlife5kdiabetes.com/
Ragnar Trail Relay Zion
– Friday-Saturday, April 25-26
For more of a challenge and a fun team atmosphere that includes trail runs with amazing scenery, the Ragnar Relay in Zion is for you.
Teams of 4-8 runners take turns running throughout the day and night, each member completing 3-6 laps of the relay, which takes you through Dixie National Forest, Cedar Breaks, and Zion National Park. The laps are 3.5, 4.0, and 7.5 miles through forests, meadows, and of course canyons.
When not running, enjoy s’mores, hot chocolate, coffee, and a bonfire with fellow participants in the Ragnar Village, where each leg starts and ends. Get training tips and registration information on their website.
Utah Valley Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, and 1 mile Fun Run
– Saturday, June 14, 6:00am
Runner’s World named this marathon in its Top 10, so it’s got to be good, right? Right.
Not only is this a fast course and a Boston qualifier (you get a special t-shirt if you qualify at this race!), but you get to see everything from waterfalls to mountains to historic downtown Provo, where you’ll have plenty of fans to cheer you on to the finish.
The half marathon features music throughout the run and each distance (except the 1 mile) has aid stations and restrooms along the way.
Marathon and half marathon finishers receive medals and marathoners also get a gift certificate from Sierra West Jewelers! To learn about the charities they support with the proceeds and how to register, click here.