Break out your cross-country skis, tune up your bikes and dust off your running shoes Mountain Trails Foundation has released its 2014 race schedule.
Beginning with the Round Valley Roundup, featuring 5-, 20- or 40-kilometer cross-country ski races, Mountain Trails is bringing back all of its popular races for the 2014 calendar year.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, cross-country skiers of all ages and abilities can take to the Round Valley trail system for the Round Valley Roundup.
On Saturday, Aug. 2, the Triple Trail Challenge begins with the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase, a grueling 16-mile uphill running loop.
Two weeks later, on Saturday, Aug. 16, the Park City Marathon and Half-Marathon return to the Newpark Town Center. This race fills up quickly, so consider signing up before the first registration deadline on April 30.
Saturday, Sept. 13, will feature the conclusion of the Triple Trail Challenge when the Mid-Mountain Marathon returns for another year.
The next weekend, on Sept. 21, it'll be time to switch gears with the Tour des Suds bicycle race.
Mountain Trails executive director Charlie Sturgis said the races serve an important purpose, raising about 20 percent of the funds the organization needs to cover its costs every year.
And, he adds, Mountain Trails enjoys giving the people of Park City a way to stay active and challenge themselves.
"I think people, if nothing else, like to give themselves a little lifestyle test," he said. "It gives you a goal. Races keep us motivated to get out there and ski or run. You don't have to be hardcore, though you can just get out there and have fun."
As far as the Roundup goes, Sturgis said it's a great way for skiers of any level to meet other skiers with similar skill sets.
"It's a community event," he said. "It's the longest cross-country race in Utah right now. And this race is actually one where you can wake up in the morning, go to the race and go home that night."
Though fewer people have registered for the Roundup this year, Sturgis is hoping recent snowfall convinces more racers to sign up. Race day registration will be available on Feb. 15, for an additional $10 fee. After all, he added, it's a great way to get out and experience the superb trail system the area has to offer.
"Round Valley is a particularly cool community amenity, a jewel," he said. "To have that in your backyard to ski, hike, snowshoe or walk is unbelievable. We want to showcase that to visitors and members of the community."
To register for the Round Valley Roundup or any of the other Mountain Trails Foundation events, go to mountaintrials.org/events. Some events fill up quickly, so be sure to register early.
Mountain Trails Race Schedule
Feb. 15 Round Valley Roundup
Aug. 2 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase
Aug. 16 Park City Marathon and Half-Marathon
Sept. 13 Mid-Mountain Marathon
Sept. 21 Tour des Suds