Red Rock Relay runs through Park City | ParkRecord.com

Red Rock Relay runs through Park City

Members of the Red Rock Relay race crew stand behind one of the events banners before the 2014 race in Park City.

This time of year in Park City is beautiful. The fall foliage is in peak form, mixed with just a hint of snow that made its first appearance last weekend on the peaks of the mountains, providing some of the best scenery the area has to offer.

What better way to enjoy it than by running 65 miles through all of it? That's exactly what 100-plus teams of runners will be doing on Oct. 8 when the Red Rock Relay makes its way to Park City. After making stops in Moab and Zion earlier this year, the event comes north for a change of pace that is appealing to participants in the race.

"Scenery is obviously a little bit different, the elevation is a challenge," said Race Director Zack Collings. "I think the cooler temperatures is what’s most attractive about this one."

The Red Rock Relay is a 10-year-old, long-distance relay race — in its fifth year in Park City — where teams of six sign up to run 65 miles between them (or in the case of the two solo runners currently registered, you can run all 65 miles by yourself). The race begins in Midway, makes its way around the Jordanelle Reservoir, through Park City, over Guardsman Pass and finishes back in Midway. There are 11 exchange points for runners to relay duties onto the next runner on their team, with each leg varying in distance.

The race is similar to the Ragnar Relay, which covers roughly 200 miles spanning over two days. The advantage to running in Red Rock, though, is that it doesn't require you to run overnight or sleep in a van. Instead, you start the relay early in the morning and finish by the evening.

"The best part about the Park City race is that it's a one-day event," Collings said. "You get to go home and sleep in your own bed after having an awesome time."

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Like the Ragnar, though, vans will be accompanying each team in order to make sure each runner makes it to the designated exchange points. Throughout the "fun-run style" race, team members are still cheering one another on to complete the difficult course.

"It's non-competitive and yet we get some of the most amazing runners out there," Collings said. "I think the real advantage of the Red Rock Relay is the team camaraderie. The people, they have fun with their friends for a weekend."

Just like anyone would after completing a 65-mile relay race in one day, the finish line at the Homestead Resort will be a celebration for all of the runners, in which the Red Rock Relay crew will provide refreshments and music.

"There's always kind of a little party going on there with the runners' vans and volunteers. It's a good experience," Collings said. "The runners and their teams are always out [on the course] hollering and having fun, but the big celebration is at the finish line."

If you haven't signed up but are still interested in participating in the relay race, there's still time. Registration will be open until the day before the event, though Collings suggests you take care of that sooner rather than later.

Using a staggered start based off of projected pace times, some teams will begin the relay as early as 6 a.m. Visit http://redrockrelay.com/park-city/ for more information.

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