Wasatch relay back on track to Park City | ParkRecord.com

Wasatch relay back on track to Park City

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

In a about a week, the Summit County running faithful will hit the backroads once again. In a just a few short years, what began as a tribute to the famous Bay to Breakers relay race in San Francisco, Calif., the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back Race presented by Nordic Track has become one of the top events on many runner’s schedules.

The 178-mile, 12-teammate, 24-hour race from Logan to Park City is enticing to participants for many reasons. Runners of all ages and talent levels can come together on one team and take their turn in the relay at their own pace. It also offers a breathtaking look at the miles and miles of the backside of Utah’s Wasatch mountain range full of both rugged terrain and smooth roads.

In fact for most, the race is not about winning, it’s about building friendships as teammates take turns running through the night.

"The relay is more about getting outdoors with your friends than winning some prize," said James Tucker, a past participant. "I find myself wanting to do this race every year for that reason."

The course takes teams past seven lakes and two mountain passes. Teammates may take turns running stretches of anywhere between three to eight miles and each turn offers different levels of difficulty depending on the given terrain when they step out of their team’s mode of transportation. Each member runs a total of three stretches within the 24 hours.

Each team is allowed two support vehicles, which are filled with snacks, water and sleeping bags and follows each team on their trek.

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The race also provides a large dose of fun along the way. The race starts June 22 in Logan at Merlin Olsen Park at 7:30 a.m. with live music and continues at Snowbasin Ski Resort with more music from 2 p.m. to midnight, but the highlight is the big finish in Park City, where finishers are treated to music, food, vendors and a welcoming crew of fans lining lower main Main Street. To keeps things entertaining in between, teams are encouraged to wear costumes or create team themes. Teams that arrive between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on June 23 will also be part of an awards ceremony. Prizes provided by Nordic Track will be presented to the overall winners. Event organizer Tanner Bell said that he hopes to see all of Park city come out and enjoy the finish line party on lower Main Street on Saturday.

"We’d really like to get Park City residents to come out and party with us," said Bell.

Ragnar Relay was started by Salt Lakers Bell and Dan Hill and has since expanded to races all over the country. It now includes Ragnar Relay Del Sol in Arizona, the Ragnar Relay Great River in Minnesota and the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage in Washington State and currently stands as the largest relay series in the nation.

For more information on Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back, visit http://www.ragnarrelay.com