Jupiter Peak Steeplechase returns on Saturday
The Jupiter Peak Steeplechase, a popular 16-mile trail-running race, will return to Park City on Aug. 3.
Beginning at 8 a.m., the race will start at the First Time parking lot at Park City Mountain Resort. Runners will then climb more than 3,000 feet to the top of Jupiter Peak before descending to the Silver Star Café.
Mountain Trails Foundation event director Ginger Ries said it’s a very challenging race for runners of all skill sets.
"It’s for the trail warrior," she said. "It’s not for the weak of heart by any means."
The event, which has been around for more than 20 years, is expected to draw about 300 runners.
"It’s a long-standing event in the community," Ries said. "It’s such a unique event. People really enjoy it and we get a lot of return athletes."
She added that it’s a great event to travel to for out-of-staters.
"I definitely think one reason it’s popular is that it’s great to have something so challenging to check off your bucket list."
The Steeplechase is the last stop on the La Sportiva Mountain Cup Series as well, a series of 10 races that began earlier this year.
"They started back in February," Ries said. "The champion will be crowned this weekend. The points are pretty close, so the result of this weekend’s race is going to determine the winner of that event."
In addition to being a part of the Mountain Cup Series, the Steeplechase is the first of three events in the Mountain Trails Foundation’s Triple Trail Challenge.
Along with the Park City Marathon on Aug. 17 and the Mid Mountain Marathon on Sept. 7, times from the Steeplechase will be added up to determine a winner for the challenge.
But, unlike the two marathons, Ries said the Steeplechase is a much quicker race.
"It’s not like you’re running a marathon," she said. "Last year the fastest time was 1 hour, 44 minutes."
There are three aid stations along the course, including two that get used both on the way up and on the way down. About 30 volunteers are used to staff the stations.
Ries said the Steeplechase and the other events organized by Mountain Trails all benefit the local trail system.
"All the proceeds from all the Mountain Trails events go back into the trail system," she said. "It’s a great way for participants and volunteers to give back."
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