Park City Trail Series a casual intro to the sport |

Park City Trail Series a casual intro to the sport

Caleb Case, The Park Record

Trail running, that is running on mountain trails instead of roads or tracks, can be more difficult due to the uneven surfaces, protruding rocks and roots and the uncertain conditions but don’t be intimidated. The local trail running season kicks off this year with the annual Park City Trail Series consisting of four runs, each increasing in length and intensity and culminating in a half-marathon in September. Hosted by Salt Lake Running Company, the series offers a user-friendly option for those new to trail running.

"It’s geared more toward new trail runners," says Salt Lake Running Co. employee Steve Rath. "People can bring their dogs and kids and just have a good time." The first event is a five-kilometer run through Round Valley on a course primarily consisting of graded-dirt roads. The June 13 run starts at the Round Valley trailhead in Quinn’s Junction, and offers the easiest route of the series. Additional runs consist of a 10k (July 11), a 15k (Aug. 8) and a half-marathon (Sept. 19). The longer runs also contain more technical terrain and elevation changes, but all include aid stations with water and volunteers about every two miles.

"The idea is to build up to the half-marathon," said Rath, "And get people into trail running." Dogs and children are welcome at all races, but dogs must be leashed.

Each race offers a signature pint glass for those who finish. Participants can register for all four races at once, and people who do so receive a set of coasters, as well as a discount to sign up for the North Face Endurance Challenge, a more difficult series of runs in late September. The first 150 people to register for the full series will also receive a $20 gift certificate usable at Salt Lake Running Co. Registration costs $175 for the series, and between $40 and $60 for individual events. Prices increase and full-series registration closes June 7.

The races will offer awards for the top three finishers in each age group, but the focus is not on competition.

"It’s a fun event for everyone to come out and not have to worry about competing against ultra-trail runners," said Rath. More information and links can be found at