Park City Wild Half to provide challenging, rewarding course |

Park City Wild Half to provide challenging, rewarding course

Tom Betar, The Park Record

The Park City Wild Half, which promises to challenge runners "physically and mentally," will be held Saturday May 30 at 9 a.m., beginning at the Ross Creek Trail-Head.

The event consists of three races, a 5k, 10k and half marathon, providing options for runners based on their experience and skill. The deadline for early registration has passed and the deadline for regular registration is May 29. The costs are as follows: $25 for the 5k race, $40 for the 10k race and $50 for the half-marathon of 13.1 miles.

The Park City Wild Half has a new name and tenor as it was formerly part of the Xterra Global Off-road Triathlon and Running Series. Now it is being organized through YES Endurance Sports. Race director Mac McCluskey said he felt the race would be better served through this new venue from a business standpoint. Runners can register at

Although same-day registration is listed as available, McCluskey said it appears that the race will sell out early and that same-day registration likely won’t be available. He said that having too many people register at the last minute could lead to complications including congestion and possible trail damage.

"We will use self-imposed restrictions on ticket sales because we don’t want to make a mess of the parks," he said. "If we do damage to the parks it will take months to recover, and we don’t want to make a negative impact on the ecosystem. We want to make sure that we’re not doing more damage than good."

Although the course may look benign to some, McCluskey said it will be challenging, particularly the half-marathon.

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"Most people look at the course as being flat, but it actually has pretty challenging rolling terrain," he said. "The half marathon actually gets pretty treacherous with hills and it really challenges you on the way back, when you’re already tired."

This is the second in a four-race series this year. The first race of the same format was held in Pittsburg, Penn. After Park City, the third race will be held in Ogden and the fourth and final race will take place in Wasatch Mountain State Park in October.

In addition to being a challenging event, the Park City Wild Half also has a strong charitable component which includes donating $5 from every registration fee to Wounded Warriors, a nonprofit that offers programs and services for veterans wounded in military actions following Sept. 11, 2001. The event in Pittsburg already raised $3,500 for the Wounded Warriors, McCluskey said.

"We’ve met some of the Wounded Warriors in person and really fell in love with those guys," he said. "They have such wonderful spirits so Wounded Warriors is really a cause we can get behind."

Park City Wild Half will also give participants the opportunity to set up their own donation pages and GoFundMe accounts online for various causes, which is something that has also proved successful in the past, McCluskey said.

"Some people really grab on to that opportunity," he said. "It’s great when we can help people get behind causes they care about."

Sponsors for the event include PowerBar, Invigorade, Trail Runner Magazine and NAAWK sunscreen. Prizes and samples will be handed out to runners from these and other sponsors.

T-shirts will also be given out along with awards to the first place male and female in each race division.

"We’re pretty excited about our relationship with Utah," McCluskey said. "We hope to be invited back."

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