Ragnar returns to Park City | ParkRecord.com

Ragnar returns to Park City

By the end of today, nearly 18,000 runners will have converged on Park City for the 10th annual Ragnar relay race.

The 192.9-mile overnight team relay race takes runners from Cache Valley to Park City, covering parts of Cache, Weber, Morgan, Summit and Wasatch counties in the process.

Nearly 1,500 teams, with 12 members each, will cover the course, with about 900 of the teams finishing today.

Matt Braun, a spokesperson for Ragnar, said the Wasatch Back race is always special for the organization and the runners involved.

"It’s a Utah-based company," he said. "This is home. This is where it all started and we’re running for our tenth year in a row."

From its humble beginnings, Ragnar has grown significantly since 2004.

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"We had 164 people in ’04," Braun said. "Now we have 18,000 people here (at the Wasatch race) and it’s expanded to 21 races in the U.S. and Canada."

He added that the Ragnar event brings in money for communities as it passes through.

"People come through and buy things, shop, eat and give back to the community that way," he said.

Event organizers expect at least $130,000 to be raised over the weekend.

The Wasatch Back race features one of the most challenging legs of all the Ragnar events a run down Guardsman Pass that descends 2,178 feet over the course of about eight miles.

Braun said that even though many runners think running downhill is easier, he advises caution.

"Your momentum puts more pressure on your thighs and joints," he said. "We encourage our runners to pace themselves and not get out of control."

Overall, he said the race organizers couldn’t be happier with the conditions for the weekend’s activities.

"It’s the perfect weather for running," he said.

After ending at Park City High School, Braun said there will be a celebration at Canyons, which will run until about 10 p.m.

He added that today is a special day in Utah, as the state has declared June 22 "Ragnar Day." The dedication took place on Wednesday in Sandy, honoring the organization that has seen more than 200,000 runners participate in events across the country.