ST. GEORGE — For runners looking for something outside of – and maybe even longer than – the traditional marathon, one of the three Red Mountain single-track trail races may be more to their liking. Race day is March 4 at the Santa Clara Desert Reserve, and registration deadline is March 1.
The Red Mountain races boast three different distances: 55 kilometers, 30 kilometers and the Dirty Hurty Half Marathon distance of 13.1 miles, thrilling trail runners with many ways to enjoy a March day in the St. George area.
“Trail runners are usually adventurous people looking for something a bit different,” Steve Hooper of Red Mountain Running Events said. “Runners love coming from out of town to run this mostly single track course for the spectacular views of the red sandstone Ivins cliffs, Snow Canyon in the Santa Clara Reserve east of the Shivwits Indian Reservation.”
The race course starts on Gate’s Lane Bridge across from the historic Jacob Hamblin home in Santa Clara and quickly turns onto a BLM service road and climbs up to the single-track trails in the Santa Clara Reserve. The course takes on a clover shape and winds back into the Cove Wash trailhead aid station four times before heading to the finish at Unity Park in Ivins.
“The predominantly dirt trail course has a unique clover shape allowing for friends and family to watch the race and see their runner multiple times without leaving the main aid station,” Hooper said. “The race started off as a 50K and ran from Central, Gunlock and finished in Ivins. It was half dirt, half roads. We changed the course four years ago to a 90 percent trail course and people have really enjoyed it.”
This year’s event is expected to see an increase in participants, from 200 in 2016 to an expected 250-300 runners this year. Hooper estimates about 70 percent of the participants live outside Washington County.
“This is a beautiful and grueling course, and those are two components ultra-endurance runners seem to really appreciate,” said Kevin Lewis, director of the St. George Area Sports Commission. “After an extended winter, the early spring race provides a nice opportunity to get out and get after it.”
Leading up to the event, elite ultrarunner Hayden Hawks will speak at a workshop at the St. George Running Center Friday at 7 p.m. during the last hour of packet pick-up. Hayden will discuss his epic 50-mile debut at the “North Face 50 miler” in December. He will also conduct a short question-and-answer session.
- What: Red Mountain 50K race
- When: Saturday, March 4, at 6:30 a.m.
- Where: Santa Clara, Utah.
- Information: click here