SOUTHERN UTAH – The annual Zion Half Marathon returns this weekend for its fifth year, with a move to Mt. Carmel and the east side of Zion National Park due as road construction in Springdale continues.
Vacation Races, an event company that produces half-marathon races centered around breathtaking national parks and Forest Service lands, will be holding the exciting two-day event with race expo Friday and race Saturday. Both the expo and the race starting point will take place at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Twin Knolls Road, Mt Carmel.
The breathtaking course will take runners through the wilderness in Mt. Carmel and finish just outside the east entrance to Zion National Park. Most of the course will take runners on dirt roads; however they will also occupy some of North Fork Road and, near the middle of the course, cross state Route 9.
The road on the course will remain open, however motorists should expect delays on SR-9 and when entering the park on race day. The race can create an inconvenience for some residents, event coordinators acknowledged in the race announcement.
“Zion National Park and the surrounding area is dear to all of us at Vacation Races,” Director of Race Operations Lyle Anderson said. “We love this opportunity to encourage more people to discover the unique beauty in this area, but we also know that this can cause inconveniences to its residents. We are extremely grateful for all the local support we have received, and we apologize for any inconvenience our event may cause.”
This will be the first year this event will take place on the east side of the park, a move made due to road construction in Springdale.
The event has over 3,000 running participants and will bring around 6,000 people to the area.
More than half of those registered for the race have not previously seen Zion National Park, race organizers said in the announcement.
“Events like this do wonders when it comes to uncovering the beauty of our region to folks who have never visited the St. George area before,” Kevin Lewis, director of the St. George Area Sports Commission, said. “Our splendid springtime weather along with an eyeful of the area’s grandeur is sure to generate ringing endorsements from our visitors.”
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About Vacation Races
The Zion Half Marathon is the first of 11 races put on by Vacation Races in its 2017 National Parks Half Marathon Series, with subsequent races being held at or near Yosemite, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Shenandoah, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains national parks and Lake Powell at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area; see dates and details on page 19 of the Zion Half Marathon Race Guide.
Producing beautiful half-marathons against the backdrop of America’s majestic national parks and recreation areas and Forest Service lands, Vacation Races is motivated, it states, by its vision of promoting health, natural beauty, well-being and creating memories.
Founded in 2012, and providing the only national park races, Vacation Races’ foray into racing events focused on three different regional parks – Zion, Rocky Mountain and Lake Powell. It has since expanded the races nationwide.
- Vacation Races – Website.
- 2017 Zion Half Marathon Race Guide.
- Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort – Website | Location: Twin Knolls Road, Mt Carmel | Telephone 800-293-5444.