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home > races/results > usa: arizona > relay running adventure along the spectacular wasatch mountains

Relay Running Adventure Along the Spectacular Wasatch Mountains
The stunning grandeur of Utah will make every mile meaningful and memorable in the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back, June 20-21, 2008.

Relay Running Adventure Along the Spectacular Wasatch Mountains

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Monday, 15 October, 2007

The MyoMed Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back is the original Ragnar Relay, and has grown exponentially in size and popularity in only a few short years. Spectacular scenery stirs the imagination along the route, enhanced by terrific organization. It runs for 178.3 miles in one of the most beautiful regions, and at the Summer Solstice. This will be one of the top overnight relays in the USA in 2008. It will provide you and 11 teammates the experience of a lifetime.

What and Where—Wasatch Back
This relay is an overnight adventure, approximately 24 hours, through one of the most beautiful regions on the planet, the Wasatch Mountains of northern Utah. It is a team event like no other; you will share a challenging and memorable experience, including a mountain-framed sunset and sunrise that will take your breath away. It will be run during the shortest night of the year.

Everything about this relay is designed for runners to have a tremendously good time in a spectacular mountain-valley setting. Whether it is team or individual costumes, the best decorated van contest, team theme or name, music, medals, or parties—this will be one really enjoyable experience. The rapid growth and popularity are proof of this. But it is the grandeur of these mountains as a backdrop to every mile that really makes this event unique.

The 36 legs in the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back average 5.0 miles. The shortest is three miles, and the longest is eight. Six legs are classified as easy, based on distance and elevation change; 11 are rated moderate; 14 are classified as hard, with five rated as very hard. Two team support vans—six runners each--will carry runners from exchange to exchange and will trade off every six legs at the van transfer areas.

Headlamps or flashlights and reflective vests will be worn during darkness. Runners may have pacers run with them during the nighttime legs. Vans will be able to “shadow” runners—not follow them, but keep them in sight for safety and directions. There will be live music at several of the van exchanges, and time to make friends from around the country. Whether you team up with people you know or with strangers, you will make life-long friends while running the Wasatch Back.

The Wasatch Back is the eastern slope of the Wasatch Mountains, and is much more sparsely populated than the Wasatch Front, or western slopes nearer Salt Lake City and the urban areas bordering the Great Salt Lake. The Wasatch Range extends 160 miles from the Idaho border south to central Utah. Much of the range exceeds 10,000 feet (the Great Salt is at elevation 4,202 feet), with the high point being Mount Timpanogos at 12,208.

The MyoMed Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back—the original--is now one of four produced by Ragnar Events, LLC, and is part of the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Series, the largest relay series in the country. They administer four of the most successful and fastest growing overnight relays in beautiful, but very different, regions of the country. The Ragnar Relay Del Sol is first on the calendar, running from Wickenburg, Arizona to Scottsdale, Arizona, with 12-person (or 6-person ultra) teams running February 29 to March 1. It runs 198.3 miles in the gorgeous Sonoran Desert. The Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back in Utah follows in June.

The MyoMed Ragnar Relay Series includes the highly successful MyoMed Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage, July 25-26, an outstanding 189 miles along the splendid Pacific Northwest Coast. Lastly the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Great River runs August 22-23. Staged in Minnesota and Wisconsin, it winds 198 miles along the majestic Mississippi River.

You Can Do It—You Should Do It—You Must
Adventures like this one don’t come along very often. Build a team of adventurous, fun folks and see the grandeur of Utah’s mountains and valleys up close. The 178.3-mile MyoMed Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back is simply one of the best overnight long distance relays.

The course is divided into 36 legs with designated exchange zones at the end of each leg. There are two main categories for teams to choose from: regular 12-person teams (7 to 12 persons) or ultra teams consisting of 6-runners who run either a 6x1 or 6x6 configuration. Corporate and high school teams are also invited to participate, along with running clubs or simply friends and relatives. Additionally, there are divisions for law enforcement or fire personnel and the military. Lastly there is a division for running stores.

This relay is designed for runners of all abilities. Whether you are an ultra-marathoner or a beginner, there is a spot for you in the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back. There are six classifications, including women’s, men’s and mixed regular teams, and women’s, men’s, and mixed ultra teams. And there are eight divisions within those classifications: Open, Sub-masters (30 and over), Masters (40 and over), Senior Masters (50 and over), Corporate, Law Enforcement/Fire/Military, Running Stores, and High School. Ragnar Events, LLC even offers training schedules and guides for beginners—novice and intermediate level. Anyone can participate. In another innovative move, runners can select their three legs based on ability, and need not follow a set sequence.

The planning and attention to detail regarding route, safety, and rules that have gone into the relay, such as the extensive instruction book and choice of transfer venues, will be a tremendous asset when teams begin the adventure. They have arranged this for your team.

Corporate Opportunity—Team Building
Planning and organizing for a 12-person team to run 178.3 miles at the best possible pace is a great company team builder. Meeting this challenge is as much fun as you can have in team running, and team building. Talk about a morale booster! Clubs, social organizations, and companies can compete with others, or contest their own internal bragging rights. Many companies pay tens of thousands of dollars for such team building—and other methods are likely much less effective. Let Ragnar be your team-building consultant!

A Course Through Paradise
Starting in Logan, about 85 miles north of Salt Lake City and 19 miles from the Idaho border, the course runs generally south-southeast in a fishhook pattern to finish in Park City. It includes the small town of Paradise, Utah. Logan is centered in a verdant farming valley with the Wasatch as a backdrop. It is near the historic Oregon Trail. To the west is Promontory and Golden Spike National Historic Site, where the transcontinental Railroad was joined in 1869. Nearby, on a 4.4 mile trail, is the famous Jardine Juniper, the oldest (1500 years) and largest in the world. Logan is a geologic wonderland at the mouth of Logan Canyon.

Park City is one of the great resort towns and home to Utah Olympic Park and the Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival, and much, much more. The Olympic Training Center and Olympic ski jump, bobsled, and luge facilities are four miles north.

Northern Utah is a land of ethereal beauty. The course offers a close-up look at one of the most remarkable regions of the United States. Much of the run is through or near the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and the ever present Wasatch peaks. The course includes the Cache Valley along the Logan River, state parks, reservoirs, rising mountains, red rock canyons shaped over millions of years, abundant wildlife, and rugged beauty.

The relay run begins at Merlin Olsen (LA Rams football star) Park, 100 South, 200 East in Logan, Utah, 84321. The party begins at the starting line, with live music and staggered starts (depending on pace) throughout the day. You will see many other runners in the distinctive tech shirts awarded to all participants, and there will be other race merchandise available.

The course is net uphill, starting at elevation 4,347 in Logan, finishing in Park City at 7,003 feet. There will be spectacular views, climbs, descents, and flats along valley floors.

There are spectacular views along the route, changing with every turn, every hill, including valleys, canyons, and mountain summit pass. Eden is the first van exchange at exchange six, near beautiful Pine View Reservoir in the Ogden Valley of Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

Runners will experience two beautiful loops near Snowbasin where the famous Olympic Downhill courses are located near Huntsville, which is also a terrific biking and hiking center with views of Ben Lomond Peak. Then teams move on to Morgan and East Canyon State Park at the mouth of Weber Canyon--the halfway point. Twin Peaks, Mt. Olympus, Lone Peak, and other Wasatch summits make for impressive scenes. Every van ride, every exchange point, every stop along the way will be a party—unique for each individual team and groups of teams.

Relay teams will experience a phenomenal mountain sunset and a mountain sunrise over snow-capped peaks. Rockport State Park in beautiful Peoa will be a place to rest and restore before moving on to Heber City and sunrise. With impressive Mount Timpanogos in view where the Wasatch Mountains meet the Uinta Mountains, runners will understand why this region is known as the “Switzerland of America”. The finish in Park City, known as a party town, will be an emotional triumph in one of the most popular resort communities in the country. It is a world class Main Street finish where there are 64 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The average high temperature along the valley floors is 81 on June 20, with an average low of 50, and a mean of 65. Park City and the upper slopes will be a little cooler, with an average high of 77, low 47, and mean of 61. The sun will set at 9:03 p.m. and rise at 5:54 a.m.

The course will be well marked and monitored with plenty of access to aid. Safety is the highest priority of Ragnar Events, LLC. Carefully selected van exchanges will allow runners to shower, eat, sleep, refill water bottles, party, and get to know friends. The big finish line party will reinvigorate all participants, with live music, awards, massages, vendors, and excellent food and beverages. Teams will enjoy that incomparable feeling of accomplishment and team camaraderie.

Ragnar and Ragnar Events, LLC
Ragnar was a wild individualist, a powerful Norse King and historical character who is shrouded in myth. For the folks at Ragnar Events, LLC, he symbolizes the free spirit and outdoor adventurous soul within everyone. He was apparently tough, determined, and care free; he has become the symbol and “spirit” of the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Series from the beginning. This was their first relay, the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back. Their goals have grown, but the essential purpose is the same--to bring the tremendous experience of a distance relay and beautiful landscapes to as many as possible.

The MyoMed Ragnar Relay Wasatch started out with 22 teams in 2003, then grew to 89 the second, and 174 teams the third year. There were 316 last year. This relay expanded and the concept was used to create the other similar relays in different beautiful regions. They have enjoyed explosive growth with each adventure, a reflection of the national trend toward overnight distance relays and adventure outings.

Ragnar Events, LLC is located in Bountiful, Utah. For more information on the organization, the four relays, and on Ragnar, please go to

So Many Reasons to Go Ragnar
This event has a breathtaking setting, a destination region that many visit from around the world; it has remote and singularly gorgeous views to experience, yet is conveniently located near a major urban area and airport.

Teams will likely enjoy very comfortable running weather, a spectacular sunset, and phenomenal sun rise. They will appreciate stunning scenery and a lot of live music. Somehow, on the road with friends, these experiences are enhanced by the challenge the camaraderie. You won’t believe how much fun 24 hours can be--fantastic opportunity, unforgettable experience.

The relay has excellent sponsorship with MyoMed and others. It is exceptionally well planned and well orchestrated. And it will be just about as much fun as runners can have—challenging, yet remarkably enjoyable, the epitome of camaraderie and teamwork. Enjoy life, do this relay!



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