The stunning Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah will set the stage for one of the toughest endurance trail runs in the USA this weekend as part of the iconic Speedgoat Mountain Races by UTMB.
Runners will face the ultimate test as they take on a staggering 11,800 feet of climbing across the 50km race, with steep pitches, rocky terrain, and altitude adding to the challenge.
With the Race Director and Founder of the event being none other than Karl ‘Speedgoat’ Metzler, one of the world’s top ultra-runners, it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.
‘The 50km is intimidating’
“If you want a tough and hard race with some of the best aid stations that you will ever find then come to Speedgoat,” said Metzler. “The volunteers are awesome, the course is spectacular, the views are as good as any you will see in the world.”
Indeed, the heart pumping and leg sapping effort is accompanied by some of the most breathtaking views across the Wasatch Mountains, with scenic vistas and fields of stunning wildflowers spoiling the senses.
While Metzler warns this 50km race is not for the first timer, he has also ensured that the Speedgoat Mountain Races by UTMB has something for everyone, with the shorter 11km and 28km courses acting as the perfect stepping stone and a taste of what the notorious longer race is all about.
“The 50km is intimidating so if this is your first 50km then this is not for you,” said Metzler.
“In the 28km race they still have the first climb through to the top at 4,500 feet, they still go through the tunnel and have the intimidation factor with the last climb. They get a taste of it, and it gives you an idea of what it can be like, although the backside of the mountain is equally as hard, if not even harder!”
Sinclair among the favourites
Whatever distance runners are opting for, it is without a doubt a course that demands respect.
Elite runner, David Sinclair (USA) describes it as a ‘real mountain race’ and will be back in 2022 to try and go one better, having finished second behind Adam Peterman (USA) in 2021.
Sinclair looks to be in strong form so far this season, having finished second in his first 100km at the Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB in April and looks to be the one to watch during the 50km race on Saturday.
In the Women’s elite race, also on Saturday, it could prove to be a close battle for the top spot, with most of the starters closely matched on the UTMB Index.
Ashley Brasovan (USA) will be looking to retain her title from 2021, having won in 06:23:14 and finishing within the top ten fastest times ever on the course despite it being her first ultra.
Hillary Allen will also earn extra kudos within the Women’s elite field, having opted to race the shorter 28km course the day before as part of the legendary Speedgoat 2-day challenge, which starts on Friday.
She’ll be joined in the challenge by 81-year-old, David Remington. Having first fallen in love with trail running at the Western States in 1978, Remington has not stopped running ever since and after receiving a new resurfaced hip in 2021, he will be looking forward to lining up to take part in this notorious race in 2022.
He will be joined in the 28km race by the oldest runner, 83-year-old Billy Moyle and the youngest, 16-year-old Ethan Newton, highlighting that this is an adventure and experience for all the ages.
With the 28km counting as a UTMB 50K race category due to the elevation gain, it means two Running Stones will be on offer for finishers of both the 28km and 50km, that amount to lottery tickets for the UTMB Mont-Blanc 2023 and the UTMB World Series Finals.