As the snow begins to melt and the spring flowers bloom, Utahans across the state put away their skis and pull out their running shoes to get ready for Reebok Ragnar Wasatch Back. But, this race isn’t just about cranking out the miles. On top of being the race that inspired the 38-race Ragnar Relay series, it’s a tour of the best the Wasatch Back has to offer, from the views of breathtaking mountains to the high-fives from kids camped out in their front yard to the support of local businesses. This is what you can expect at the 2017 Reebok Ragnar Wasatch Back:
Pre-Race Party at Scheels
What’s better than a two-day party? A three-day party! Extend your Ragnar experience a day by attending the Ragnar Wasatch Back pre-race party at Scheels. Here, runners can check in and decorate their van the day before the race. Be one of the first 1,000 participants and receive a free Baja Bowl from Costa Vida. In addition, show up to the start line in style with free rag-dos from Great Clips, eat a nutritious and delicious pre-race meal of Ragnar Rocket Pizza from Pyromaniacs Pizza, get taped by KT Tape and loosen up with massages and adjustments from Aspen Falls Spinal Care. It’s the first party you’ll go to where you’ll leave even more ready to run the next day.
Utah State University Start Line
Utah State University is home to four 2017 Mountain West Champions in Track and Field and home to the start of your 200-ish mile journey. Lace up your shoes inspired by the speed of the Aggies and head off around campus before taking to the streets.
Sure, Legs 4 and 5 over Avon pass have a combined elevation gain of 1,734 feet, but this climb is worth the view. You’ll be surrounded by fields of wildflowers as you wind up the dirt road, then you’ll be greeted by views of the Cache Valley and the Wasatch Range at the top of the hill. After your run, you’ll get to brag about both conquering one of the hardest legs of the course and about having some of the best photos from the course of anyone on your team.
Exchange 6 Partner Village
Exchange 6 is the first-time Van 1 meets Van 2 along the course, and even if it’s only for a brief pass off of a slap bracelet, it’s the perfect time to hit your overnight relay stride. Sometimes this means gearing up with what you forgot or treating yourself to new gear. Try out the Reebok Ragnar FloatRide shoes and see just how high you can fly on their trampoline, get taped by KT Tape, relax in ENO hammocks and get last minute gear from Thinksport, Nathan, nuun hydration, FlipBelt and Bondi Band. Plus, sign up at the Security National tent to use VIP port-a-potties along the course. Even if you didn’t show up ready to run, you’ll be prepared after one visit to Exchange 6.
Snowbasin Resort Major Exchange
Runner 12 will take off from Farmer’s Field and head up Old Snowbasin Road. Along the way, they’ll get expansive views of Pineview Reservoir and Mt. Ogden before finishing at Snowbasin Resort. Here, they’ll bask in the history of one of the oldest continually operating ski resorts in the nation and the host of the 2002 Olympic downhill, super G, and combined ski races. Operation Underground Railroad will be doing an exchange takeover where people can learn more about their efforts to eradicate child sex trafficking.
The Sunrise over Echo Reservoir
There’s something magical about mountain sunrises. You’re surrounded by the soft purples and blues in the west and the vibrant oranges and yellows in the east. Runner’s 11 and 12 will make their way around Echo Reservoir just as the sun rises above the horizon. It’s their chance to bask in the light, literally.
Ragnar Leg powered by Reebok
The Ragnar Leg powered by Reebok is the most challenging leg on the course that will leave your muscles screaming and lungs burning. At Ragnar Wasatch Back, Ragnarians will tackle the hills most people ski down. Starting at the base of the First Time lift at Park City Mountain Resort, runners climb up 2,900 feet, past Lady Morgan Bowl and Empire Bowl before finishing at the base of Guardsman Pass. Then, at the end, they’re rewarded for their hard effort with the extra special King of the Wasatch medal.
Soldier Hallow Finish Line
After two days and one night of running, there’s no better feeling than crossing under the bright orange arch with your teammates. Especially, when it’s in the historical Olympic venue, Soldier Hallow, where the cross-country ski events were held. But, the finish line is just the start of the real festivities. Each team will get free Little Caesars Pizza and Costa Vida chips and salsa to tame their post-race hunger. Then, they can try Red Rock Brewery’s Ragnar Ale, a delicious citrus pale that’s perfect for summer, as they celebrate before heading home to a very long nap. (Beer proceeds are donated to United Way)
Make sure you’re prepared for the race with the Packing List. See it here.