Marathons and triathlons push locals to stay in shape
Statistics show that Carbon County is one of the least healthy counties in the state. Obesity levels are rising nation-wide. Many of today's grown ups have developed an aversion to working out because they are reminded of the agony of physical education classes when they were back in school.
But there is a growing interest in finding a new level of fitness through running, biking and Triathlons. One of the suggestions for a person wanting to get back in shape is to train for a specific race or event.
Several years ago, running races and triathlons were things you had to travel to the Wasatch front for if you wanted to do much more than a fun run.
But over the past several years Carbon, Grand and Emery Counties are developing some high class events that are drawing in competitors from all over the country. These range from 5K's to Triathlons, Marathons and half Marathons.
In Price alone, there are over five different 5K's this summer. Many of these events are also a way to support a good cause. A 5 K is 3.1 miles and an easy distance for a beginner to start with.
On June 10, there was a Fireman's 5K which was held for the first time. On July 30 there will be the annual 5K for Price's International Days. Also on July 30th there is the Crandall Canyon 5 and 10k run and then on August 20 there will be another 5K during the Helper Arts Festival that runs down Spring Canyon. You can sign up for those through Carbon County Recreation.
In the fall, Active Re-Entry will have their ninth annual Run Walk and Roll 5K to raise funds for assistive technology for people with disabilities in our area.
That will be followed up with one last one on October 1 as part of Domestic Violence Prevention Awareness.
For more of a challenge there are several marathons and half marathons to participate in.
In early March there is the Moab I/2 Marathon (13.2 miles). This is huge and you have to enter a lottery to get a chance to get in.
Next year it will be March 12. Then you can also run in the Moab "Other 1/2" in October 16. Again this is a race you have to draw a spot in and registration fills up fast.
They offer one last race on the season that is popular for many from Price and that is the Winter Sun 10K (6.2) on December 3.
In September you could head to the San Rafael for the Little Grand Canyon Marathon, 1/2 Mary and 10K. This race is held September 10th.
For those who love to cross train in many sports, a triathlon may be worth the challenge.
There are two levels to attempt. You can start at the sprint level with a 1/2 mile swim and a 12-15 mile bike ride and then a 5k run. Once you have that conquered you can move up to the Olympic level.
All the distances in the sprint distance are doubled for an Olympic race.
In our area we have the San Rafael Classic Triathlon at Huntington Lake State Park.
It was held this year on July 9. The lake was warm enough to swim the first leg without a wet suit. The bike course takes you up a big climb on Morhland Road and then finishes with a run up the same road, but the run leg is short enough that the hill is not a factor.
The course is "closed" which means all traffic is kept off the road during the race.
A week later is the Scofield Triathlon which is held up at Scofield State Park. It is one of the highest altitude triathlons in the nation at 7,600 feet.
The water is usually cold enough that wet suits are strongly recommended.
The bike and run courses are relatively flat, but are "open" courses with riders and runners needing to stay out of the way of traffic.
Both of the triathlons have a children's tri after all the adults are finished. It is a good way to make this activity a family affair.
Scofield also includes a distance called the "Escape" which has a 5 mile swim, 37 mile bike ride up to Electric Lake and a 10 mile run.
It is enough to challenge the fittest among us.
So dust off those running shoes and take the cobwebs off that old bike and join the growing number of people who are racing their way to fitness.