When I think of mountain running in Utah, I think of the Wasatch, Unita or La Sal ranges. However, thanks to Ultra Adventures, I can now add Tushars Mountain range to my list of Utah mountain running.
Tushars was the last, but far from least, Ultra Adventures race of the 2015 Grand Circle Series and what a way to end the series. Starting at Eagle Point Ski Resort Skyline Lodge, all three distances (93K, marathon, and half marathon) start and finish at an elevation over 10,000 feet. Testing all runners with rugged, technical and steep terrain, no wonder the 93K and marathon distances were part of the 2015 Sky Runner Series!
I was signed up to run the 93K distance, however, I missed the cutoff at Mud Lake Aid Station (16 miles) by 25 minutes. Because the 93K and marathon courses share the same route, I was able to drop down and at least get in 26 technical, scenic miles.
Click on the image below (or use this link) to view a video of the marathon course. I’d like to say I may have completed the distance quicker had I not taken so much footage. However, at these high elevations, often times stopping to take video and photos was an excuse to catch my breath and will my legs to continue with relentless forward motion. Regardless, my intentions were to have a good time and a good time I definitely had!
Mt Holly Trifecta
After finishing the marathon distance, polishing off a hand made personal pita pizza, and congratulating several runners at the finish line (including the top 4 male finishers of the 93K distance), I decided to make a trek up to Mt Holly in time for the sunset.
At 11,999 feet elevation, Mt Holly is located next to Delano Peak. There are no true trails to the summit of Mt Holly, however, since I knew where Delano Peak was in relation to the ski resort, I was able to manage to connect several different footpaths to the summit.
In climbing Mt Holly I hoped to also get a closer glimpse of some mountain goats. Unfortunately, they were still a good distance. Regardless, the amazing views offered by the summit more than made up for it. The beauty and serenity of this area will definitely bring me back!