BIG 5: Utah’s Best New Running Races


BIG 5: Utah’s Best New Running Races

While the Beehive State’s tried-and-true races are great, it’s always fun to add new races to your calendar. Here are five new (or reinvented) races to try in 2019.

Utah’s Fastest Street Mile

June 21, 2019 – Riverton, Utah
How fast can you run a mile? Find out at the inaugural year of Utah’s Fastest Street Mile. This high-energy community and elite one-mile race is open to any interested runner looking to test their sprinting prowess.

The race is an effort to bring back the mile—a somewhat forgotten race distance—with the goal of determining the fastest one-mile street runner in Utah. An elite division offers $3500 total prize money to be divided for the top three men and top three women. Everyday runners can participate to break a personal record, race friends or family, or test themselves can participate in the open division event. Top three finishers in each age division get a custom race medal.

Stay for the sponsor heat to vote on which sponsorship team is going to win their own one-mile race.

Runners on trail near a model triceratops

Jurassic Run

Jurassic Run 5K

June 29, 2019 – Ogden, Utah
Looking for a prehistorically good time for the whole family? Head to Ogden’s George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park for the second annual Jurassic Run 5K. The course starts under the legs of a Brontosaurus and runs out of the park west on the Ogden River Trail then back east doing a loop around Big D Park and back.

You’ll finish by running through the Dinosaur Park where dinosaurs tower over you as you race by. Expect fun surprises along the way, like dino heads that pop out at you from the bushes and a realistic one that may even chase you. This should make your running time faster! Use discount code BLDRUN19 to get 15% off the race.

Woman running on a rode at the Logan Marathon

Logan Marathon

Logan Marathon

September 21, 2019 – Logan, Utah
Replacing the Top of Utah in name and route selection, the NEW Logan Marathon should top your 2019 race bucket list. After a successful 20-year run, this new race will showcase another gorgeous part of Cache Valley. The Top of Utah Half will continue in August and use Blacksmith Fork Canyon as its route, but the September full marathon course is completely new.

Featuring remodeled Center Street as the start and finish lines, the race begins at 7:00 a.m. so runners can get more rest. The new, mostly flat route guides you through the scenic Wellsville Mountains on low traffic roads and breathtaking trails, past parks, rushing streams, and vibrant wetlands. This course also highlights charming downtown Logan as you run on tree-lined streets past old-world mansions to finish back where you started at a festive celebration.

All participants receive a finisher’s medal, long-sleeve t-shirt, runner’s brunch from local vendors featuring baked goods, waffles, pancakes, crepes, and drinks. Plus the chance to win prizes from local and national sponsors.

Running group on trail during sunset at Ragnar Sunset Series

© Photo courtesy of Ragnar

Ragnar Sunset Series

September 28, 2019 – Salt Lake City, Utah
Who doesn’t love a running festival with your favorite running friends? Sign up for the new Ragnar Sunset race to run together in a whole new way. Uniquely, this whole race takes place in one spot. Basically you gather your running buddies and create teams of four to run loops of 6.5 ish miles each, with the goal to finish before the sun sets. All together your team will complete a marathon and can party in the Ragnar Village during the event. The goal of your team is to outrun the sun! How cool is that?!

If you’re looking to travel for a Ragnar, check out the Sunset events in the Twin Cities, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

Happy Trails Racing Series

Draper & Sandy, Utah
If you love the trails, this four-race series is for you. Sign up for one or all races.
South Mountain Half Marathon (April 27, 2019) uses Draper’s excellent paved trail system for its course. While I’m not a big fan of road running, these trails make it much more enjoyable. The Draper Police have been very helpful in working to make road crossings safe for the runners. Race also offers 10K and 5K.

Corner Canyon Half Marathon (June 8, 2019) takes place on trail system unlike any other that’s so close to Draper City. The trails are well maintained for runners and mountain bikers, courtesy once more of Draper City, but also the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation. Race also offers 12K and 6K.

The Corner Canyon 50K Relay (August 24, 2019) combines the best of South Mountain and Corner Canyon’s pedestrian trails. Each section is approximately 3.5–4 miles so runners of all fitness levels can participate. Ultrarunners can also choose to race the distance solo.

Dimple Dell Half Marathon (October 12, 2019) is set in the heart of Sandy, taking you through Dimple Dell Canyon on spectacular trails. I love the wood chips lining many of the trails because they cushion my run. Makes me feel like I am running on padded trails! Race also offers 10K and 5K.

Whether you’re hoping to run your fastest mile or net a half marathon PR, commit to one of these new events and start training now.

Honorable Mentions

While these two races aren’t brand new, they’re worth having on your running radar.

Parowan Half Marathon – Yankee Meadow Run

August 3, 2019 – Parowan, Utah
Although the Yankee Meadow Run—as it is often called—isn’t new, it’s a lesser-known event. The race has been around for for six or seven years and draws about 400–500 participants. Participants are bussed to the start and the route winds around pine tree-lined Yankee Meadow Reservoir as you run the PR-friendly, downhill course. Townspeople often come to support the event, spraying participants with hoses and serving lemonade from homemade stands.

Expect some elevation gain the last mile and finish at the Iron County Fair Building with a celebration and smorgasbord of goodies: popcorn, cookies, watermelon, Gatorade, chocolate milk, and more. This sounds like a good old-fashioned good time to me. (I also hear they have the best cinnamon rolls in the West!)

Rock The Canyon 10K

Sept. 7, 2019 – Provo, Utah
Run the beautiful streets of Provo’s Rock Canyon, Oak Hills, and Indian Hills neighborhoods at the 2nd annual Rock the Canyon 10K. This hilly course lets you to experience the uniqueness of Provo and run streets decorated with local school spirit, Provo art, Native American history, and more. Enjoy views of the Wasatch Front and natural landmarks like Squaw Peak, Mount Timpanogos, Cascade Mountain, Y Mountain, Provo Peak, and Utah Lake. Run on roads for majority of the race, except for a quarter-mile stretch of dirt singletrack trail just above Rock Canyon Trailhead.

Little kids can participate in a 1K fun run with open registration the morning of the event. All participating kids receive a finisher medal and a race bib. For grownups, cash prizes are on the line for the first three male and female finishers. Age-group awards will be given, and there’s a huge post-race raffle.

A portion of every registration fee goes to Fresh Start Ventures, an organization that provides hope, training, and support to previously incarcerated men and women. Use code BlondeRunner (case sensitive) to save 15% on registration.


About Author

Coach Lora Erickson is a USATF certified running coach and nationally ranked triathlete with over 28 years of athletic experience. To learn more contact her directly at or visit to learn more about services, classes and health programs.

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