“Trapping on mountains, trails, and ponds during this time can be hazardous due to rapid changes in weather,” Davis County sheriff Kelly W. Sparks said in a statement. “Even light rain in the valley can cause a blizzard at higher altitudes.”
According to the race website, the first DC Peaks 50, mostly trail, had runners running on mountain trails, including some back roads and 4.1km of paved trails. The website describes it as a “difficult walk” with an elevation gain of about 11,700 feet and a descent of 8,637 feet.
Competition director Jake Kilgore said he and other director Mick Garrison had planned a two-year competition and competed with the U.S. The Forestry Service and others along the route cooperate. According to Kilgore, 87 runners entered the race with six break points, each led by an experienced ultramarathon.
He said the runner was about eight miles into the race when things got worse.
“It was raining at the starting line and I expected it to rain,” Kilgore said. “No one expects a meter of snow on Mount Francis. Nothing.”
He said ultra-marathon runners such as high-wave surfers and kite surfers are aware of the risks associated with the sport. After the race was cancelled, runners emailed him that it was safe and “they hope to return next year,” he said.
“The fact that we are describing all runners means this race was very successful today,” said Kilgore.
Once considered a niche in extreme sports, ultra running has grown in popularity over the last two decades. Critics say some races are starting to blur the line between rough and reckless, changing the definition of endurance racing from long-distance conquering to survival.