The weekend of August 16th and 17th is a big weekend for those who enjoy trail-running. For one, the Ragnar Trail Relay at Snowbasin begins on Friday, August 16th. (Click here to learn more about this event.) In addition, the Skyline Mountain Marathon, an off-road marathon, will take place in Ogden Valley on Saturday, August 17th. Whereas the Ragnar event is mainly marketed and designated for those who are looking to have a good time with some friends (though there’s nothing at all wrong with that), the Skyline Mountain Marathon is only for those who take their trail-running seriously—very seriously.
The Skyline Mountain Marathon is touted as the most difficult marathon in Utah. In fact, the Marathon issues this warning to potential runners on its website: “THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART OR LEGS. EXTENSIVE TRAIL RUNNING EXPERIENCE IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.” The Skyline Mountain Marathon course takes runners over mountain tops, through valleys, and over some of the roughest terrain anywhere. In addition, the course includes nearly a mile of both vertical ascent and descent. The Skyline Mountain Marathon is not for the faint of heart or legs indeed.
However, the Skyline Mountain Marathon also has the distinction of being the most beautiful marathon in Utah. Though the Marathon course takes runners over some extremely brutal terrain, it also takes runners through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Truly, we cannot describe the majesty of some of the views you’ll enjoy while running the Skyline Mountain Marathon. Your quads may burn and your knees may beg you to stop, but at least the views will be awesome!
The Skyline Mountain Marathon is actually comprised of two races: a full marathon and a half marathon. The full marathon begins at North Fork Park in Liberty, Utah; the half marathon begins at the top of the North Ogden Divide. The marathon is unforgiving right from the start: from North Fork Park, the full marathon course takes runners on a six-mile climb up the Ben Lomond Trail. Once the trail reaches the ridgeline, it connects with the Skyline Trail and proceeds southeast toward the North Ogden Divide and the starting point for the half marathon. Once the course crosses the divide, runners are faced with another climb, this one two and a half miles. The course continues to follow Skyline Trail as it eventually descends and connects to the North Arm Trail at Windsurfer Beach on the shore of Pineview Reservoir. This trail—which is considered “the most torturous section of the entire race” because you’ll be purely and utterly exhausted by this point—follows the shoreline of Pineview Reservoir, and the finish line of the Skyline Mountain Marathon is located at Eden Park in downtown Eden.
The full marathon will begin at 6:00 am on the morning of August 17th, and the half marathon will begin at 7:30. Shuttles will be available to take runners from the parking lot at the finish line to their respective starting line. Aid stations will be available at certain intervals on the course.
If you’re feeling brave enough to take on the Skyline Mountain Marathon, you may still register until 11:59 pm tonight. Today is the last day to register! Registration costs $80 for the full marathon and $65 for the half marathon. A portion of proceeds raised from registration fees will be donated to Ogden Nordic, a non-profit, volunteer organization that maintains North Fork Park.
To register or to learn more about the Skyline Mountain Marathon, click here.
Follow our blog for information regarding more upcoming events in Ogden and Ogden Valley.
If you decide to compete in the Skyline Mountain Marathon, we wish you the best of luck!
Trent Olsen contributed to this article.
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