With 400-plus miles of winding singletrack, it's little wonder mountain how biking, hiking, and trail running became fixtures of a Park City summer. Most of us hop on the trail to walk our dogs or take a leisurely ride through the mountains. But there's a whole other breed of Park City folks who live to compete. If you're of the latter persuasion, you may have participated in the Point 2 Point or iconic Jupiter Peak Steeplechase. But have you ever entertained the idea of completing every single race held in Park City in just one summer? One guy crazy enough to try doing just that is Park City resident Pete Stoughton, who is about to embark on a personal quest to become the first "Miner Man:" completing the 250+ miles running and 250+ miles biking required to finish every Park City race in a single season.
The idea for his "Miner Man" goal first came to Stoughton, a seasoned trail runner and biker, when he was toying with the idea of completing Colorado's Leadville Race Series. That series of races started with just 45 runners in 1983, but now hosts thousands of racers on foot and in the saddle, all looking to claim the coveted title of "Lead Man" for completing all the events in the series and earning the silver or gold belt buckle that comes with it. For various reasons, traveling to Colorado multiple times to compete in the series seemed redundant to Stoughton, which made him conceive the idea of a similar feat right here in Park City. "The idea is to race local and encourage more people to enjoy our trails," Stoughton says. "We have so many incredible, pristine gold star trails here, so why not?" One of his friends is even making a custom belt buckle modeled after the "Lead Man" to serve as an award for becoming a "Miner Man." Between the races and training, Stoughton thinks he'll manage to run every inch of trail in town. He's also actively trying to goad others into joining him in his attempt. The task has proven itself a bit difficult, he says, because despite crawling with mountain bikers and runners, there aren't many in Park City who enthusiastically take part in both. He has, however, managed to rope World Cup gold medalist and ski mountaineering coach Nina Silitch into trying it out with him. (Contact Stoughton at [email protected] if you're interested.)
Stoughton is fairly confident he'll complete his mission, despite having recently torn his ACL (which he's decided to forego having surgery on until the end of the season). Between his time working with the Mountain Trails Foundation, Summit Bike Club, and Park City Running Company, Stoughton estimates he's previously completed about 75 percent of the races on his list. "The only race giving me some pause, because of my injury, is the The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-miler," he says. "If I hadn't torn my knee, I would have also added the 'Fat Ass Run,' a 100-mile run from Park City to Mount Timpanogos."
Stoughton has given himself--and whomever else is up to the Miner Man challenge -- leeway in completing the full race schedule (see below). If for whatever reason you can't make it to an actual race event, you can individually complete the race course up to one week before or after the scheduled event date. (Stoughton will be taking advantage of this leniency since he's also volunteering at a number of the races--talk about going the extra mile!)
Even if you don't fancy pushing yourself as far as Stoughton, the Park City race series can be a wonderful way to get onto the trails more often and motivation for getting in and staying in shape. Group training opportunities are also plentiful in Park City. Stoughton suggests hitting up the Park City Trail Runners FB group or joining one of the dozens of free summer rides offered by locally by White Pine Touring, Cole Sport, and others.
Take note, if you want to participate in any of the races, beginning this week, the Christian Center of Park City (CCPC), where Stoughton serves as Director of Programming, is auctioning off one entry for each race and running gear to support Back 2 School Basics. Thanks to the generosity of Mountain Trails, not only do you have a chance to get pick up an official entry and schwag, you'll also be helping sponsor a child at B2SB. You can visit the CCPC Boutique each week to see the auction items and bid.
Park City Race Series Schedule
- May 23 - MidWeek MTB - Round Valley
- May 24th - Wasatch Trail Run Series - Olympic Park
- May 27th - I-Cup race - Olympic Park
- June 6th - Midweek MTB - Round Valley
- June 10th - PC Trail Series 5k
- June 17th - MTN Trails - Round Valley Rambler
- June 20th - Midweek MTB - DV
- June 24th - Discrete Cirque Series at Deer Valley
- July 8th - PC Trail Series 10k
- July 12th - Wasatch Trail Run Series - Olympic Park
- July 18th - Midweek MTB - DV
- July 29th - MTN Trails - Jupiter Peak Steeple Chase
- Aug 12th - PC Trail Series 15k
- Aug 19th - MTN Trails - Mid Mtn Marathon
- Sept 2nd - Point2Point MTN BIKE race
- Sept 10th - MTN Trails - Tour Des Suds
- Sept 16th - PC Trail Series 13.1
- Sept 23rd - TNF UT 50 miler
Happy trails everyone, see you next week!