Several Southern Utah residents gathered together to run the Cedar City Thunderbird Ultra race on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The course weaved through Cedar’s mountains, traversing near Salt Creek Canyon and around Red Hill. The trail offered both a 50k and a 25k race for those who registered.
Starting at 5880 ft elevation, the course gradually gained 7400 ft (3600 ft in the 25k) into Thunderbird Gardens and up Lone Tree Mountain. The path, surrounded by the changing fall colors, headed through red rock canyons and juniper forests.
The average finishing time for the 50k race is about seven hours. First place winner, Dylan Marx finished with a time of 4:33:00.
“This [was] my third 50k race,” Marx said. “After placing fifth in my first two, it felt amazing to get the win and have people blown away with the way I ran. It helped validate all the miles of training [I] put in over the months.”
The event was hosted by “Doomsday Racing”, a nonprofit organization based out of Oregon. For several years, Doomsday has put on the Elkhorn 12-man Relay through the forests of Oregon. However, the Thunderbird Ultra was their first endurance race in southern Utah.
Clayton and Leigh Collins, co founders and members of the Doomsday Racing nonprofit board, moved to Cedar City about two years ago. Shortly after arriving, they realized they wanted to create a new race.
“After trail running most of Cedar City… We just love it here and realized we could connect most of the trails.” Leigh Collins said.
All workers and coordinators of the event were volunteers. 100% of proceeds from the Thunderbird Ultra, will help fund the children feeding program in south Sudan.
Story By: Ansleigh Mikesell
Photos Provided By: Doomsday Racing and Dylan Marx