Running fanatics lend their advice on which trails to run and running events to attend in Utah Valley.
For those tired of pounding a treadmill or hearing whistles and lame pickup lines as they run down the streets of Provo, the solution is to get off the beaten path and explore the beauty surrounding the valley.
Some running gurus and fanatics gave their opinions on the best races and events of the year as well as various paths that offer beauty, serenity and a break from cat-calls.
“Lover’s Lane is an awesome trail. It’s pretty, short and is hidden from the road,” said Mallory Jones, a BYU freshman and one of Provo’s 26.2 Running Company sales executives. “It’s right off University Ave., so it’s not in the middle, and it’s easy to get to.”
Lover’s Lane runs along University Ave. from 4200 North to 3700 South. It is an easy-to-moderate trail for a great recreational jog.
“The Bonneville Shoreline trail is definitely one of my favorites,” said Jason Thompson, a BYU senior, runner and employee at Orem’s Runner’s Corner. “You can make the run however long you want within its seven- to 12-mile length.”
The Bonneville Shoreline seemed to be one of the more popular choices for the runners interviewed.
“Bonneville Shoreline is a way fun trail; it starts near Rock Canyon,” Jones said. “You run right on the side of the mountain, and it’s really pretty; you can see the whole valley from up there.”
The trail can be assessed at dozens of places in Utah Valley as it runs for more than 100 miles. One of the more popular starting destinations is the Rock Canyon Trailhead. Details on the trail can be found at bonnevilleshoreline.org.
For more experienced runners looking for trails that offer a greater challenge in trail dynamics and distance, there are plenty of trailheads to choose from.
“The Murdock Canal Trail has nicely paved roads and crosswalks for runners and pedestrians,” said Aaron Crosby, runner and manager at American Fork’s Utah Run store. “It’s an awesome trail that is nicely maintained and a place to get away from all the exhaust that you find running on the street.”
This trail starts in Orem around 800 North and can be run all the way to Lehi.
In addition to the Murdock Canal Trail, Crosby stated his favorite run was in Draper, a trail called Corner Canyon.
“It’s just a spectacular run,” Crosby said. “You start out on the trail right behind the Draper Temple, and it just has some gorgeous views. There’s also a lot of climbing up and down the hilly path.”
In addition to the abundance of beautiful trails located all around residents in Utah Valley, there are dozens of races and events that are hosted near by.
“One of our favorite runs is the Mount Nebo half marathon, which is in early September,” Thompson said. “It’s a big enough race to where you feel like you’re part of something big, but it’s not too big to where you’re overwhelmed by thousands of runners.”
Thompson also mentioned that Runner’s Corner gets a lot of business during the months preceding the St. George Marathon. The store also hosts the Cascadia Trail Series; more information can be found on the company’s site.
A more local marathon is the Utah Valley Marathon. According to Jones and her colleagues, the race gains more and more attention each year.
One of the frustrating things about being a competitive runner here in Utah Valley is that most events ranging from 5Ks to full marathons are on either flat or downhill terrain.
“The Alpine Half Marathon is a break from all the downhill races here in Utah,” Crosby said. “It’s a different kind of course than others around here. You do a lot of climbing throughout the loop, and it has some really good hills.”
For runners looking to break away from the exhaust on State Street, the valley offers dozens of beautiful and well-maintained trails for people to choose from.
Runners should not be discouraged even though summer is winding to an end, as events such as the Dirty Dash, Mount Nebo Half Marathon and Cottonwood Canyon Half Marathon are scheduled for later this fall.