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September 18, 2016 Comments (17) Featured, Interviews, Race Reports

Dugway Trail & Ultra Race Review & CONTEST!

In 2013 I ran the Dugway Trail & Ultra Race. By some miracle I don’t care to explain I went from last place to first place, winning the 50k distance, all within the last lap. That experience hooked me, not because I won, but because it was such an interesting and unique experience, I’ve made it a must to either return or do my best to support the race anyway I can. Held on the remote military instillation of Dugway Proving Grounds in the west desert of Utah, participants get the rare pleasure of entering and running on a secure military base. A 3 loop course, 10 miles each, totaling a 50k distance, allows racers to pace through the start/finish on two occasions, which makes for a great opportunity to bring family and friends. And if you aren’t up for the full 50k distance, there are several other distances you can run, something for everyone.

The race itself was recently featured in Runners World online. Current 50k course record holder and 2015 winner, Steve Frogley, was quoted as saying, “you really feel isolated, like you’re in the middle of nowhere.” As someone who runs a lot of races, but generally doesn’t run a race multiple times, he went on to say, “I would highly recommend it.” The Dugway Trail And Ultra is becoming renowned for the unique and filled swag bags. For many, that alone is enough of a reason to show up.

I recently caught up with Race Director, Curt Fortie, and talked with him about the origins of the race and how it has evolved over the last four years. While the course has changed somewhat and additional races have been added to the venue, the core of why they put on the race and what participants can expect to leave with has remained unchanged. This year’s race is on Saturday, October 22nd.

Fortie commented about the race,

We want to provide a unique situation where non-military can come onto an active military base and participate in an exciting, desolate, and very unique event.”

The race offers multiples distances; 5k, 10k, 20k, 30k, and a 50k ultra (pricing ranges from $25 – $50 for individual racers, that’s cheap!). There are also team events for many of the distances ($60 for a 4 person team, wow). The course is made up of about 90% single track, all built by hand, specifically for this race. Over the last three years the race committee has put in countless hours making certain that they are offering the best possible experience for participants. They work diligently to have the best swag bags around, often including; a camping pillow, water bottle, energy bars, mosquito repellent, and more. Post race festivities are also fantastic, with a make-your-own pizza bar, drinks, and music.

Second annual Dugway Isolation Run on Oct. 4, 2014 at U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Open to the public, 64 runners participated in 10K, 20K, 30K and 50K events over and around Little Granite Peak (locally known as 5 Mile Hill). U.S. Army photo by Al Vogel, Dugway Public Affairs.

Second annual Dugway Isolation Run on Oct. 4, 2014 at U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. U.S. Army photo by Al Vogel, Dugway Public Affairs.

Racers can hope to see diverse wildlife, including coyote, antelope, wild mustangs, and the potential of rattlesnakes.

Unlike many trail races nowadays, the Dugway Trail & Ultra Run offers top 3 place finisher medals/trophies, along with age group medals in each race category. All winner trophies are handmade with a real skull and a geode dug up from the geode beds west of base. Each race starts at a different time and those races that have multiple laps all go through the start/finish area each lap, making for a lot of amazing support, regardless of which race you choose.

Second annual Dugway Isolation Run on Oct. 4, 2014 at U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Open to the public, 64 runners participated in 10K, 20K, 30K and 50K events over and around Little Granite Peak (locally known as 5 Mile Hill). U.S. Army photo by Al Vogel, Dugway Public Affairs.

U.S. Army photo by Al Vogel, Dugway Public Affairs.

When I asked Fortie about what made this race special and why people should make the trip out he shared his feelings.

Prior to starting this race there was only one trail in that area and it was used by wild mustangs. This area, 5 Mile Hill, represents one of the few areas where the public can go on base without actually being in danger. Dugway is a remote and not well-known military base. This race offers the non-military general public to see something they might not otherwise be able to see.”

Fortie councils participants who want to register.

First, do it on the Dugway Ultrasignup Page. 

Second, you will be entering a secure military instillation. Background checks are required, whether done in advance or at the gate. While there is morning-of registration it is recommended that you do it early to make it through the gate quicker.

Third, if you set your GPS on your phone or car for Dugway Proving Grounds it will place your destination in the middle of the instillation, smack dab in the middle of the desert. Know for certain that it is only 85 minutes from Salt Lake City, even less from Utah Valley (Lehi or American Fork).

Finally, there is camping on base for only $8/night. It is dry camping, so there is no water available. There is also a motel on base, open to the public. Runners can stay for $69/night.

Visit the Dugway MWR page for more information. Come and join the fun, you won’t regret it.

CONTEST!

Leave a comment about your running hero or the person who inspired you to become a runner. A random winner will be selected on Friday, October 14th for a free entrance to any of the distances offered at the race.

U.S. Army photo by Al Vogel, Dugway Public Affairs.

U.S. Army photo by Al Vogel, Dugway Public Affairs.

 

17 Responses to Dugway Trail & Ultra Race Review & CONTEST!

  1. Jud Joyce says:

    We are really looking forward to the race and want to remind all that the ultra sign up site closes Wednesday October 21, 2015. We are taking day of registration. After October 17, 2015 the prices increase $10.
    The finishers medals are incredible, the shirts are awesome and the swag bags are probably the best you’ll have at any race!
    This is one of the most unique races in the country, being on a military installation, the pricing, and the giveaways. Tell your running buddies to join too.

  2. Peter Van Horn says:

    This sounds very cool.
    I have quite a few ultra running heroes, but my brother Matthew Van Horn is at the top. It’s because of his amazing dedication to the sport that I went from being an occasional “jogger” to an ultra trail runner practically overnight.
    Since then I’ve covered thousand of miles, climbed hundreds of thousands of feet, seen and experienced incredibly beautiful places and most importantly, met lots of really awesome people.
    Thanks, bro, and everyone.

  3. Michael Steffensen says:

    As cheesy as this may sound, Dean Karnazes was my first real time inspiration to long distance running. Shortly after my lovely wife got me started with running, I found out about Dean and his recent (then) 50/50/50….It completely blew my mind! Most because I tend to take things to there extreme, and the combination of those two, trusted me into the world of ultra marathons. Having the to meet him twice now, still gives me inspiration to achieve and push my self, every time I hit the trails or road. Running keeps me sane and makes me a better person, father and husband!

  4. My hero(S) are my sons. Web & Ben are the reason I started running, for health
    I ran the 50K last year and loved the course, people & experience. Hoping to win a free return !

  5. Clint Lamb says:

    Five years ago at the age of 46 I started running for the first time. My wife had been running for several years and I did my best to support her while doing all in my power to avoid getting g sucked in. It finally hit me one day that if she could run after 15 years of having MS then I have no excuse to be lazy. I started training and a few months later I ran my first 1/2. We ran our first marathon together at the 2014 St. George marathon and we have now just finisher that race for the third time. I finished my first 50m at the age of 50 and I hope to finish my first 100m at Bryce in 2017.
    Becky Lamb is my hero!!!

  6. Andrew Jensen says:

    I started running about 13 years ago after volunteering at the finish line of the St. George Marathon. My hero is not just one person, it is all of those men and women, old and young, large and small, that came through the finish line. I saw how emotional many of them were and decided that I wanted to experience that for myself. 16 ultras, 22 marathons, many half marathons, 10K’s, and 5K’s later I am still inspired by all those that toe the line.

  7. The person who inspired me to get into trails and think about ultra distances was Kenzie Barlow. After watching her tackle her first few ultras, and pacing her to the finish of her second 50 (which was on ROADS!!), I went on a weekend trip with Kenzie and about 20 other women down to run Grand Canyon rim-to-rim. It was the most beautiful and rewarding run I had ever done, and I immediately found myself investigating the 50K distance and leaving the roads for trails. Since then I’ve run my own 50-miler, multiple 50Ks, and even contemplating the idea of a 100 someday. I’m also surrounded by the most incredible community one could ask for. All it takes is one person to change what you view as your limits.

  8. Steve Lindsay says:

    My running hero is Jared Campbell. He continually inspires all as to what is possible in the mountains.

  9. Keith Reidford says:

    I was inspired to run ultra distance by a close friend while he trained for Zion 50. He was lost in an avalanche before he could compete in the race. I think if him at some point during all my long runs…,

  10. Rob Rich says:

    My running heroes are all the runners from Addict 2 Athlete!!! Without them I wouldn’t have started running myself. Thank you for your inspiration not only in life but on the mountain as well.

  11. Jimmy Thomas says:

    I started running trails a year and a half ago after having finished my first Spartan Race. I did really well at all the obstacles, but the trail running part was difficult for me. So, after the race, I decided to start trail running to become better conditioned. That’s when I met Jed Winder, who encouraged me to continue running the trails and mentioned something about “ultra’s”. I forgot about that term until the end of September 2015 rolled around and I saw a Facebook post of an old classmate with the caption “Me pacing my older brother Cody (Reeder) at mile 76 of the Bear 100”. I was so intrigued! Here was a 46-year-old man running 100 miles of mountain trails! I started looking into it and discovered the sport of ultra running. Since last Fall I have finished the Antelope Island 50k, Salt Flats 50, & the Tushar 93k. I’d love to experience the Dugway Isolation 50k!

    • Judson Joyce says:

      4th Annual Dugway Trail & Ultra (Saturday, October 22, 2016) allows runners a unique opportunity to participate in a 5k, 10k, 20k, 30k, or 50k run on the grounds of Dugway Proving Ground, Army Installation. The desert trail offers an abundance of elevation changes with rocky terrain, soft sand, and desert ground terrain with a gain of (10k – 1475 ft., 20k – 2945 ft., 30k – 3968 ft., and 50 k 6002 ft.). The course is primarily single track trail with some connecting dirt roads. Part of the trail follows wild mustang trails and a view of golden eagles nests along the route.
      Day of race registration begins at 6:00 am – 8:30 am. Race start times are: 50k – 7:00 am, 30k – 8:00 am, 5k, 10k, 20k begin at 9:00 am.
      All paid entrants receive a customized race shirt and a unique finisher medal. Entrants have access to some of the best stocked aid stations around, and the swag bags each participant receives is awesome. This is a CUPLESS RACE.
      Sign up through ultrasignup.com until October 20, 2016 or the day of the race.

    • Judson Joyce says:

      4th Annual Dugway Trail & Ultra (Saturday, October 22, 2016) allows runners a unique opportunity to participate in a 5k, 10k, 20k, 30k, or 50k run on the grounds of Dugway Proving Ground, Army Installation. The desert trail offers an abundance of elevation changes with rocky terrain, soft sand, and desert ground terrain with a gain of (10k – 1475 ft., 20k – 2945 ft., 30k – 3968 ft., and 50 k 6002 ft.). The course is primarily single track trail with some connecting dirt roads. Part of the trail follows wild mustang trails and a view of golden eagles nests along the route.
      Day of race registration begins at 6:00 am – 8:30 am. Race start times are: 50k – 7:00 am, 30k – 8:00 am, 5k, 10k, 20k begin at 9:00 am.
      All paid entrants receive a customized race shirt and a unique finisher medal. Entrants have access to some of the best stocked aid stations around, and the swag bags each participant receives is awesome. This is a CUPLESS RACE.
      Sign up through ultrasignup.com until October 20, 2016 or the day of the race.

      http://dugway.armymwr.com/us/dugway/dugway-events/dugway-trail-ultra-run?eID=396680

  12. Elizabeth A. Chauca says:

    The person who inspired me to get into trail running was a friend who I dated for a while after getting divorced. I have liked distance running since XC in high school, and always preferred dirt and grass to pavement, but I didn’t know where to find a lot of the trails in SLC. I was also intimidated by the unknown length of the trails and elevation changes. My friend took me out trail running with his friends every morning and I got over all of those barriers and learned the trails out here. He commented that I would make a good ultra runner and he bet that I would be doing 30-50 mile distances soon enough. I hadn’t raced since high school and rejected the idea of paying to run anywhere. I told myself I didn’t have anything to prove and I didn’t want to be an ultra runner. When we broke up and he moved, I knew I wanted to keep trail running. I don’t have a car, so running to the trails was intimidating at first, so was exploring new trails alone. Eventually I realized I did want to run ultra distances, so I did and I do. I continue to be inspired by the members of the Wasatch Mountain Wranglers group as they challenge the limits of what I think is possible in trail and ultra running. I’m really grateful for all the running friends I’ve made.

  13. Andy Chrysler says:

    My inspiration for running was my cross country coach many years ago. He was a hard worker, great inspiration, and taught me a lot. Thanks Tracy!

  14. Casey Richardson says:

    While visiting a friend’s family for a wedding, I went to run in the local high school’s 5k. The brides brothers, Tommy and Jacob Puzey also ran in it (Jacob was the coach and RD). They finished the 5k, then took off their shoes and ran the course a few more times after everyone else had finished. It was like watching two gazelles bounding about on the Serengeti. They were beautiful to watch. It was inspirational. I’ve kept that image in my mind since – I’ve tried to have a good flow, keep it fun, and keep it natural. Just like they looked on that awesome morning in Oregon.

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