Near Bountiful, Utah is a lovely respite called Mueller Park. Often considered a hidden gem among trail runners, Mueller Park features well established trails that are excellent for running, mountain biking and even backpacking.
About a month ago a local running friend mentioned the Elephant Rock Trail Race which features a 7-mile, half-marathon and full marathon distance options. Curious about the race and finally given the “all-clear” to start easing into regular running again, I gave the 7 mile race a try.
I decided to preview the course with my two youngest children a couple weeks before race day, and the natural beauty did not disappoint.
The trail is well defined and consists of dirt, rock and some very sly tree roots. The trail to Elephant Rock is a 3.5 mile trek (one way) with about 1,200 ft in vertical gain. The views are gorgeous as you make your way to elephant rock.
While I prefer to run the half-distance, Saturday race day was so smokey from all the Utah and California wildfires that I was grateful to only run a short 7 miles in such conditions.
The day was warm and the smoke cast a beautiful yet deceiving haze. For the first time ever, my lungs burned on run, which I attribute to the smoke.
It was a great race, and I actually finished the race second over-all, a first for me.
I really like trail running, and relish any opportunity to be in nature. Im grateful live in an area with so many wonderful trail options.