Saturday, September 24, 2016 • Vernal, UT • Course Map
Set for its annual running as summer is transitioning into fall here in this small northeastern Utah city, which is perhaps best known as a mecca for fishing and hunting in the warmer weather months, the Uintah Half Marathon takes runners on a long, gradual downhill descent through Dry Fork Canyon, along a course that starts up in the canyon and finishes at Uintah High School.
Known for its ancient Native American rock art and petroglyphs inscribed on the walls of the caves that can be found throughout the mountains and hillsides here, Dry Fork Canyon is famous for the rock artwork known as the “Three Kings of Dry Fork,” or the Three Kings Panel, a set of intricately painted and carved figures that appear to watch over the valley from the rock walls near the McCorkle Ranch, a privately owned ranch that lies a few miles to the northwest of Vernal.
Runners will start the race by boarding the shuttle bus from the parking area at Maeser School (which lies along West 1000 N Road) starting at 6:15 AM. From there, runners will be taken to the race starting line, which lies up in the canyon on Red Cloud Loop Road/Dry Fork Settlement Road, just south of the Ashley National Forest.
The last shuttle will leave the school for the start at 6:45 AM, so runners are of course encouraged to be on time.
From the starting line up in Dry Fork Canyon, runners will then begin a trek that takes them southeast down through the canyon, following Dry Fork Settlment Road for the first two miles as it becomes North Dry Fork Road, and then makes a left turn onto Red Cloud Loop Road between the 2nd and 3rd mile markers.
The scenery as runners make their way down through the canyon will be spectacular, with red rock formations rising up along the roadway and the hills and mountains of the Colorado Plateau off in the distance.
The long, straightaway stretch of Red Cloud Loop Road/North Dry Fork Road will continue over the next six and a half miles or so as runners keep heading southeast toward Maeser and Vernal.
About halfway between the 9th and 10th mile markers, as runners head out of the canyon and into the valley below, the course begins a series of turns that take them through the final three miles of the course and bring them to Maeser Elementary School for the race finish.
Race Weather & Climate
Located along the western edge of the Colorado Plateau here in northeastern Utah, just over 170 miles east of Salt Lake City and roughly 140 miles northwest of Grand Junction, Colo., Vernal typically September temperatures that average between 41°F and 75°F.
On the day of the race (Sept. 24), the average low is 40°F and the average high is 74°F.
To reserve your spot in the 2016 running of Vernal’s Uintah Half Marathon, register online at RaceEntry.com here.
Official Race Website
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