Southern Utah is a region known for outstanding scenery, incredible parks and challenging terrain. Soon, it will be known as one of the best regions for running relays, as more races are cropping up in this scenic wonderland. I had a chance to learn more about the area’s newest relay, Top of Zion, which promises to be a running adventure you won’t soon forget.
I had a chance to ask race director Ellen Mueller a few questions about her new race. Ellen’s brother and sister are the force behind the Ruby Mountain Relay, Top of Zion’s sister event. In fact, if you run both, you earn a special medal. Her enthusiasm and passion for this event is evident as she shares her insights into the relay. Enjoy!
The 194.4 mile Top of Zion Relay will run its inaugural race June 29 - 30, 2012. To learn more about this race, please check out their website at www.topofzion.com.
This is your first year putting on the relay. What have been your biggest challenges, and what triumphs are you excited about?
Our first year has presented the extra challenge of creating the relay out of basically nothing other than our vision, talents,resources and our efforts in conjunction with the continuing challenge of managing and improving the relay once it is established. As the race director, I am super motivated and excited about our vision of bringing runners together in the backcountry. I love the idea of creating an atmosphere that strengthens relationships, gets people out in God's country and inspires their soul with the magnificent scenery they will run through. And just as importantly, improving their own physical fitness in the process as they train and participate which brings with it all the added benefits such as confidence and self-improvement. I love having a vision and going to work to create the relay in such a way that brings satisfaction. I have high expectations and standards for myself and this relay. I want everything done the best possible way. Sometimes we have limitations such as budget, time and abilities but we do our best with what we have.