Just a few days remain to pre-register for the Deseret News/Granite Furniture 32nd annual marathon, 19th annual 10K and fifth annual 5K Fitness Walk, but it's still not too late. This Pioneer Day tradition on July 24 is the perfect way to start a full day of fun.
Marathoners will take off before sunrise from the Mountain Dell Golf Course and run down through Emigration Canyon before spilling out onto the streets of Salt Lake City. They will finish along the route of the Days of '47 Parade on their way to Liberty Park.
The 10K race will start about 6:15 a.m. from Research Park and again finish along the parade route to Liberty Park. And those wishing to power walk will enjoy the 5K Fitness Walk that starts at the Delta Center at 7 a.m., again finishing up the parade route at Liberty Park.
Registration costs are $30 for the marathon, $18 for the 10K and $12 for the 5K walk ($5 for children 10 and under). Each registered runner receives a race packet with number, a T-shirt, and race information. Part of the proceeds from all races and walks go to the Marine Corps Reserves' Toys for Tots program and to the Shriners Children's Hospital here in Salt Lake City.
For the seventh consecutive year, Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation is coordinating the races, under the direction of Scott Kerr and Lauren Jacobsen. She says registrations are ahead of last year, adding that she expects a large number of entries to arrive before the deadline this weekend.
"We always have a number of runners who wait until the last minute," she said. "After all these years of coordinating the races, we're prepared to handle last minute signups if we need to."
The last day to register at the Deseret News offices at 30 E. 100 South in Salt Lake City is July 14. The same goes for those signing up in person at the county recreation department offices in the Redwood Recreation Center off Redwood Road in West Valley City. You may also register until July 17 at any of the four Granite Furniture locations in Layton, Sugarhouse, West Jordan or Orem.
Prize money will be awarded this year for the top three male and female finishers in the marathon and 10K from the state of Utah. Top state runners earn $350, second place is good for $250 and third place is good for $150. Transportation is provided for runners to the start of the marathon as well as back to the starting line areas for the 10K and 5K Fitness Walk, so participants in the latter events can retrieve their cars.
Once runners and walkers reach Liberty Park, a bevy of activities are planned, including a free chuckwagon breakfast courtesy of KSL Newsradio 1160 and Pioneer Pies, games for the children and lots of other surprises.
The DesNews races always emphasize safety. Aids stations will be set up along both the road race courses for those needing water or first aid. Several local musicians and recorded music will keep participants serenaded as they go.
There will be no race-day registration this year, so if those wanting to participate must pre-register this week.