First two races coming up on June 1 and June 8
Runners in the Beehive State can start the buzz - the inaugural XTERRA Utah Trail Run Series is about to begin.
Utah has been home to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship since 2011, but 2013 marks the first year that a complete series will be staged in Utah.
Three races are on the 2013 schedule, with the season-opener set for June 1. The XTERRA Jordanelle Trail Run will be the opening race, and it will take place at the picturesque Jordanelle State Park near Park City, Utah.
There will not be much time to rest and recover after the opener, as the second race in the series will take place on June 8 - the XTERRA Moab Trail Run at Moab, Utah.
The season finale will be the XTERRA Wolf Mountain Trail Run at Ogden, Utah, on July 13.
"The popularity of trail racing in Utah is increasing," Utah Series director Mac McCluskey said. "I see the number increasing on the trails during my own training runs and participation in local events has been increasing."
Utah is renowned for its breathtaking trails, and the races in the series are no exception. The first race will take runners to the picturesque Jordanelle State Park, which offers rolling terrain and scenic views - all at elevations above 6,000 feet.
The second race features a short, but memorable, course at Moab, Utah. The 5K trail is mostly single track, and takes runners to Faux Falls and along Ken's Lake.
The third race will take place at Wolf Mountain ski resort in Ogden, so the climbs - and views - are sure to be epic.
Each race in the series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from Utah and other states.
The XTERRA Utah Trail Run Series should serve as a perfect warm-up for the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which is held every September at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah.
"If anyone were training for Nationals, this would be the place to do it," McCluskey said. "With the elevation change and hilly terrain that these events offer, it is a positive comparison to the course at Nationals. They could not be any more similar without actually being Snowbasin, and should provide excellent training opportunities for anyone considering that race in September."
Points will be awarded to the top runners in each age group at every race in the Utah Series, and standings will be updated throughout the season. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Utah at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.