If you haven’t noticed, Summer in PC is all but over.
For this couple-of-surf-bums who came to PC from Kauai, it’s been the magical summer of our lives. We couldn’t just experience the warmest and fuzziest times of our lives and not share, so here are the ingredients we feel will mash-up and make the……..
I’ll start this off by saying that we are pretty addicted to athletic type events so this list of ingredients will be laden with sweat but we did do lots of other fun stuff that didn’t require pain and punishment.
We got to see some concerts and other events at the High Star Ranch including David Blaine which was a mind-bender. We also went and watched the MLS Soccer team which was fun and pretty affordable. We also got to go down to Vivint to see the Jazz (more like Fall but was still super beautiful to see the remodeled arena). Ok, without further ado, here’s the recipe for a perfect summer in PC.
One cup of Get Fit
This place they call “Park City” is appropriately named because the whole place is a park! But get ready for a challenge because even the easier races are challenging due to the altitude and the competitiveness of the world class athletes who inhabit PC. It’s all to-the-good however because it really forces you to be F I T. Come early, spend a week before your first event (if you can afford it) and work on your hill training.. This place is rarely flat. We came early and kept strong on the trails and used the Basin Recreational Center often. It’s a first class community type training center where you’ll commonly see Olympic athletes from many countries training.
Two scoops of Planning
Plan ahead. Races here in PC fill up so don’t just assume that you are going to come out and get into every single event you want to participate in. Some events that are pure fun like “Slip and Soar” and the “Red Bull 400” sell out almost immediately. So plan your attack and then… ATTACK!
Suggested Toppings For Runners
- Mountain Trails Events
A trifecta of races that vary from a solid training event around round valley, the vertical challenge of the Jupiter Peak steeplechase and finishing with the epic mid mountain marathon that is probably the most fun event I’ve ever ever done.
- Round Valley Rambler
- Jupiter Peak Steeple Chase
- Mid Mountain Marathon
- Discrete Peak Series. These are shorter but steeper races that you can use to truly test your skills as a mountain runner. These are not for the faint of heart but surely for the hard core.
- Salt Lake Events. Most people who come up here to PC don’t venture down to Salt Lake to race but we found some really fun events down there including the Wahsatch (yea with the second H in there) Steeple Chase. It was a very very grueling event that crushed the quads worse than any event we’ve ever attempted. Give it a try but don’t say we didn’t warn you about the steepness of the descent! And make sure to bring your camera.. The views from Black Mountain are epic and rugged and super exposed.
Sprinkles for Cyclists
- Sunday Church at Ritual Chocolate. The local “Stay Park City” Club rides outta Ritual every Sunday at 10am and it’s a MUST if you want to get in and meet some of the local hammers.
- Mountain Velo. Don’t miss this shop. It’s home of the legendary Max Testa and his partner Tim. These guys are the real deal. You also might bump into Peter Sagan or Richie Porte (like I did) on one of the Wednesday night Worlds rides that starts at 5:30-6pm. Check with the shop on the exact departure time. Warning! If you show up to this ride bring your A+ game. These guys drop you and enjoy doing it. This ride is for hammers only. However, if you have the legs you could totally fall in love with this crew. They are super sweet people that have a passion for riding (hard).
- Jans on Park Ave. If you are in need of a rental bike or some gear this place is the best around. They also have a sister store called White Pine touring over in the Prospector part of town. White Pine is home of the Thursday afternoon (5:45) MTB ride that has about 6 groups who go out all over town. Thursday night MTB offers all levels of abilities from pro racer peeps all the way out to chatty-Kathy types who just wanna spin.
A Dash of Splash
Even if you are a die-hard runner or rider, we totally suggest spending a rest day up at the Utah Olympic Park watching the crazies ski jump into the pool. It’s a great place to get a little sun, relax and giggle when the people belly flop or cheer when they crush a complicated trick. Also check the web for an event called “Slip and Soar”. That’s where they let the public dress up and slide down the jumps (without skis or boards) and allow us to pretend to fly.. It’s a riot and the epitome of good clean fun. Bust out that mankini you’ve been hiding from the wife and give it a whack.
A Pinch of Bird
Just because you are in PC doesn’t mean you should flip the bird to Snowbird 😉 during the summer. Those steep hills make for amazing running and riding and the summer room rates are cheap. We like to head out there for White Pine adventuring (just below the resort) as well as big loops from the lodge up to the top of the Gondola and over to Alta and back. If you are up there for a few days go in search of Sunset peak and Catherine’s Pass. The whole area is crazy amazing so ensure you get a little Snowbird time in over the summer. Don’t miss the wildflowers near Alta. They might be the most beautiful thing we saw all summer.
Let Rest for 8 hours
Last but not least…. You need a good place to sleep. We stay with ParkCityVacationRentals.com every single time we are in town. They have tons of options from castles to condos and everything in the middle. Moral of the story is: Sleep is King in PC. If you can rest well you can adventure well too. If you end up staying with these guys mention this article and they may even be able to get you some local pricing or a discount ;).
Hope you enjoyed this little ditty. It’s an absolute wonderful place to spend “the offseason”. We like it so much we purchased a home here that we will rent out during the ski season and come back for more summer adventures. So stay tuned. We will keep adventuring and sharing every year!