All stranded marathon runners in Davis County found safe

Oct 9, 2021, 2:32 PM | Updated: 8:54 pm
Two  members of the Davis County Search and Rescue team come down the mountain following a search f...
Two members of the Davis County Search and Rescue team come down the mountain following a search for 87 stranded marathon runners on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Photo credit: Colby Walker, KSL

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — The 87 stranded marathon runners participating in the DC Peaks 50 ultramarathon Saturday have been located. Search and rescue was called when driving snow created hazardous conditions for runners on Francis Peak in Davis County. There, temperatures had dropped to below freezing and from 10 to 12 inches of snow had fallen.

The 50-mile race began at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, and by the time the weather had turned and the race was canceled, there were many runners who hadn’t turned back.

In a press conference Saturday afternoon, the Davis County Sheriff’s Office said they were notified by organizers of the event at 9:30 a.m. The organizers said there were runners experiencing severe weather conditions. 

“It was a white-out. Not only cloudy but blowing snow, drifting snow, falling snow,” said Davis County Sheriff Kelly Sparks. 

All of the runners were off the mountain and accounted for by 2:30 p.m. Authorities say other than a runner falling and another one experiencing hypothermia, there were no serious injuries. All of the runners were released at the scene.

Authorities also say the runners were all scattered along the path of the race. 

“We normally recommend to people that venture into the mountains this time of year be very prepared. Wear warm clothing, wear layered clothing, and take extra precautions and extra warm articles to keep themselves safe. Obviously, when you’re running a 50-mile race, that’s not possible,” Sheriff Sparks said. 

Our initial reporting follows 

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — The Davis County Sheriff’s Office sent out its search and rescue team Saturday afternoon to assist in the search for 87 stranded runners on Francis Peak in Davis County.

After a search, all runners were safely accounted for.

The runners were participating in a 50-mile ultra trail marathon that began in Kaysville and was to end in North Salt Lake. 

The race began Saturday morning at 5 a.m. Roughly five hours into the race, severe weather forced organizers to cancel the race. However, 87 runners were on the course when the race was called off.

At the time, nearly a foot of snow had fallen on Francis Peak. Wind gusts were as strong as 30 mph and the temperature had fallen into the 20s.

The race started in East Mountain Wilderness Park in Kaysville and was to end in Tunnel Springs Park in North Salt Lake. The course is made of a 12,000-foot vertical gain and a 10,000-foot decent.

This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available. 

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All stranded marathon runners in Davis County found safe