OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Marathon runner recounts her experience on Francis Peak

Oct 9, 2021, 6:12 PM | Updated: Oct 11, 2021, 4:47 pm
Conditions looking toward Francis Peak on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Photo Credit: Colby Walker, KSL....
Conditions looking toward Francis Peak on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Photo Credit: Colby Walker, KSL.

 

 

KAYSVILLE, Utah — Kelcey Stowell was one of the many runners who participated in Saturday’s 50-mile ultramarathon, involving Francis Peak in Davis County.

She was among a group of runners who got an early start on the race, leaving at 4:30 a.m. The official start to the race was at 5:30 a.m.

As it turns out, it was a race day that Stowell likely won’t forget about anytime soon.

About four hours after the race started, search and rescue from the Davis County Sheriff’s Office was called in regards to 87 runners who needed assistance getting off Francis Peak due to severe weather. She was one of those runners.

Rain was expected

Stowell knew weather might be an issue. However, she never thought it would be as bad as she experienced.

“We were expecting rain,” Stowell said to KSL NewsRadio’s Adam Small. “They told us expect rain. So everyone was dressed for rain weather. So it was raining at the start.”

Stowell said as the group of runners started going up in elevation, snowflakes started to fall.

“It was a very light powder,” she said. “We thought it was kind of fun at first.”

But as the runners began to make their way toward Francis Peak, the snow started coming down even harder.

“It was way before Francis,” Stowell said. “But maybe to the top of the Great Western. It really started snowing hard, and then the wind started kicking up, and then it started getting really cold.”

Stowell and her running group decided they would get to the top of Francis Peak. Once there, they would then come down Farmington Canyon.

She said everyone assumed everything would be OK. However, that wasn’t the case.

“But it turned terrible up there,” she said. “I mean it was just like a blizzard up there. The winds were so strong, and it was just pelting us. And everybody was already wet from the rain, so it made conditions much worse.”

Getting off Francis Peak

As conditions got worse, Stowell and her group were a mile away from an aid station at top of Francis Peak. A race official approached them from the opposite  direction and informed them the race was being called. The official told them to get to the aid station and they would get them off the mountain.

“I think the race directors made an amazing decision to call it,” Stowell said. “It was getting quite bad.”

According to Stowell, a transport at the aid station that would have taken the runners back down the mountain was stuck in snow. So the group had to go back down the mountain to where trucks from search and rescue were waiting for them.

Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Outdoors + Recreation

Utah is now enforcing a law requiring an educational course for off-highway vehicles. The state req...
Alexandrea Bonilla

Course certification now required for OHV driving on Utah public land

For Utah drivers 18 and up, the required OHV course is free. Minors have the option to pass an in-person skills test or take a $35 course.
2 days ago
woodward...
Elizabeth Weiler

A weekend under the cosmic lights at Woodward Park City

Looking for a fun way to spend the weekend? Woodward Park City just announced its' cosmic tubing night for Feb. 10 and 11.
2 days ago
inversion is pictured in a Herriman neighborhood...
Adam Small

Inversion could build again this week

As of late, Air quality has improved along the Wasatch Front, but inversion may rebuild in the coming days depending on winter storms.
3 days ago
Two hands holding a green plant by the soil above empty pots...
Michelle Lee

Transplanting houseplants? Here are some tips!

SALT LAKE CITY – If you’re growing houseplants, there’s something you need to be familiar with, and that is transplanting. Transplanting houseplants is something you have to do every so often, depending on the type of plant. “Some houseplants will go for several years without needing it, and others need to be transplanted at least […]
6 days ago
Temperatures dropping weather worsens...
Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

‘Dangerous’ arctic air returns this weekend after a month-long hiatus

What has been a mild start to 2023 will come to a halt this weekend as winter makes a roaring comeback across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
12 days ago
Here are some of the many easy houseplants that beginning gardeners will be able to care for and he...
Michelle Lee

Easy houseplants for beginning gardeners or pros

There are many easy houseplants that are perfect for people who are just beginning to practice their green thumb.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Marathon runner recounts her experience on Francis Peak