General Race Information
The Wasatch Front 100 mile Endurance Run, Inc. starts at 5:00am sharp on the first Friday after Labor Day. Runners must reach the Finish Line at Soldier Hollow in Midway by 5:00pm on Saturday to successfully complete the race. The race begins just past the entrance to the East Mountain Wilderness Park (650 North 1600 East) about 1/2 mile east of Highway 89 east of the Davis County Animal Shelter (about 17 miles north of Salt Lake City). The onlilne application period begins December 1st and typically ends within the first week of the following January. The lottery is held the first Saturday in February.
The Race: The Wasatch Front 100 is one of the most uniquely challenging ultrarunning events in the world. It is a study in contrasts: peaks and valleys; trail and scree; heat and cold; wet and dry; summer and winter; day and night; Desolation Lake and Point Supreme; “I can’t” and “I will!” Dickens had the Wasatch in mind when he wrote, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” The primitive and isolated nature of the course is both its beauty and its challenge, for it requires the individual runner to rely primarily on himself or herself rather than the Race’s support systems. Wasatch is not just distance and speed; it is adversity, adaptation and perseverance.
The Course: The Wasatch 100 is a point-to-point run that traverses the heart of the central Wasatch Mountains, one of the most beautiful ranges of the Rocky Mountains. The course begins in Kaysville, Utah, at East Mountain Wilderness Park, running south to the mouth of Bair Canyon at the foot of Francis Peak, and ascends nearly 4,200 feet in 4.4 miles to the ridge line above. The trail then turns south and follows the crest of the Wasatch range past Francis Peak, through Farmington Flats and Arthur’s Fork, along Sessions Ridge, over City Creek Pass, Big Mountain Pass and Bald Mountain, through Parley’s, Lamb’s, and Mill Creek Canyons, then past Desolation Lake and along the Wasatch Crest trail, through Big Cottonwood and American Fork Canyons, and up to Pole Line Pass and Baker Pass. After leaving Baker Pass then goes around Mill Creek Peak through the “Glide” and the “Plunge”, and down to the Pot Hollow Canyon trail head. The course then climbs to join the OHV dirt road known as Cummings Parkway, along the mountain ridge above Heber Valley and heads south to the Cascade Springs Road until reaching the head of Decker Canyon. Runners then descend through Decker Canyon to its mouth at the Deer Creek Reservoir Trail, which leads to the finish at the Pavilion at Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park, Utah.
Policy Regarding Dogs And Other Pets: There are many areas along the Wasatch 100 course that are “watershed” thus dogs and other pets are not allowed. During past runs there were support crew members issued tickets as a result of having their dogs with them. In addition, in the past race participants have complained about sanitation problems that arise as well as dogs that can be protective of their owner and somewhat aggressive. In order to comply with Watershed and Forest Service regulations, and out of respect for the comfort and safety of race participants, DOGS AND OTHER PETS ARE PROHIBITED FROM ALL VENUES OF THE WASATCH FRONT 100 MILE ENDURANCE RUN including aid stations, the pre-race meeting, the start and the finish. PLEASE PASS ON INFORMATION ABOUT THIS POLICY TO YOUR SUPPORT CREW AS WELL AS FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO PLAN TO ATTEND THE RACE.
The Rules For Runners And Crews: Please help us. The Wasatch Mountains need your help to preserve and protect their incredible beauty. Please follow these guidelines.
- Please respect private property near the trails. Do not trespass.
- Do NOT litter. Carry all of your food, GU packages and torn tops,
- Power Bar wrappers, candy wrappers or bags and any other trash to the aid station garbage sacks.
- Pay any Forest Service fees or camping fees if needed.
- Be respectful of all Forest Service officials. Be courteous to other trail users including Mountain Bikers even if they aren’t following the rules of courtesy for trail use. Avoid confrontations. Surrender the trail to anyone on horseback as part of the rules of courtesy. Slow down and use caution in passing hikers.
- Leave nothing on the trails but your footprints.
- Please leave the areas you use cleaner than you found them.
- ***FIRES*** Fires are only allowed in designated areas for picnic and camping facilities. Some years have a very high fire danger warning. Please obey the latest directive from the Forest Service concerning the fire danger potential.
- Follow the Sanitation guidelines for human waste below. Use the LEAVE NO TRACE suggestions from the Forest Service. Some of the aid stations will have portable toilets stationed nearby. Please use them when possible. “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” (Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862) Sanitation practices in the backcountry require extra effort to prevent pollution of the environment. Human waste: The main concerns with human waste are to speed decomposition, prevent water contamination and minimize the chance of discovery by others. “Cat holes” are the most generally accepted method of disposing of human waste in popular forested areas. Dig a small hole 6 to 8 inches deep in organic soil where microorganisms are present. When done, use a stick to mix your feces with soil, cover the hole with topsoil and camouflage the area. Large groups staying multiple days in one area may need to use a group latrine; however, human waste in a latrine may take years to decompose. Consult the Forest Service for information on how to properly use a latrine. Although some people bury toilet paper with their waste, it is better to pack it out in a plastic zip bag or burn it in a campfire. Few precautions are needed for urine other than to move well away from campsites, trails and water. Bathing: Washing in the backcountry is easy if you follow a few simple steps. If you find it necessary to use soap, use extra care not to get soap into water sources. Use a container to bring water at least 200 feet from lakes and streams, get wet, scrub and rinse yourself off. Dish water: Dishes should also be washed 200 feet from water. Pack out large food scraps and scatter dishwater away from water, camps and trails. Trash: Everything packed in that you don’t eat should be packed out, including: foil-lined drink packages, all plastics, extra food and cans. Even cigarette butts can, and should, be packed out in a plastic zip bag you can carry in your pocket.
The race committee has two sanctions for infractions of rules. First, disqualification means the runner will not appear as an official finisher in race results and will receive no award for placing. Second, future entry denied means that an application for another race will be returned.
Infractions Resulting In Disqualification:
- Short-cutting of the course
- Missing an aid station
- Being met by crew/family/friends at unauthorized locations along the route
- Getting in a moving vehicle
- Failing to remain at an aid station on request of aid station personnel
- Impeding another runner
Infractions Resulting In Denial Of Future Entry:
- Running as a bandit
- Pacing or crewing for a bandit runner
- Having crew take cars to areas designated as off limits
- Disobeying Forest Service rules regarding disposal of human waste or mistreatment of the environment
- Failing to respect private property
- Mistreating aid station personnel, runners, or pacers
- Failing to withdraw on request of race officials
The race committee asks that only one pacer be used at a time. Violation of this rule will result in disqualification. Runners are expected to behave in a sportsmanlike manner and the race committee reserves the right to impose sanctions for behavior not specifically mentioned here.
Along The Trail: The course follows footpaths, game trails and dirt roads, with a few short stretches of pavement, at altitudes from 5,000 to 10,480 feet. While much of the course follows well defined trails, there are stretches of sagebrush, scree, waist-high grass, and fist-sized cobblestones as well. Runners have encountered deer, elk, moose, porcupines, rattlesnakes, bear, mountain lions, sheep and sheepherders.
Provisions At Aid Stations: The daytime aid sations will have water, energy drink, fruit, a salty item and usually soda. The nighttime aid stations will have water, energy drink, typically a salty item and hot drinks as well as perhaps soda. The crossover aid stations will have all of the above items. In addition, most aid stations will have assorted food items that the aid station personnel will bring. Depending on the station such items can include soup, potatoes, sandwiches, pasta and breakfast items. Food and drink at aid stations is provided for runners and their pacer. If you have any specialty food or drink needs they should be placed in your drop bags. Please note that Rock Springs is just a water stop and is a hike in station. If they have items other than water it will be a very limited selection.
Drop/Supply Bags: Drop bags will be transported to seven of the major aid stations in the race as well as the finish line. Runners wishing to make use of this service must make sure that their bags are securely tied and clearly marked. We do not accept hard sided containers for drop bag use. Please make sure that all drop bags will fit into a 10″x10″x20″ box.
Pacers/Crews: Pacers are allowed for all runners from the Big Mountain aid station (31.66 miles) to the finish. Runners over the age of 60 may have a pacer from the start of the race to the finish. Pacer insertion/exchange points are Big Mountain, Lamb’s Canyon, Brighton and Top Of The Wall pacer exchange point. Big Mountain, Brighton and the Finish Line are the only points where runner crews can crew their runner. It is not intended that pacers serve as pack horses or physical assistants to their runners. The role of the pacer is to provide encouragement and support. While no hard fast rules have been adopted, the Wasatch Front Race Committee requests that pacers observe the ethics and refrain from carrying their runner’s food and water, and exercise discretion in extending physical support. Vehicle pacing is disallowed. Please remember that a runner can only have one pacer at a time.
A Note To Crews And Pacers: Welcome! Your participation in the Wasatch Front 100 is appreciated by your runner and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Race Committee. You may be the difference between your runner having a wonderful experience or an agonizing journey in misery. Seeing you at crew accessible aid stations and knowing you are cheering them on gives runners their biggest boost in morale and confidence. You can truly pull your runner through when the going gets tough.
Study the maps and crew accessible aid station locations before hand so you are familiar with the routes, distances and time required reaching each aid station. Please remember that many of the roads you will be traveling on are steep, narrow and winding. The time that it takes to travel from aid station to aid station may be longer than expected for the distance. Please be safe and drive within the speed limits posted. Drive defensively at all times. It is common to feel an urgent need to hurry while traveling to the next aid station and develop “lead foot”. Slow down and stay alert while driving. Thinking too far ahead is a distraction you can ill afford. Also, the nervous energy of anticipation somehow blunts normal hunger urges. Remember, crew and pacers need to eat regularly.
Crews are allowed at Big Mountain, Brighton Lodge and the Finish Line. In addition, pacer exchange points are Big Mountain, Lamb’s Canyon, Brighton and Top Of The Wall. Big Mountain aid station gets extremely crowded. Please take only one car to this spot. Please use the Little Dell parking as a staging area for both Big Mountain and for those using Lamb’s as a pacer exchange point. When your runner has arrived at the previous aid station, the communications crew at Little Dell will give you a parking pass for Big Mountain aid station. If you are using Lamb’s as a pacer exchange point crews must drop off the pacer and move on though. They cannot wait to pick up an arriving pacer. That may mean a crew has to pass through Lamb’s twice if they must pick up a pacer who is just finishing a section. Please leave Big Mountain as soon as your runner starts for the next aid station in order to make room for others. Communications volunteers at the aid stations and at the Little Dell parking area can help you predict when your runner will arrive at Big Mountain and for pacer exchange only at Lamb’s Canyon. In addition, you will be able to access that information yourself if you wish using your smartphone and a link that will be available on our website throughout the race. There is ample paking at the Brighton aid station but because of overcrowding in the station itself we ask that crews only enter the station while there runner is there.
Car pacing is not allowed. Do not follow along side your runner. This is dangerous and can cause too much dust and make breathing difficult for the runners behind you.
Be familiar with the food and drink needs as well as equipment and clothing requirements of your runner so that you will have the proper supplies ready when he/she arrives at the aid station. Pay particular attention to electrolyte depletion your runner may be facing. Please assist race management in keeping the trail and aid stations free of litter.
Be sure your runner checks IN and OUT OF the aid stations. If the decision to drop out becomes necessary, please be aware dropping out must be done ONLY at the aid stations, race officials must be notified AND THE PAPERWORK COMPLETED BEFORE LEAVING THE COURSE! Runners can be held financially responsible for Search and Rescue attempts because of improperly dropping out. If any runner receives a DNF prior to or at the Big Mountain aid station they will be required to successfully complete a 100 mile run before applying again to the Wasatch 100.
The most important function of any crew or pacer is to insure the safety of their runner. Know your runner’s strong and weak points. Pacers are very helpful to their runners if they learn the course they will be pacing and the approximate distances to various landmarks. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of dehydration, hypothermia and altitude sickness. Ultrarunners frequently brag about “being dead and buried” at various times during the race and yet somehow continue on to finish the race. There is a very fine line between discomfort and real distress. There is difficulty balancing the need for runners to face and overcome adversity and the need to avoid serious injury. Most runners will experience mild symptoms, but will be able to keep running or at least walking. Don’t unnecessarily discourage your runner, but watch out for potentially serious problems. Participants will often feel better by just leaving the aid station and getting moving again. Runners will all have highs and lows and the lows usually get lower later in the race.
Good luck with the pep talks!
Runners Receiving An Early DNF For Time: Any runner who receives a DNF for time at either the Bountiful “B” or Big Mountain aid station will need to enter and successfully complete a 100 mile run in order to enter Wasatch in any future year. This qualifying run will need to be completed with documentation of completion and finishing time submitted before the lottery.
Transportation To The Start And After The Race: We request that no one leave cars at the start as there is very limited parking. There will be buses to transport runners to the start from downtown Salt Lake City and we encourage runners to use this service. There is no additional charge to ride the bus. Runners who ride the bus and wish to leave items at the start may bring a drop bag on the bus and leave it at the start. These drop bags may be picked up at the finish with the other drop bags. We do not have bus service back to Salt Lake after the race. We do have two mini-vans that can carry up to 5 runners each. They will take runners only back to downtown Salt Lake City. After the race there will be any number of runners able to give someone a ride back to town. It is probably best to use the mini-vans as Plan B due to the limited space.
Weather: Temperatures during the race have typically ranged from 25 to 85 F. Often there is mild, perfect-running weather, however, one year fresh snow fell on Catherine’s Pass with a wind chill measured below zero, and another had trail temperatures at sometimes over 100 F. Another year was rainy and muddy both days with low clouds limiting visibility. Humidity in Utah is often very low and may contribute to severe dehydration without the proper fluid intake.
Be Prepared: This event is extremely demanding, and should only be undertaken by athletes in excellent physical condition. All entrants should be familiar with basic first-aid, and know the symptoms and treatment for heat exhaustion, hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude sickness. Some course sections between aid stations exceed nine miles. Runners should be well-equipped to care for themselves and effect self-rescue if necessary. Only runners who can demonstrate successful ultrarunning experience or its equivalent will be considered for entry.
Training Runs: The Race Committee highly recommends that you run as much of the course as possible before race day. For information about informal training runs please watch our Facebook page.
Top Ten Ways To DNF At Wasatch:
- 10) Wear new shoes.
- 9) Wear old socks.
- 8) Waste energy getting mad at little things.
- 7) Try for that terrific 36 hour “SUNTAN”. Would you stick your head in a microwave?
- 6) Forget to plan for difficult weather: wind, rain, cold, heat.
- 5) Wasatch only goes up to 10,500. No one ever has altitude problems, right?
- 4) Forget to consume calories.
- 3) Think you are staying hydrated by drinking at aid stations only.
- 2) Rely totally on ribbons to guide your way. Does the word “lost” have meaning to you?
- 1) Not making friends with Mr. SALT and Mz. ELECTROLYTE.