Speedgoat 50k is an International Skyrace!

A look at Utah’s brutal Speedgoat 50k.

By on February 9, 2012 | Comments

Speedgoat 50kLate last July, I headed over to the west side of the Wasatch Crest to run in Karl Meltzer’s Speedgoat 50k. Karl bills the race as the “Toughest 50k in the US” and I’ve yet to see anything that comes close. My own Speedgoat performance, in what was my final UTMB tune-up, solidified that opinion. Endless, huge up-and-downs (11,420′ of climbing), seemingly rocky hell on the only flat sections (I enjoyed this section.), and the mental beatdown that accompanies such terrain. The beautiful high Wasatch terrain (The race must average 9,000′ in elevation.), excellent organization, and supply of PBR at the finish helped offset the trauma.

Seriously, Karl puts on a great race for everyone with a little something for the top runners. There’s a guaranteed $3,000 prize purse – 1st $1,000, 2nd $400, 3rd $100 – and a $500 course-record bonus… and you’d better believe that Karl will do whatever he can to put more bread on the line. Last year, the race saw the likes of Nick Clark, Joe Grant, Nick Pedatella, Ben and Bethany Lewis, and Becky Wheeler. This year the field once again promises to be primo with an entrants such as Max King, Nick Clark, Timothy Olson, Ben Lewis, and Becky Wheeler. Update: Less than a week after I published this article, Kilian Jornet added his name to the mix.

Recently, the International Skyrunning Federation named Speedgoat one of five races in the Federation’s inaugural Ultra SkyMarathon Series. That ought to bring in some more talent… maybe even some from overseas.

Speedgoat 50k

Back to the rest of us. Not only does Karl put on a great race, he brings on a slew of sponsors that shower us with schwag. By the time things wrapped up at the finish last year, 131 of 202 starters walked away with prizes. Pretty incredible, huh?

If you’re looking to run Speedgoat this year, entry is now open. The race starts July 28 at 6:30 am MDT at Snowbird Resort in Utah’s Little Cottonwood. You will be challenged!

Call for Comments

  • If you’ve run Speedgoat, share your thoughts and memories.
  • If you’re thinking about running Speedgoat this year, what’s drawing you to the race?
Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.