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Runners rescued after snow halts ultramarathon in Davis County

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Posted at 4:54 PM, Oct 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-10 01:19:27-04

FARMINGTON, Utah — Some trail runners participating in an ultramarathon Saturday morning were rescued from the mountains in Davis County after a snowstorm hit the area.

At about 9:30 a.m., the Davis County Sheriff's Office was notified about an "emergency situation" involving 87 runners. They faced extreme weather, including 12-18 inches of snow and almost white-out conditions.

The race was suspended, and the sheriff's office's search and rescue team responded on foot, ATVs and snowmobiles to help the runners get down the mountain safely.


Race organizers worked with the search and rescue volunteers to make sure all registered participants were accounted for, and the rescuers covered the entire course. All the runners were off the mountain by 2:45 p.m.

Farmington Canyon was closed to all non-emergency vehicles during the process.


The sheriff's office said a few runners were treated for hypothermia at the scene and released, with one also sustaining a minor injury from a fall.

Officials later thanked those who stayed with the injured runner, who also had hypothermia, until search and rescue arrived.

"Although the runners did not know the individual in need, they knew extending support and compassion was critical," the sheriff's office wrote in a Facebook post. "The humanity showed by these individuals likely saved another person's life today. For that, we are extremely grateful."

READ: Search and rescue crews caution recreation users of seasonal changes

As of about 4 p.m., the SAR volunteers were still "cautiously continuing their retreat off the mountain," the sheriff's office said.

“Venturing onto the mountains, trails, and bodies of water at this time of year can be dangerous because the weather changes rapidly and conditions can quickly become life threatening. Even a mild rain in the valley can translate to blizzard conditions at higher elevations,” Davis County Sheriff Kelly V. Sparks wrote in the press release. “The rapid and collaborative response of our Search and Rescue volunteers, race organizers, and first responders from multiple agencies, resulted in minimal injuries and all runners returning home safely today. I extend my deep gratitude to everyone involved in this rescue effort.”