More Than 1,500 Registered Runners Converged In Fruita, Colorado For The 2024 Desert Rats Trail Running Festival By UTMB

April 15, 2024

– Rajpaul Pannu (Denver, Colo.) and Elena Ormon (Boulder, Colo.) winners of the 100K race at 2024 Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB

– Justin Grunewald (Boulder, Colo.) and Helen Mino Faukner (Truckee, Calif.) victorious in 50K race

FRUITA, Colo. (April 15, 2024) /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The 2024 Desert RATS (Running Across the Sand) Trail Running Festival by UTMB® returned to Western Colorado of Fruita, Colo. over the weekend offering both exhilarating trail running and breathtaking scenery that the event has become famous for. Elite and passionate runners from around the United States and the globe flocked to the Hawkeye Trailhead to take on one of four demanding courses including the 100K, 50K, 21K and 10K. Runners traversed the famous Kokopelli Trail, climbing up ridgelines with endless views and running along the Colorado river or through the Western Rim via windy singletrack at this famous celebration of trail running.

On Saturday, April 13, the 100K and 50K (marathon) runners took off from the Hawkeye Trailhead. In the 100K race, Rajpaul Pannu (Denver, Colo.) topped the men’s field with a time of 9:19:35 while Zach Haur (Denver, Colo.) followed closely in second with a time of 9:28:06 and Julien Chorier (Saint-Thibaud-de-Couz, France) rounded out the podium in third with a time of 9:45:10. On the women’s side, Elena Ormon (Boulder, Colo.) finished first with a time of 11:33:02, Carrie Koso (Wasilla, Alaska) finished second behind with a time of 13:30:02 and Oana Mihalcea (Romania) finished third less than 30 minutes later with an overall time of 13:59:52.

It was Justin Grunewald (Boulder, Colo.) taking the victory in the men’s 50K race with a time of 3:40:55. Matthew Vira (Twin Lakes, Colo.) finishing second just behind Grunewald with a time of 3:42:11 while Jacob Banta (Colorado Springs, Colo.) with a time of 3:57:59 finished third. Helen Mino Faukner (Truckee, Calif.) finished first in the female 50K with a time of 4:14:42. Allison Baca (Golden, Colo.) followed in second with a time of 4:26:07 and Karis Scroggs (Boise, Idaho) completed the course in 4:56:02 finished in third place.

On Sunday, April 15, the 21K course saw Eli Hemming with a finishing time of 1:22:44 and Jaycie Thomsen in 1:39:47 take the overall victories.

Watkins Fulk-Gray (39:38) and Leah Ibarra (47:54) were the 10K winners on Friday.

True to its reputation, the 2024 Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB® treated runners of all abilities with a challenging and beautiful course. Positioned just outside Rattlesnake Canyon in Grand Junction, Fruita served as both a challenging and welcoming venue for the runners as they made the ascent along the red slickrock cliffs and wound around the Western Rim while taking in the exceptional beauty that can only be found on this course.

Competitors across all the events were also competing for the coveted Running Stones, earned by finishing their chosen course and which can be used to enter the lottery for the UTMB® World Series Finals at the UTMB® Mont-Blanc.

Presale for the 2024 Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB is now open by visiting, https://desertrats.utmb.world/.

Next Up for the UTMB® World Series:

UTMB® World Series is scheduled to continue in 2024 when the series makes its way to the Endurance Capital of the World, Auburn, California for the Americas Major and the 2024 The Canyons Endurance Runs by UTMB® on April 26-27. In an unmissable first for the UTMB World Series in the Americas, the event will feature LIVE broadcast coverage. Fans from around the globe can tune-in to watch the action as it happens – from lead changes to sprint finishes and pure trail running joy in the mountains. To see the full schedule of UTMB® World Series events, visit www.utmb.world.

For more information about the Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB visit https://desertrats.utmb.world/. For more information about the 2024 UTMB® World Series visit www.utmb.world. Media-related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.


UTMB® World Series

UTMB® World Series is the world’s ultimate trail-running circuit that unites the sport’s biggest stars and passionate runners through the best, leading international events in the most stunning locations. Built on a passion for the mountains with sustainability at its heart, UTMB® World Series gives all trail runners the chance to experience the UTMB® adventure across the world, with events taking place across Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. It is the only place where runners can begin their quest to Dacia UTMB® Mont-Blanc, France, where the prestigious UTMB® World Series Finals will be held. Launched in May 2021 through the collaboration between the UTMB Group and The IRONMAN Group, the UTMB World Series circuit brings together many of the best international trail-running events on the planet. For more information, visitwww.utmb.world.

About UTMB Group

Since the creation of Dacia UTMB® Mont-Blanc in 2003 by a group of passionate friends, UTMB Group has been the driving force behind the development of trail running. The Dacia UTMB® Mont-Blanc is the sports pinnacle event, and every year, 10,000 runners earn their place on the start line. UTMB Group also pioneered the LiveTrail® technology, an innovative digital service that supports the management of endurance races. Revered by hundreds of thousands of athletes, UTMB® has become a global, premium, and leading brand. In May 2021, UTMB Group partnered with The IRONMAN Group to launch the UTMB® World Series, which brings together many of the best international events on the planet to provide exclusive access to the sport’s pinnacle event, Dacia UTMB® Mont-Blanc. The UTMB® World Series is built on the founding principles of Dacia UTMB® Mont-Blanc: surpassing oneself; fair-play; respect for people and the environment; and solidarity. Find out more atwww.utmb.world.

About The IRONMAN Group

The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series trail-running events including the Canyons Endurance Runs™ by UTMB®, Tarawera Ultra™ by UTMB® and Ultra-Trail Australia™ by UTMB®, Epic Series™ mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world, providing participants the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Catering to the full athlete experience, the company portfolio also includes FulGaz® virtual cycling, the most realistic indoor riding experience connected fitness application aimed at preparing athletes for real-world events. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business, and Orkila Capital, a growth equity firm focused on building great brands. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.

About Advance 

Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 14,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.