OGDEN -- Brian Stromberg has spent many years of his life running on the trails in Ogden, so it seemed only natural to share it with everyone else. Stromberg has raced in various places in countless events, including marathons, triathlons, iron man races -- and the list goes on. So he thought combining his love of racing and his love of Ogden's trails and the city itself would be a great idea.
He shared his thoughts with a couple of friends and fellow trail runners, and the idea to create an all-race was born.
Stromberg, along with Ogden resident Greg Pickett and Ogden native Chad Booth, started R-Scape - "Lose the Road, Run Dirty" two years ago. It involved teams of four to six running a set course for 18 hours -- each team member rotating the sanctioned trail. This year things will be a little different -- the race will be 15 hours, Stromberg said.
The main idea behind the race is to get people to Ogden to see what it has to offer and to see the beauty of Ogden's East Bench -- the part of Ogden that Stromberg considers to be the best and most beautiful.
"Ogden's greatest asset is its East Bench," he said, noting the close proximity to downtown and 25th Street and the miles of trails and mountains.
Stromberg and his partners went to work to bring local businesses in to help sponsor different parts of the race -- Rooster's does dinner; this year, Lucky Slice will sponsor a midnight pizza party; Great Harvest does breakfast; and Solomon is the main race sponsor. I FLY and Gold's Gym are also sponsors.
Stromberg liked the idea of bringing Solomon on board, because outdoor enthusiasts identify with Solomon, and the outdoor gear company is such a big supporter of Ogden events.
Solomon Marketing Associate Josh Korn agrees.
"We love to support local races," Korn said. "These things that are in our backyard are really amazing."
Korn said he likes the fact that Stromberg tries to use local companies and bring people to his town.
"Helping small business is really important," he said.
Stromberg also uses nonprofit groups, such as Youth Impact, which shuttles runners to Ogden High School to use the showers after racing their legs of the races.
Stromberg, in his extensive race experience, has seen the things he likes most about races and has tried to incorporate them into the R-Scape trail race. Each team has a designated spot to which they can bring couches, televisions or anything to help relax and/or rejuvenate runners between legs. Stromberg talked about one group of high school kids who played video games between legs and had quite a strong competition going on within the running competition.
There is a Sherpa service, where volunteers take all the supplies to their "homestead" spots for them.
The trail run is 5.7-mile loop that is marked and lighted at night as well.
"Just about everybody's favorite time is nighttime, because the views are breathtaking while looking at the city of Ogden," Stromberg said.
Those running in the dark are also allowed to have a partner who isn't necessarily on their team to race with them.
Stromberg has appreciated the local support for the race and has noticed that many of the local outdoor recreation companies sign up to race. One of the positives of the race is that people don't have to be expert runners to participate.
"We have people that haven't run at all doing this course. They can walk it if they want to," Stromberg said. "That's the beauty of it."
Brad Short grew up in the southern Davis County area and heard of the race, running it the first time last year. He enjoyed it and now comes up to Ogden a few times a week to run the trails and train for the race next month.
"It's a low-key event and not over-the-top crowded," he said.
He has also found a new love for trail-running that he didn't realize before.
"It's a lot better than pounding the pavement. You have to pay attention and keep your mind sharp," Short said.
One of Stromberg's biggest hopes is that people will see Ogden and come to appreciate it as he does.
"These teams do fall in love with Ogden," he said.
The cost of the race is $475 for teams of four to six. High school teams can have eight runners and only run two laps apiece. The race starts at 6 p.m. this Friday and runs until noon Saturday. Racers can sign up at www.r-scape.com.