Posted by: runuphill | February 16, 2014

RUFA – 2014 Intentions


2/28/2014 Update

  • Despite the sub-optimal weather, we’re still on for tomorrow.  When has a little rain/snow stopped RUFA?  That’s right, never!
  • You can track my whereabouts via SPOT and this spreadsheet which will be updated throughout Sat & Sun.

Some things just seem impossible don’t they?  One such thing is solving the unhealthy air pollution problem that plagues the Salt Lake Valley during winter thermal inversions.   (See The Air We Breathe video, which aired on KUED).  Thankfully, most people finally “get it” and are now asking “how can I help”?  The best resource available comes from a local non-profit group called Breathe Utah.  Check out their “Air Info” website to come up to speed on the science, the health effects, and to learn what you can do to help.  Breathe Utah is a group of talented, passionate, and dedicated individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to improve the situation for all of us.

Running Up For Air (RUFA) represents a call to those of us who love to breathe.  The premise involves setting and accomplishing a seemingly impossible physical challenge, a goal for ourselves measured in number of summits on the famous Grandeur Peak west side trail.  In working to achieve our goals I hope to raise financial support for Breathe Utah.  The last 2 years I’ve set challenges for myself that I truly didn’t know how I’d complete (10 laps in 2012; 12 in 2013).  In 2013, through hard work and the collective positive energy of friends and family, nearly 60 folks met their goals and we raised $5,000 in the process!  In 2014, I’m at it again and hope you can participate.  

There are two options:

  1. Challenge Me : Make a financial pledge towards my objective of 15 laps in 30 hrs.  I appreciate any and all support I can get.  Knowing folks are supporting me helps me push on when the going gets rough.
  2. Challenge Yourself : Set a goal for yourself and encourage others (your employer, your grandma, your husband, your run-club, etc.) to support you!  Come join me anytime you like.

Event Details:

This is not a race!  Anyone may come and run/hike/crawl up and down the trail just like any other day.  I will be starting my own challenge at 6AM on 3/1/2014 (Saturday) and intend to go until I complete 15 laps or by noon on 3/2/2014 (Sunday), whichever comes first.  I’d love to have your company anywhere along the way.  The trail-head can be found here.  If you can’t find a place to park, the best option is to go south on Wasatch Blvd for 0.5 mile to Eastwood Elementary.  Park there and walk to the trail-head.

The route:

Given that this is not a race, there is no route!  However, I intend to follow the west ridge trail as shown below:

Grandeur Peak west side trail image

Grandeur Peak west side trail image

A Google Earth file (.kml) can be found here.  The route (I am following) is an out-and-back, from the parking lot to the summit.  Each lap is a total of 4.46 miles long with ~3,333.3′ of vertical gain (we’ll use this number for easy math; 3 laps = 10,000′) per lap.  This is steep! roughly a 30% grade.  Conditions as of 2/16/2014 are unusually dry with minimal snow up to nearly 7,000′.  But, a lot could change between now and 3/1/2014.  Most folk find additional traction very useful (yak-tracks, micro-spikes, hobnails, etc.) as well as poles for stability as the upper portion of the can be quite icy.  As far as apparel goes, come prepared for just about anything.  It’s still winter after-all so full-on blizzard conditions are possible.

Aid Stations :

Given that this is not a race, there is no aid whatsoever.  Bring what you need to take care of yourself.  Seriously, if you’re expecting any type of support you’ll be very let down.  I’ve supported myself with supplies I’ve had in my car or from kind souls who have come to support me.

Questions :

Please leave a comment below and I’ll response ASAP.


  1. 12 laps in 24 hours – huge! I look fwd to hearing more.

  2. I can’t believe I’m going to switch off the light and go to bed in my cozy home while you and maybe others are going to be running that fierce trail all night long. Please stay safe.

  3. When you fill out the form for the challenge, it requires taking off the dollar sign for it to go through. It gives a message that the number must be great than zero if you don’t take off the dollar sign. This may have stopped some people from completing the pledge form you wanted filled out.

  4. Jared, this is incredible! I just found out about it from a meet up group. Will be hiking this in the morning (not starting at 6 :)!) for support! I didn’t know it was you Wednesday evening but my dog and I were coming back down when you were headed up! Best wishes!!!

  5. I’ll attempt 15 laps of Mt Sanitas outside Boulder, starting same day and time. Just a few days in SLC in January is enough to make me support the cause! Weather forecast is iffy here, looks lousy there – take care!

    • Excellent! Thanks for joining the cause remotely. 🙂

      On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 10:30 PM, Jared Campbell's Blog wrote:


  6. Have you been up recently? Are microspikes/yaktracks still a recommendation for the icy spots? Is there much snow at the top part of the trail? I think about 20 people have RSVPd on my meetup sites. I’ve encouraged these people and friends to pledge to Breathe Utah under your name. Oh, my friend Cindy Howard at work said she knows you and speaks well of you. Happy laps to you. Hope to see you pass us saturday at least once. Enjoy snacks with us at the top if you have time.

    • Hi Linda. I went up it last night and it was eerily warm. I was in shorts and a shirt all the way to the summit at about 9:30 PM. There are still some icy patches on the steep upper section so microspikes (or equivalent) would still come in handy although there not essential. The weather looks like it will be “memorable” on Saturday. 🙂

      Thanks so much for your support and for spreading the word!


  7. […] Running Up for Air is an annual challenge to hike (or run) up the Granduer Peak trail.  You can set a goal of hiking up to the peak just once or make the trip several times up and back.  Although this is not a race and does not require an entrance fee, donations can be made to Breathe Utah.  Running Up for Air 2014 will take place on March 1st. […]

    • Some of us who work at J. Lewis Research will be there Saturday!

    • Hi Janet,

      Excellent! I look forward to seeing you and others from your work.


  8. Hello Jared,
    I’ve posted the event on four different meet ups that I’m a member of. A few people have already RSVPd to join in. I encouraged them to pledge to you, even a little. So, I hope to see you passing us at least once. We will bring food to share the top; feel free to have some and say a quick hello (though, I’m sure you will probably be on the move). Here is what I posted on each site, this via the one that is particularly popular:

    Hike up the West Side of Grandeur Peak, Picnic, and Support Clean Air

    Saturday, Mar 1, 2014, 9:00 AM

    Eastwood Elementary
    3305 S Wasatch Blvd Salt Lake City, UT

    6 Outdoor Enthusiasts Went

    This Saturday, March 1, join other hikers and runners heading up from the Shoreline Trail to hike up the western side of Grandeur Peak. This is a long, steep hike but wonderful. We will picnic at the top, so bring delicious food items to share (and whatever you want to drink). I will bring paper plates, forks, napkins and my hike-nicker spirit.If …

    Check out this Meetup →

    In the future, I hope that this event can be advertised more widely. Yesterday, when I was hiking up the west side, I met a woman who is training for Mt. Everest, leaving in a couple weeks, and she was on her third time up to Grandeur Peak. She had not heard about the hike/run. Anyway, maybe, at least a flier posted at the bottom of a few trails to advertise the event? I think a lot of people would be eager to join in.

  9. Jared, this is amazing. What you’re doing is so great, and we’d be more than happy to throw in $10 for every lap you complete!

    If you need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

    AFCA is rooting for you!

    • Hi AFCA, thanks so much!

  10. Bravo to you Jared for organizing this! Aaron and I are in, minimum 3 laps each. We are seeking deep-pocket sponsors! Also, Team Spurlock will donate $10/lap for each lap you complete. See you March 1. Dan Spurlock

    • Sounds great Dan! Thanks again for the support. When you find your deep-pocket sponsors, be sure to fill out the form under “Challenge Yourself”.



      On Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 5:49 AM, Jared Campbell's Blog wrote:


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