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Back to the top: Cirque Series hits Alta

We’re back out there for the second race of the 2018 Discrete Cirque Series, mountain running with the locals and getting expert tips for those tempted to take on the trail.

Making the thrill of mountain running accessible for anyone who’s up for the challenge (and down for the descent) is at the heart of the Discrete Cirque Series presented by On – the Premiere Mountain Running Series in the USA. 


After a flying start in Brighton, UT, the adventures stayed in Utah for race number two of the year in Alta (July 14, 2018). 


On’s Brad Pankey was on the ground there and caught up with Noah Howell from Mountain Ready, a platform that provides personalized training plans for mountain athletes, to talk about how anyone can start embracing serious elevation. 


“It’s important to know what your goal is,” Noah says. “For mountain running like this [The Discrete Cirque Series], it’s called running but it’s a lot of hiking, there’s some scrambling and some steep downhills so getting a base fitness developed is key. 


“Get out there and start hiking. Look at the events and if the event is seven miles, you want to train at and around that distance. And a little bit of running, because there is some running in these events, and that will just get your body acclimated. 


Hear the full interview with Noah Howell from MTN RDY here: 

Taking on new heights brings its own challenges. The event in Alta packs 2,545 feet (776 meters) of vertical elevation into 7.1 miles (11.4 km) and that’s pretty typical of a race in the Cirque Series. 


“You need a week to acclimate ideally. [Here in Alta] we’re right at that threshold where you’ll start to feel it. Otherwise you just gotta suck it up really, I’m sorry! But staying hydrated is a huge help.”


And Noah’s best piece of advice for anyone taking on the Cirque Series? 


"Come and do a couple of races and you’ll learn a lot. Then you take that knowledge to the next one." 

Owning the downhill in Alta

There’s also no better way to get the true vibe of the Cirque Series than by talking to runners that took on the races and not only survived, but excelled, on the slopes. 


Jeremy Tidwell and Mitzi Gray are Alta locals who know the area’s trails well, but got a new perspective thanks to the Cirque Series. 


“I did one Cirque Series race and I got hooked on it,” Jeremy explained. “It’s so fun, it’s so challenging and you’re so welcomed. It can be as competitive as you want it to be. Come and finish your first Cirque Series race and I guarantee you’ll want to do another one. 


“There’s so much mutual respect out there. People are so courteous about when they have to pass – they’re like dude, you’re just a step to slow, let me slip by.” 


Hear the full interview with Jeremy and Mitzi here: 

Next up in the Discrete Cirque Series is Aleyska, Ak, where Jeremy and Mitzi are looking forward to a tough race. 


“The race in Alaska last year blew both our minds, Jeremy says. “You’re in the glacial mountains and the rock is so sharp and unforgiving. It’s wild. Life-changing for sure. I’m so excited to go back.” 


Upcoming events: Discrete Cirque Series 2018 presented by On:


August 5, 2018 – Alyeska, AK

August 11, 2018 – Sun Valley, ID

August 18, 2018 – A Basin, CO

September 8, 2018 – Snowbird, UT


Find your adventure and register at

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