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Behind the scenes at the USA's premiere mountain-running series

Windswept ridges and glacial cirques. Towering peaks and quad-burning descents. The Discrete Cirque Series, presented by On, is back for 2018. Race Director Julian Carr reveals what this year's participants can expect.


The Cirque Series is redefining what mountain running is all about. And 2018 is no different. The elevation is serious but the mileage is manageable, and the race is always as hardcore as you want it to be. This year's six-event trail-race series offers a worthy challenge for the even most experienced mountain runner, yet remains manageable for the everyday adventure seeker. 


The 2018 series kicked off with a sellout event in Brighton, Utah, US, on June 30. The 500 intrepid athletes took on the 3,015' vertical feet (918.97 meters) over 6.7 miles (10.78 kilometers), conquering four peaks in the process.  On’s Brad Pankey caught up with Race Director Julian Carr in Brighton to get his outlook on another summer of epic trail events. 


Hear the full pre-race interview with Race Director Julian Carr:


Julian Carr: “Three years ago, when I first put the idea together, I'd been pushing so hard to reach my ultimate, original vision of what I wanted the races to be, and I'm really proud to say that looking around at 500 people in Brighton, and the course we designed here, and all the brands here, and obviously, having an insanely cool shoe company like On that is aligned with our races – a real deal mountain company from the frickin' Alps! – it's like my vision is actually happening.


"It's so cool to see everyone come to the races. When you look around, there's all walks of life. There's lots of guys like me that are not really runners [Julian is perhaps best known for the biggest airs in skiing] but they're down for a challenge. They're down to go summit.


"It's all about the high alpine. It's all about challenging, but manageable. Safe, but definitely a sense of danger.


"I'm all about direct, intuitive paths to the high alpine, and back down. And luckily, Brighton has that. We get to hit four peaks. And there's no areas that you get cliffed out. It's all very straightforward, highly technical in spots.


"It's just all contagious, like, man, it feels so good to do it as a racer, and then to see everyone having so much fun energizes me as a race director."


Hear the full post-race interview with Race Director Julian Carr:


Highlights – Cirque Series 2018 – Brighton, UT

Get involved in this year's Discrete Cirque Series presented by On and make 2018 the year you blaze new trails. Beat the pros to earn legend status or simply enjoy the ride, soaking in the epic views. Whatever path you choose, On is back to help you reach your highest peak and celebrate a love of trail running.


Each race starts and finishes in a festival, with music, food and drinks. Don’t miss the exclusive On celebration area, where you’ll find comfy lounge chairs for relaxing and have the chance to experience the sensation of running on clouds. Our post-race massage therapists are on hand to help you get trail-tired legs ready to go again for the next event.


June 30, 2018 – Brighton, UT

July 14, 2018 – Alta, UT

August 5, 2018 – Alyeska, AK

August 11, 2018 – Sun Valley, ID

August 18, 2018 – A Basin, CO

September 8, 2018 – Snowbird, UT


For more details on this year's Discrete Cirque Series, and to register for the events, visit  

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