Dirt, racers fly through the air at Enduro Challenge
Aug 30, 2017 04:16PM
● By Jana Klopsch
A racer makes a turn during Herriman’s Enduro Challenge practice round on Aug. 11. (Lexi Peery/City Journals)
Dirt Racers [6 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
For the sixth year in a row, Herriman City partnered with Edge Power Sports to put on an entertaining obstacle course that fellow residents and professional motocross riders raced to navigate.
The Enduro Challenge, held at W&M Butterfield Park on Aug. 12, featured professional riders from Utah and surrounding states to amateur riders just 4 or 5 years old. Not only is it a popular, widely attended event in Herriman, but it’s one of the longest-running enduro crosses in the state, said Kevin Schmidt, the events and recreation manager for the city.
“It’s a fun event to watch and for the riders to participate in,” he said. “It’s a really exciting event for the city. The track build takes a lot of man hours, and we have some really talented city employees that turn that arena into their work of art. It’s not only a fun track but it also looks nice.”
Destiny Skinner, Herriman City’s communication specialist, said the partnership started with Edge homes six years ago to add some variety to city activities held for residents. Because of the attention the Enduro Challenge has gotten among residents, the city continues to hold the motocross race.
“We wanted to get something different than a rodeo,” Skinner said. “Our city managers have talked about having something for everybody out here. So that’s why we have all the different sports and programs that we have out here.”
The track lies mainly on the rodeo grounds at the park but spills in front of and behind the arena. City staff members spent months planning every turn and obstacle for the course and worked to get the track in pristine condition for riders. Some features of the course include a huge sand pile, wooden logs, “the matrix” (a curved, log slope in the center of the course), a deep mud hole and to finish off, a massive dirt jump.
“A lot of us have previous background [in motocross racing], and it’s morphed into what it is now…awesome is what it is,” said Zach “the fluffer” Foot, a city employee who helped design and build the course and was the sand fluffer for the Enduro Challenge.
The city employees took great pride in their track and were stationed throughout the course, carefully watching riders skid through turns and fly over the jumps.
Professional enduro rider Nick Thompson had gone around the track a few times to familiarize himself with the obstacles for the course during the practice round the day before the main event. He said he enjoys coming to Herriman for the Enduro Challenge because of the high-quality of racing there.
“The city does a great job, and it’s been really good. …They all have the same elements as far as rocks, logs, firewood and tractor tires, but they are all designed differently,” Thompson, who is from Goshen, Utah, said. “The city puts in a lot of time and work here, and it’s definitely one of the best courses we see.”
The ideas the city staff had were carried out because of the work of Edge Owner Bryan Green. Besides overseeing the event, Green gave the signal for riders to go during the race. Edge also solicited for riders around the state to come participate, with around 120 spots open for anyone and everyone.
“We know the riders and the racers,” Green said. …“Herriman builds the track under our direction, and we try to make it as fun and entertaining as possible. We do have beginners and youth riders all the way to pro and vet riders, we even let side by sides, UTVs and trucks participate. We let them come out and destroy themselves.”
With so many riders going around the course at any given time, some as young as 4 or 5, safety hasn’t ever been an issue at the Enduro Challenge. The variety of obstacles keep riders at a slow pace, Green said, even though the obstacles look crazy, injuries for enduro racing are “less significant.”
“There are safety concerns for any sport, but thankfully—knock on wood, or engine—we won’t have any ambulance rides,” Green said. “To date, we’ve never had one at the Herriman event other than a spectator that got a little excited.”