Local Resident to Complete 300-Mile Run

Heber City’s ultra-runner Ben Light will be running a 300-mile fundraiser beginning on Monday, July 20, 2020. Light, along with fellow ultra-runners Michael McKnight and Dax Hock, created the route after runs have been canceled or postponed due to COVID concerns. The new route connects the two Utah ultra-marathons through miles of Bear River and Wasatch mountain land. The trio has named the new route the “Utah BRAWL 300,” as an acronym for “Bear River and Wasatch Linkup.”

The journey will begin near Bear Lake at Fish Haven, Idaho, and will continue through the Bear River Range. The runners will pass through Logan, Utah. They will then run across Cache Valley to the Wasatch Mountains north of Ogden, where they will continue to run south. They will end their 300-mile journey in the Wasatch Back at Soldier Hollow in Midway.

Along with creating the new route, the three athletes are also raising money for fellow Utah triathlete Austin Patten. While training on his bike for an Ironman competition, Patten was hit by a car and left paralyzed from the waist down. The accident occurred less than a year ago, in August 2019, and Patten has already begun training again to compete in the full Ironman, this time as a para-athlete. Funds raised by Utah BRAWL 300 supporters will be used to purchase a required para-triathlete racing wheelchair and also to provide specialized coaching for Patten. Donations in support of this event can be made at https://www.facebook.com/donate/560528747975779/?fundraiser_source=external_url.

The Utah BRAWL 300 was created to help a friend achieve his dream. However, the unanticipated event may continue to blaze a new trail for future ultra-runners in the Heber Valley and elsewhere.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.