Racers cross the starting line at a previous Winter Sun 10K. [Photo by Action Sports Images / Courtesy Moab Half Marathon]

This Saturday marks the 31st anniversary of the Winter Sun 10K.

The 6.2 mile race is popular for being a fast, mostly downhill race that begins at the Moab Golf Course and finishes at the Grand County High School track.

“Ninety-five percent of the course is flat or gentle downhill,” said race director Ranna Bierschke. “Lots of personal records are achieved.”

However, because there is no cut-off time for this event, runners can take their time and can even push a stroller with a child, or have their dog run alongside.

The course is open to traffic, so organizers highly encourage vehicular traffic to avoid Spanish Valley Dr. between 10 and 11 a.m., Saturday.

“It’s more of a locals race, although we are getting more folks from further away,” Bierschke said.

Runners from twelve states will be racing. Grand Junction, Colo., alone as 100 runners registered. Moab has 70 entrants; and Salt Lake City has 50.

“Interestingly, women outnumber men two to one,” said Ranne Bierschke, the race director.

The race packet pickup is open to the public and will take place 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. and 8:15 to 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. at the high school cafeteria.

Participants can pick up their race packets, which include a long sleeve soft-tech race shirt, reusable bag, and fun samples from sponsors. Moab Half Marathon will also be conducting an end of the year gear sale with deals on running shirts, hats, water bottles and other items.

Festivities after the race include a ceremony and raffle.

“The race couldn’t happen without the support of the Moab community,” Bieschke said. Many local businesses have donated raffle prizes for the post-race party and over 50 locals are volunteering or staffing the event.

With winter temperatures, runners are encouraged to be prepared.

“Wear layers that you can remove if it warms up; hats and gloves will help keep the core warm,” Bierschke said.

This is considered the easiest of the four races presented by Moab Half Marathon.

“It’s shorter at 6.9 miles; it’s smaller and more intimate,” Bierschke said. “It’s geared more towards all abilities.”

The three other races, already scheduled for 2014, are the Canyonlands Half Marathon to be held March 15, Thelma & Louise Women’s Half Marathon on June 7, and The Other Half on Oct. 19.

What: Winter Sun 10K

When: 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7

Where: Begins at Moab Golf Course; ends at Grand County High School.

Cost: $48 thru Dec. 5; $50 Dec. 6 and 7.

Packet pick-up: 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6 and 8:15 to 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 at Grand County High School, 608 S. 400 East

“Ninety-five percent of the course is flat or gentle downhill.”