Scott Devine

2015 REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon
Published: Sept. 14, 2015, 12:43 p.m.
  1. Overall Rating

    5/5 Stars

  2. Describe your race day.

    This was my second time running Big Cottonwood and both times have been incredibly memorable experiences. I remember getting off the bus pre-dawn and marveling at the vivid stars that were still out. And you start just as the sun is coming up over the horizon joined by 2,000 equally excited runners. The course is fantastic to run (it really is stunning) and just a great feeling as you speed down along the mountain. In the end you spill out into the town of Cottonwood Heights amongst the cheering local fans and hopefully a PR.

  3. Did you PR?

    This race gives you a tremendous opportunity to earn a PR. I achieved a PR at Big Cottonwood in 2014 beating my best previous time by over 2 minutes. I wasn't in as good of shape this year, but I still managed to run my third fastest Half Marathon time (out of 39 halfs).

  4. How would you describe the course?

    Big downhill and beautiful. It really is the prettiest course I've ever run. You can't help but take in the vista repeatedly and I distinctly remember uttering "wow" out loud on more than one occasion. The downhill grade varies from mild to fairly steep, so be prepared for a unique running experience (you will naturally go faster than usual). Even though the race starts at 7,400 ft (for the half) the elevation wasn't noticeable during the race. The first 9.5 miles are all coming down the mountain, with the final 3.5 miles run through the town of Cottonwood Heights (which while still downhill has some stretches of flat ground).

  5. Tell us about your training.

    You definitely will be working your legs and quads differently than other races, so if you want to avoid really sore quads the day after, you should incorporate hill training (both up and downhill) for several weeks before the race.

  6. What advice would you give future runners?

    The best advice I can give for runners (other than being sure to train for downhill running) is you should plan to run by "effort" as opposed to pace. The downhill will allow you to run faster than you're used to while keeping your effort level the same. Know that the final 3.5 miles run through Cottonwood Heights won't have as much downhill slope so your overall pace will probably slow down a little at the end. In regards to clothing, bring some throwaway clothes for the pre-race wait (which can be anywhere from 60 min- 2 hours). It can get cold on the hill, but you will warm up quite a bit once you start to run so don't dress too warmly. Oh and for those traveling from out of town, you might get a little "elevation" headache when you first arrive in town, so be sure to hydrate and maybe take some Tylenol.

  7. What fun things did you do in the area before or after the race?

    I flew in from Los Angeles for the race. I just enjoyed the scenery and went out to dinner with some of my fellow runners. And since the race is on a football Saturday, I just found a nice sports bar afterward and had a celebratory beer.


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