2015 REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon
Published: Sept. 12, 2015, 4:52 p.m.
Describe your race day.
My favorite things from last year (beautiful course, the best volunteers ever, superior organization and communication, running super fast, post race fuel/result cards/pictures/massage) were at the top of my list again this year. You have successfully replicated the magic from last year. And it was even warmer at the start line! This is one of the more expensive races in the state, but it's also one of the premier races we have and brings in a lot of nice people from out of town.
Did you PR?
Last year I ran a PR (1:38) in the half and this year, despite an early season injury and hiking the grand canyon rim to rim 5 days earlier, I ran a 1:39. Nothing makes a runner happier than blowing away their own expectations (except maybe watching their running friends do the same).
How would you describe the course?
Perfect. Steep enough to let gravity work for me without worrying about hurting my knees, and the scenery is so beautiful it distracted me from how hard I was working. Elevation wasn't an issue at all. All the supporting police officers were incredible positive and smiling - one near the finish line was even high-fiving the runners going past him (when there weren't any cars around of course...)
Tell us about your training.
I train here in Salt Lake so I am used to a little altitude. I run about 30 miles a week (35 if I'm really fortunate) and include at least one run of hill repeats and one tempo run per week. My long runs always have some serious hills in them. I also cross train by mountain biking, weight lifting, and using the elliptical or stair mill. My longest runs are only 13 miles - I should probably work up to 14 or 15 miles if I want to finish stronger since mile 10 on this course is just plain mean. The only advice I can give is to train hilly, do quad and glute strengthening exercises, and hold back a little for the first 8 miles (even though it's tempting to fly down those hills) because you will need your strength for the last five miles.
What advice would you give future runners?
Plan to do something fun post-race (shop at City Creek, use your race packet coupon and ride the gondola at the ski resort, find some live music with good food nearby etc) because Utah is AWESOME. Trim your toenails quite a bit before running so much downhill (gross but important if you like keeping your toenails post-race).
What fun things did you do in the area before or after the race?
I live in South Jordan. I showed up for the half marathon bus at 4:40 and got right on to a bus to the start line. Thank you for having a ton of restrooms at the start. I didn't do anything fun at the start - just got my gear set up and put on my (happy) race face.