2016 REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon
Published: Sept. 11, 2016, 3:43 p.m.
Describe your race day.
It was very well organized. The school bus ride to the top was comfortable and took about an hour. The waiting area at the start line was sufficient with about 60 porta-potties. I really liked that the music wasn't overbearing. The course was excellent and the runners had at least one full lane of the road to run on was much nicer than running on the shoulder in training. The aid stations were plentiful and were staffed by cheerful and helpful volunteers. I liked the professional signage that enhanced the experience. The finish area was lively and well organized.
Did you PR?
Yes, by about 3 minutes over my previous PR set at the St. George Marathon. I also qualified for Boston by over 12 minutes.
How would you describe the course?
There were only about 3 - 4 sections where the grade was so steep that I had to slow down for safety. Aside from that gravity was my friend. The 4-mile out and back starting at mile 18.5 was where the race really started for me. The scenery was breathtaking.
Tell us about your training.
I ran 22 miles of the course twice in preparation. I ran at a conservative pace with the goal being to get my legs used to the long downhill distances. This benefitted me greatly because my legs didn't cramp and were in good shape all the way through and after the race.
What advice would you give future runners?
Run downhill at higher elevations for several weeks beforehand if possible. Speed isn't important and in fact slower running is probably better so that you don't injure yourself before the event. Keep your head over your feet and your chin down. Bring clothes that you can shed along the way because although it was 33 degrees at the top it will warm up as you descend. Don't burn all of your energy in the first 18 miles because the last 8 are much harder and you'll save some energy for them.