Shannon McGinn

2016 REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon
Published: Sept. 10, 2016, 10:09 p.m.
  1. Overall Rating

    5/5 Stars

  2. Describe your race day.

    I loved watching the sunrise over the mountains just before we started. The weather was perfect for PR racing. The aid stations were perfectly spaced and the volunteers were enthusiastic and motivating. The race was well organized and the runners were very very well taken care of. I hoped I would run fast due to the downhill course, and I did, but I found this course to be harder than flatter courses in unique ways. The impact from the descent was hard on my body. I could feel the jarring in my bones, and I had a few muscle spasms that took me by surprise. My toes hate me right now. The altitude was a little noticeable at the start and definitely felt through uphill mile 4. But I made it through and managed all these challenges. I am so proud to have run this race. I feel this was an exercise in pain management for me today. This is what marathons are all about, for me.

  3. Did you PR?

    I ran close to a 14 minute PR and broke 3 hours for the first time. I ran a 2:56:14. I finished 3rd Female. I am a 40-year-old female runner from NJ (100 feet elevation). I managed to negative split the race by 10 seconds, which I am very happy about.

  4. How would you describe the course?

    I think the course is much more challenging than the elevation chart makes it appear. The start is steep, making it hard to control the pace. Trying to break was hard on my muscles. I could feel the descents beating up my muscles, bones, and toes. But, the views made it all worth it. The course is beautiful. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to see the gorgeous landscapes Utah has to offer.

  5. Tell us about your training.

    I trained with focus with this race as my Fall goal. I peaked at 95 miles in a week, with a mix of speed work, hill training, long runs, recovery run, strength training, low-intensity plyometrics, and flexibility work. I cleaned up my nutrition and focused on eating to become as lean and healthy I could be by race day. I focused my hill work on HARD DESCENDING and I know this helped. I raced a hilly trail 50k two weeks before this race, which significantly challenged the muscles I would use trying to race this downhill course. Upon recovery from the last long run, I felt I had gotten into really great marathon shape. I tapered and hoped to have prepared enough to run a sub-3.

  6. What advice would you give future runners?

    Practice downhill running, consider adding an appropriate and safe amount of plyometric training to help the bones and muscles learn to tolerate the jarring impact of running a downhill road race.

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

    Took photos, ate pancakes, chatted with friends, met the Mayor :) and then had an adventure trying to find the bus back to the hotel. (It would help SO much to have an information table with volunteers to ask questions ... or a sign explaining where the busses are picking up people). There was a lot of confusion about this.)


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