Heather Kuch

2016 REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon
Published: Sept. 11, 2016, 9:29 a.m.
  1. Overall Rating

    5/5 Stars

  2. Describe your race day.

    I enjoyed the bus ride up because I was able to make friend with those around me on the bus and share their stories. At the top I used the bathrooms and then sat with everyone wrapped in my silver blanket. I was rushed between trying to get to the bathroom one last time and drop my bag and had about 1 minute to get into the corral. The start went well and I enjoyed the views during the race and was holding my BQ pace effortlessly. I was having a great race until my IT band acted up and I had to drop at the half.

  3. Did you PR?

    I DNF-Ed because a prior IT injury acted up, but prior to that I was on pace to BQ and finish with a huge PR that felt effortless because of the hills.

  4. How would you describe the course?

    I loved the downhill, although the steep uphill at 3 after so much steep downhill completely knocked the wind out of me and I had to walk a bit to catch my breath. After that the downhill allowed me to catch all the way up to my BQ pace and continue on easily. I enjoyed the scenery the whole way.

  5. Tell us about your training.

    I practiced downhill running (to the extent I could being from Ohio) and I did a lot of leg press, squats, and planks to strengthen my quads and knees for the downhill. When we went uphill at 3 and again around 9, I completely felt like I could not breathe because of the lack of oxygen. After talking to my friends from Utah, they too had this happen but were used to it so they did not hyperventilate like I did which made it worse. I would tell others to expect this and to relax and push through it. I would also say, don't hurt your IT band two weeks before the race because you'll only make it halfway (kidding, sort of).

  6. What advice would you give future runners?

    Any stretch of flat after downhill is going to feel rough and any slight uphill it going to feel impossible, so train your brain to handle that and practice downhill to flat or rolling hills. Don't throw your gloves at 3, you will want them later. Additionally, dress warm, it doesn't get sunny until about 16/17 miles in and even then it's still very cool. On the downhills, don't fight it and hold back, that trashes your quads, just let gravity pull you. Relax your breathing on any uphill and don't push too hard up the hill like you would at lower altitude.

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

    Visited the Olympic park, visited the homestead crater, horseback riding, visited park city, drove both sides of Big Cottonwood Canyon, outlet shopping, met up with runner friends from Instagram. I am from Cleveland Ohio.


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