2016 REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon
Published: Sept. 11, 2016, 4:42 p.m.
Describe your race day.
It was a little cool in the morning, and was thankful for the emergency blanket in the marathon packet. The announcer at the start line kept us well informed of the time and when to be ready, so was prepared for the start and got off to a great beginning. It was my first marathon, so followed everyone's advice and training as close as possible, so from start to the end it was a beautiful race - especially in the canyon! The aid stations were organized well and all the volunteers were super helpful, so everything went so smooth to keep hydrated and fueled along the way. It was pleasantly surprising and relieving to have enough gas left to finish strong and even exceed my ideal finish time!
Did you PR?
This was my first marathon and decided ahead of time I'd be happy with anything under four hours, but would ultimately like to get my age group Boston Qualifying time of 3:25. I ended up finishing at 3:21!
How would you describe the course?
The course was beautiful and was the best setting for my first marathon as I love running in nature, so having most of the course in the canyon and along Wasatch Blvd along the Wasatch bench overlooking the city was the ideal scenery to enjoy the ultimate runner's high.
Tell us about your training.
I trained using a program I found on the runkeeper app. For the terrain, I would do flat runs for two weeks and the third week would run up a portion of the course then back down to where I had parked. My furthest long run was 16 miles starting below the spruces, running to the top of guardsman pass, then coming down, going up to Brighton, and back to my car. Once I ran only down hill by being dropped off at the next parking spot below the spruces, running down the canyon, running the out and back on Wasatch blvd, then down to be picked up at Union Park Plaza. Training for uphill and flat seemed to be a huge advantage during the marathon because I ended up passing everyone in front of me and was never passed after getting out of the canyon while keeping almost the same minute per mile pace.
What advice would you give future runners?
Wear super cushioned shoes, don't ditch your gloves too fast because it gets warm before the Spruces, but gets even colder than at the top for several miles in the area of the Spruces. I was fine in my thin shirt and shorts otherwise if it is a sunny normal temperature day. Head to the porta-pottie line early because the lines get long at the start and too many people didn't have time to empty their bladders, so then the first few aid stations have lines for the porta-potties too, plus the half marathon porta-potties will be on the truck headed down the canyon before you can get to them, so if you don't want to wait in line, you will be holding it till the middle of the canyon.
What fun things did you do in the area before or after the race?
We moved her from the D.C. area several years ago, so are now locals that are still trying to just soak up all the amazing beauty and natural activities we have to enjoy in our own backyard!