Erin van de Graaff

2017 REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon
Published: Sept. 10, 2017, 7:39 p.m.
  1. Overall Rating

    3/5 Stars

  2. Describe your race day.

    I felt like everything pre-race was well organized - I had an easy time getting to and on the buses, finding my way around the starting line, etc. Although it was difficult to hear the announcements before the race, and I wish there would have been a starting gun or something - all the sudden people we just going. I stuck with some pacers for a lot of the race and they were great! The 4:25 pacers - thank you for all your support and encouragement! I didn't end up running the race I wanted to, but I did beat my goal time by a few minutes and I'll never complain about simply finishing!

  3. Did you PR?

    Yep! By about thirty minutes. My last full marathon was four years ago so I guess I've gotten a little faster since then. I also ran by myself so I could "run my own race" and I think that helped me.

  4. How would you describe the course?

    Everyone told me the course was fast and for the first 18 or so miles, I agree. In fact it was almost too fast for me - the downhill in the canyon was so steep at some places it really took a toll on my knees and quads. It was more painful for me to keep the slower starting pace I wanted, so I ended up giving in and running a little faster - which I regretted later. The last six or so miles were KILLER. Really miserable for me. Seriously that out and back is so, so terrible. It was also getting hotter, the uphill was unreal, and the wind on the last couple miles took it out of me. So I actually didn't love the course, but I know a lot of other people do! I also think I would have liked the half marathon course a lot better. No out and back. :)

  5. Tell us about your training.

    I felt so great in my training. I was running lots of hilly courses, and had a great experience on my last long run. I set up little aid stations for myself around my small town because I have a hard time running with water/fuel. I don't live very close to the course so this probably wouldn't have been possible for me, but I heard of a lot of people who trained ON the course and I thought that was a great idea. That would have helped me and my expectations a ton.

  6. What advice would you give future runners?

    Start out slow - even if it's tough, pace yourself on this one! If you need to book a hotel, book it right when you register for the race. We kept putting it off and ended up in a terrible motel. I was actually great clothing wise - with long sleeves and long pants at the starting line, in addition to the blanket and gloves provided in the packets.


  1. Jenn
    Sept. 10, 2017, 8:21 p.m.

    Couldn't agree more! You described my running experience to a tee!

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