Blog

July 12, 2018

Are you staying in Big Bear and looking for a more convenient way to get to the event? Purchase a bus ticket and you'll be picked up and dropped off at Big Bear High School (351 Maple Ln, Big Bear, CA 92314).

Bus loading will occur from 4:00 to 4:30am for the Half Marathon and 4:30-5:00am for the Marathon in front of Big Bear High School on Sunday, October 14, 2018. These buses will take you directly to the start line. Spectators should not take these buses as it will leave them stranded at the start line. Buses will make the return trip from the finish line in Redlands to Big Bear High School every hour. Without this ticket, you will take the free bus from the event parking at Redlands Sports Park to the start line race morning.

Purchase Your Shuttle Ticket Now

July 9, 2018
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Don't miss out! Make sure to register by 11:59 PM TOMORROW before the prices go up $10.

Don't miss out on this fast and beautiful inaugural race happening on Sunday, October 14, 2018. 

Register Now

July 5, 2018

Mt Hood

A course strategy – and overall race strategy – is a must for optimal performance on race day. Whether this is your first REVEL race and your goal is simply to finish, or you are veteran aiming for a PR or BQ, you should have a well-planned strategy for how you intend to manage the course!

The head coach of REVEL’s Online Coaching Program, who has run a Boston Qualifying time in all the REVEL marathons that he has run, has prepared detailed descriptions of the Revel Mt. Hood Marathon and Half-Marathon courses.

Managing the Course Based On Segments
A critical component of your strategy is the course profile itself. Where are the sharp descents? Where are the climbs? Where does the course “flatten” a bit?

You want to plan your race with course segments in mind, and with an overall strategy for varying paces throughout. Your varied paces will be dictated by the elevation losses and gains, and you want to know before the race where those variations will occur.

Generally, the Revel Mt. Hood Marathon course can be divided into five sections:

Miles 1-5: The “Ski Slopes” Fast Start
Miles 6-10: Settle In
Miles 11-15: Accelerate Past the Half
Miles 16-20: Flatten Out
Miles 21-26.2: Rolling Finish

Similarly, the Revel Mt. Hood Half-Marathon course can be divided into four sections:

Miles 1-4: Fast Four
Miles 5-8: Steady Four
Miles 9-12: Work Hard Four
Mile 13 (plus .1): Fast Finish – Final Kick

You can study the courses yourself on the REVEL Mt. Hood website. You can zoom in, use the interactive elevation chart, and get a feel for what lays ahead of you on race day.

If possible, you should drive the course before race day to get a feel for what the segments look and feel like. Knowing what to expect, and when, is helpful when preparing your course strategy.

The marathon and half-marathon courses are summarized below based on the segments described above.

THE MARATHON COURSE

Miles 1-5: The “Ski Slopes” Fast Start

Starting at 5,620’ elevation, the marathon starts adjacent to the ski lifts at The Timberline Lodge and Ski Area at the base of Mt. Hood. The first five miles of the marathon are almost entirely on the Timberline Highway, a smooth paved road that is nestled between tall pines and firs that line the road.

The first five miles of the marathon lose roughly 1,640' of elevation, with less than 20 total feet of climbing over that opening segment. These downhills are notably sharp, and you will want to take advantage of gravity by letting yourself move comfortably fast. Be wary of a sensation of “running too fast” in this entire stretch of the race. If you feel out of control, or if you feel yourself working “too hard” while running downhill, then slow down.

Miles 6-10: Settle In

Shortly before mile 5, the course turns from Timberline Highway onto U.S. 26. Over the next 5 miles, the course loses another 1,350’. This 5-mile segment is not as sharp as the opening segment, but still runs noticeably downhill. Like the opening 5 miles, this section is where you will want to take advantage of gravity and let your pace accelerate to the "comfortably fast" edge of your ability as you “settle in” at your goal pace, or slightly ahead of it.

Miles 11-15: Accelerate Past the Half

From mile 10 to mile 15, the course loses approximately 1,050’ of elevation. You will notice the more gradual descent, which is still significant, with each passing mile. At this stage of the race, with the sharpest descents behind you and the flatter miles ahead, you want to accelerate past the halfway mark. Miles 14 and 15 are two of the last miles where you will see elevation loss greater than 3% (more than 160’ per mile). Take advantage of these downhill miles as you approach the last 11 miles of the race.

Miles 16-20: Flatten Out

Overall, miles 16-20 lose about 360’ total, compared to earlier segments that lost 3-4 times that. These are much more gradual drops that what you encountered in the first 15 miles, and the key to this section is to maintain a steady pace that parallels the lower drop in elevation: lower drop means slower pace. You will notice a slowing of your pace, and that you cannot increase your pace without an increase in effort. This is due not only to the normal and expected fatigue at this point in a race, but also due to the lower amount of elevation loss per mile.

Miles 21-26.2: Rolling Finish

Make no mistake: this is where it gets tough for about 5 miles of the final 10K. All totaled, the final 10K of the course loses about 350’ of elevation. Miles 21 and 22 together lose a total of about 180' of elevation, and there are some noticeably sharp drops followed by gradual climbs. After that, miles 23 and 24 roll gradually up and then down to lose just over 120’ of elevation. Mile 25 actually gains 11’, and then mile 26 loses just under 60’. The final .2 is essentially flat.

Summary of the Marathon Course

The Revel Mt. Hood Marathon course loses over 4,750’ of elevation from start to finish. Over the 26.2-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your speed on the downhill segments. Although it is generally true that you never want to "go out too fast" in the opening miles of a marathon, remember that gravity is your friend, and you want to take advantage of the benefits of downhill running.

THE HALF-MARATHON COURSE

Miles 1-4: Fast Four

Starting at 1,759’ of elevation, the course drops roughly 440’ total from the start to mile 4. You will encounter a few gradual climbs in these opening miles, but nothing too severe. What you want to do at this early stage of the race is take advantage of the downhills, take it easy on the uphills. The downhill is noticeable but comfortable – not too steep, but just enough to let your legs turn over quickly. At the same time, be wary of a sensation of “running too fast.” If you feel out of control, or if you feel yourself working “too hard” while running downhill, then slow down.

Miles 5-8: Steady Four

You will notice the difference between miles 1-4, which average more than 100’ of elevation loss per mile, and miles 5-8, each of which drop between about 50' and 80' per mile. These are more gradual drops than what you encountered in the opening segment, so you will want to maintain a steady pace. There are no steep, fast drops, but also no hard climbs. As the course gradually drops, you want to maintain a steady level of effort to hold your pace.

Miles 9-12: Work Hard Four

Make no mistake: this is where it gets tough and where you will need to work hard. Miles 9 and 10 together lose a total of just over 50' of elevation. You don’t want to “push” yourself to try matching the fast pace that you held in the more downhill miles earlier in the race. Mile 11 will suddenly feel faster again. It loses over 70’ of elevation, and you will notice it. However, mile 12 requires some work: it gains more than 20’ overall.

Mile 13 (plus .1): Fast Finish – Final Kick

Once you reach mile 12, you can say to yourself "now downhill to the finish!" Even better, the downhill in the closing 1.1 miles is steady and gradual, but quite noticeable, which is great for tired legs. The elevation loss from mile 12 to the finish is roughly 70’. You should find yourself able to resume some of the faster paces that you were able to run in the earlier miles of the race.


Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The Revel Mt. Hood Half-Marathon course loses nearly 900' of elevation from start to finish. That's an average of around 70' per mile, making this one of the fastest half-marathon courses you will ever run. Over the 13.1-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your speed on the downhill segments.

Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is a 16-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 14 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

June 21, 2018

There are many downhill training methods and workouts that help runners find their optimum amount of downhill training, meaning the appropriate level of intensity depending on experience level, and the adequate number of days and proper distances for downhill "practice" during the weeks leading up to race day.

Generally, you should include downhill training hill workout about once every 10-14 days. Hill workouts place a lot of load and stress on your legs. An excessive number of hill workouts can lead to injury. Likewise, hill workouts typically should be a bit lower on mileage than most other runs. A 5-mile easy run is a lot less stressful on your body than a 5-mile hill workout. Again, overdoing it with mileage on a hill workout creates a higher chance of injury.

The types of hill workouts that will benefit you the most are downhill repeats of distances ranging from 1/4 mile up to 1 mile in length, although more advanced runners can practice sustained downhill intensity for longer distances. Whatever your experience level, your training should include enough downhill distance to allow you to practice your form, but without putting enormous strain on your legs.

Finally, it is important to find the right downhill grade for your workouts. Almost all REVEL courses all average between 3-4% total downhill grade. It will help you to run similar grades in your training. To determine grade, use your GPS device to measure the total distance of a hill (in miles converted to feet) and the total downhill (in feet). After that, use simple math to calculate the grade, which is total elevation loss in feet divided by the distance in feet. Remember that a mile is 5,280 feet.

Thus, the math for 1 mile that loses 150’ in elevation is as follows:
1 mile = 5,280’
150’ divided by 5,280’ = 2.8%
The 1-mile downhill is a -2.8% grade.

Similarly, a half-mile that loses 100’ can be calculated as follows:
Half-mile = 2,640’ (half of 5,280’)
100’ divided by 2,640’ = 3.7%
The half-mile downhill is a -3.7% grade.

Using these calculations, find a hill that loses anywhere from about 150’ to 200’ over a mile, and use that hill for your downhill workouts.

 

Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is a 16-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 14 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

June 15, 2018
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This is a friendly reminder the early bird pricing is ending! Save up to $25 when you sign up by 11:59pm SUNDAY, June 17. Use code EARLY at checkout to save $10 and combine that with the Facebook and team discounts to get a total of $25 off your registration!

Register for REVEL Rockies

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