Feb. 22, 2021



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 REVEL veteran aiming for a PR or BQ, you should have a well-planned strategy for how you intend to manage the Mt. Lemmon course!

The head coach of REVEL’s Online Coaching Program, who has run a Boston Qualifier in all the REVEL marathons, has prepared a detailed description of the Mt. Lemmon Marathon and Half-Marathon courses.

Managing the Course Based On Segments

A critical component of your race 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 Mt. Lemmon Marathon course can be divided into three sections:

Miles 1-4: The Very Slow Start

Miles 5-25: Blazing Fast 21 Miles

Miles 26-F: The Flat Finish

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

Miles 1-2: The Gently Fast Start

Mile 3: Short Slowdown

Miles 4-12: PR Territory

Miles 13-F: The Flat Finish

You can study the courses yourself on the REVEL 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 1-4: The Very Slow Start

Starting at almost 7,800’ elevation, the first 4 miles of the course are challenging, but with proper planning and strategy you can manage the slowdown that you almost certainly will experience here.

From the very start, the first half-mile of the race gains 126’ of elevation, which is more than the famous “Heartbreak Hill” in The Boston Marathon. Mile 2 loses 189’ of elevation and can be extremely fast, with an overall downhill grade of -3.6%.

Miles 3 and 4 are where you can expect to slow down the most. Mile 3 gains 128’ of elevation, and that is at altitude of more than 7,900’. Breathing will be difficult, and the climbing will be tough. Mile 4 climbs another 229’ at an elevation just under 8,200’.

Allow yourself to slow down in these climbing miles. You still have many miles to go, and you want to conserve your energy for the next 22+ miles ahead, which are all remarkably fast and markedly downhill.

Miles 5-25: Blazing Fast 21 Miles

The climb throughout mile 4 peaks at mile 4.35, where the elevation is 8,187’. Over the distance of the next 20.65 miles, all the way to mile 25, you will lose 5,387 feet. That is 260’ per mile, with an average downhill grade of -4.9% overall.

Resist the urge to chase people if they pass you. While you want to take advantage of gravity, you should not feel as if you are running “too hard” or “too fast.” If you do, then you should ease back a bit and aim for a “comfortably hard” pace.

There is no question that this 21-mile section is what makes Mt. Lemmon a fast race. Every mile in this stretch, except for miles 11 and 14, drops more than 200’ per mile, with most well more than that.

Keep in mind that there are some short climbs in this section. You will see them if you drive the course before the race, and you definitely will feel them when you run the course. Prepare yourself for a few short but steep climbs at miles 7.3 (70’), 8.8 (59’), 10.1 (34’), and 15.9 (88’). These climbs will slow you down a bit, but your overall pace in those sections will still be faster than what you encountered in the climbs inside the first 4 miles. However, be prepared so that you are not surprised or discouraged when you encounter them.

Miles 26-26.2: The Flat Finish

After mile 25, the course flattens out a bit compared to the prior 21 miles, especially in the final half-mile of the race. Although the course does continue to drop another 96’ in the final 1.2 miles, you will notice the flatter sections of the finish.

Summary of the Marathon Course

The Mt. Lemmon Marathon course loses almost 5,100’ of elevation from start to finish, but actually loses more than that (5,473’) from mile 4 to the finish. Over the 26.2-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your speed on the downhill segments. After the anticipated slow miles from the start up to mile 4, remember that gravity is your friend for the next 22 miles. Take advantage of the benefits of downhill running!

The Half-Marathon Course

Miles 1-2: The Gently Fast Start

Starting at 5,877’ of elevation, the course drops over 180’ from the start to mile 1. That is a comfortable and manageable descent for your first mile as you warm up. Mile 2 picks up speed significantly, dropping another 273’. You will want to manage the early downhill by easing into your pace, settling in for the long haul, and letting gravity pull you along at a comfortably fast pace. You should not feel as if you are running “too hard” or “too fast.” If you do, then you should ease back a bit and aim for a “comfortably hard” pace.

Mile 3: Short Slowdown

You can expect a short slowdown in the second half of mile 3 due to the short, but steep, climb. Around mile 2.8, your elevation will be 5,181’. Before you get to mile 3, you will climb almost 90’ to 5,268’. You will need to “switch gears” to a slower pace based on even effort and should be prepared to run slightly slower than your goal pace on the uphill segment. Remember, this is still very early in the race, and you have downhill miles ahead where you can expect to speed up significantly.

Miles 4-12: PR Territory

This is where your half-marathon personal record (PR) will be made. Miles 4-12 all totaled lose 2,473’ of elevation, which is 275’ per mile. If you are keeping tabs on your pace, don’t be surprised to see that you have picked up significant speed. This is where gravity is your friend, and you will want to take advantage of the favorable downhill miles. However, 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 13-13.1: The Flat Finish

The final 1.1 miles of the course are relatively flat, losing 84’ overall for the final stretch.

Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The Mt. Lemmon Half-Marathon course loses 3,173’ of elevation from start to finish. With an average loss of around 242' per mile (a grade of -4.6%), 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 "faster than normal" pace on the downhill segments.

Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is a 25-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 23 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

Oct. 8, 2020
The Run Down - REVEL Race Series Newsletter October 2020

Mt Charleston Price Increase 

REVEL Mt Charleston

REVEL Mt Charleston has a price increase coming up next week on October 20. Mt Charleston starts in the beautiful forests of Kyle Canyon and has one of the highest BQ rates in the country. The Mt Charleston Half Marathon increases $10 and Mt Charleston Marathon increases $5 so be sure to sign up now!

Register for Mt Charleston


BiG Cottonwood Registration Open

REVEL Big Cottonwood

REVEL Big Cottonwood is excited to announce the 2021 event will take place on Saturday, September 11, 2021. Save up to $15 when you sign up by October 20. Use $10-off code GOBIG at checkout along with the $5 team discount to redeem your savings!


Register for Big Cottonwood

introducing oyo

We invite you to take part in an extraordinary new race concept we’ve created: introducing OYO, a fresh new way to run your next 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or Marathon. Courses are now open in Salt Lake and Portland! 

OYO is a real, non-virtual, USATF certified course with permanent timing technology built directly into the race route. This not only ensures real chip-timed results, but offers round-the-clock service.

You pick your race date. You pick your start time. OYO is available any time of day, any day of the year. 

Registration comes with a hefty race packet mailed right to your door, complete with a shirt, medal, running belt, nutrition kit, and race bib with a timing chip. All you need is your bib, the OYO app, and a little grit to run a real race, on a certified course, with real timed results.

Learn More

Training Tip


You’ve been there: A few miles into a run, you are wondering to yourself, Why am I running today? When is my next race? Maybe you ran long the day before. Perhaps you have an especially challenging workout the next day. Whatever the reason, you are not sure exactly why you are doing a particular workout on a given day. Likewise, you might have no idea how hard you should be running or whether you should be running at all. So, what to do? Here is a recommended 3-step plan that can help you get through it.

Read More



Sprouts Farmers Market has been a great partner of the REVEL Race Series. Sprouts has rebranded themselves with an updated logo and new tagline, 'Where Goodness Grows.' Visit today to check them out.

Honey Stinger

Honey Stinger

We appreciate our sponsors that have stood with us throughout this pandemic. Honey Stinger continues to support us and wants to make sure that our runners are taken care of for the rest of the year. Visit and use promo code 'HSFuel2020' to receive 30% off your entire order through the end of the year.



If you haven't heard, our sponsor, NormaTec Recovery, joined forces with Hyperice this past year. Since they've come together as one company, all of your recovery needs will be met by their array of products. Visit to see how they can help you recover better and faster! 


Apr. 3, 2021 REVEL Mt Charleston
Las Vegas, NV

Price Increase Oct 20

Jun. 5, 2021 REVEL Rockies
Denver, CO
Jun. 26, 2021 REVEL Mt Hood
Portland, OR
Sep. 11, 2021 REVEL Big Cottonwood
Salt Lake City, UT

Use code GOBIG by Oct 20


COVID Cancellation for 2021

As we continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic we want to be transparent about our cancellation policy moving forward. If any REVEL event is cancelled due to COVID-19, refunds will not be processed. The Transfer/Withdraw/Defer options will no longer be available once a cancellation is announced and therefore the deadlines stated on the withdrawal pages do NOT apply. Upon cancellation runners will be given the option of a virtual race or a 100% deferment credit to be applied to a future event.

go gary

Gary completed the REVEL Mt Charleston virtual marathon, and hit a significant lifetime milestone while doing so: HIS 100TH MARATHON.

We speak for REVELers everywhere when we express our sincere congratulations to Gary on this tremendous achievement. Somebody get this guy some balloons and a donut medal!


Random Race Entry Winner

Random Winner

Congratulations to Daniel Garcia who ran the 2020 REVEL Rockies VIRTUAL Marathon. He was randomly selected as the winner of a FREE race entry to a REVEL event. Keep your eyes out each month to see if you're the next random winner. Daniel, email to claim your prize.

Oct. 7, 2020

You’ve been there: A few miles into a run, you are wondering to yourself, “Why am I running today? When is my next race?” Maybe you ran long the day before. Perhaps you have an especially challenging workout the next day. Whatever the reason, you are not sure exactly why you are doing a particular workout on a given day. Likewise, you might have no idea how hard you should be running, or whether you should be running at all.

Like many other aspects of life in 2020, you are caught in a cycle of uncertainty. Accompanying that uncertainty is a sense of feeling “lost,” where you are not exactly sure where your running should be – base work, speed work, race prep?

Unless you are running “just to run” - and many of us do exactly that - you are probably accustomed to training for a specific race, or a series of races. In that case, every workout in your training schedule has a certain purpose that is aligned with your current training phase. Commonly referred to as “periodization,” the optimal training method for any race distance is to go through different phases - usually lasting several weeks - where you focus on different aspects of your running. Generally, those distinct periods are base, build, sharpen, peak, and taper.

But again, all of that is shattered when races are canceled or postponed and there are extremely few certain race dates on the calendar anywhere.

So, what to do? Here is a recommended 3-step plan that can help you get through it. Remember that most training plans have distinct periods that all begin with a base period, followed by a building phase. Together, the base and build phases account for about 10-12 weeks for marathon training, and about 6-8 weeks for half-marathon training.

Step 1: Get back to basics with base work.

This is where you gradually increase your volume (total weekly miles) over time at an easy pace. The objective is to improve endurance, not to gain speed. A key aspect here is to think in terms of weeks, not days. How many weeks? That depends on your level of fitness when you begin the base work. There are no one-size-fits-all regimens for base building, and runners start their own base periods with different levels of conditioning, speed, strength, and stamina. A coach can help you schedule a series of weeks where you focus on your base training, after which you’ll notice improvements in your speed. That’s a positive development to note, but it should not be your daily goal to “beat yesterday’s time.” That will come in the next phase.

Step 2: Start to build strength and stamina.

There are several commonly used terms for the next periodization phase. “Build stage,” “quality workout phase,” and “stamina phase” are examples that coaches use. The common component of this phase is that the workouts begin to increase intensity, with tempo runs, interval sessions, hill workouts, and other types of runs. It is important to note that not all your workouts will be high intensity during this phase. A lot of your weekly mileage should continue to be at your aerobic pace. There is also a need for “recovery runs,” which typically are scheduled for the days after hard workouts or very long runs. The objective of recovery runs is to loosen up stiff and tired legs, and to move oxygen and nutrients into the muscles for repair.

Step 3: Move on towards sharpen and peak phases or GO BACK to Step 1.

After the base and build periods is the “sharpen” phase, where workouts focus on “goal pace.” Workouts include many miles of sustained intensity at increasingly longer distances. Beyond the sharpen period is the “peak,” where intensity and volume are the highest in the training cycle. Finally, after that, the “taper” period leads up to a target race.

>But in the current uncertain times we are experiencing, the question runners face is “Will my race happen, and if not, what do I do?” That is the key point at which you must evaluate the likelihood of the race occurring, weighed against your own current level of fitness, overall health, and (most important) willingness to commit to the growing demands of the training cycles ahead.

This is where you have to make the decision to (1) proceed into the next phases of hard work, or (2) show the discipline to back off training, let your body recover from weeks or months of hard work, and…start over again with base work.

It is frustrating but does not have to be thought of as “going back to square one.” Instead, think of your training as going through a series of plateaus. If you progress through Steps 1 and 2 properly, and have remained healthy through those weeks of training, you will be starting another base period at a fitness level that is higher than before. From there, you can advance through another building stage, and hopefully will see another race on the horizon.

Most importantly, you must not fall into a mentality of “I have reached this level of fitness and I want to stay here.” It is extremely difficult to sustain the high levels of intensity and volume that are common during the sharpen and peak periods. A typical training cycle has only a few weeks of training in these phases, and they are not designed for long-term training within those periods. The number one reason to avoid too much intensity and mileage? Injury. You do not want to become injured.

So, why am I doing this workout today?

Back to the initial question: “Why am I running today?” Whatever your answer, make sure that your workout is consistent with your periodization phase. Are you in the early weeks of your base training? If so, you should not be doing intervals on the track. Are you in the middle of your “build” period, where you are ramping up speed and intensity? If so, you might not want to be grinding out a hilly 10-miler the day after a hard intervals session. Are you wondering why you’re scheduled for a 3-mile “recovery run” the day after a long run? If you cannot answer the question, ask your coach. If your coach cannot answer the question...then it might be time to find another coach!

The point here is that you want to avoid the pitfall of wandering aimlessly through days and weeks of running without purpose. When faced with uncertainty, you can establish your own certainty by planning your base and build phases, followed by planning what to do next depending on the question we all are trying to answer: “When is my next race?”

Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is a 24-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course. His current streak is 22 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons! You can contact Coach Paul at

June 15, 2020

As of now, REVEL Big Cottonwood is scheduled to commence as planned on September 12, 2020.

Let's address the obvious question. What if I sign up and the race is later canceled due to COVID-19?

For those feeling trepidation about registering, we'd like to remind our runners of the generous transfer/withdrawal/deferral policies in place. In the event that we are forced to cancel, registered participants can choose from the following options:

  • Complimentary Deferment: Runners may elect to defer the entire amount of their registration fee to be used at any future REVEL event. The current deferment fee will be waived.
  • Virtual Race: Runners may elect to run the race virtually at the time and location of their choice and receive a mailed race packet free of charge. The mailed packet will include a race shirt, medal, bib, Tru Flask, Goodr sunglasses, running cap, and customized result card showing the finish time of the virtual race. Those who select this option will also be given a code for a 20% discount on a REVEL merchandise purchase.

Given this policy we hope to have eliminated any financial risk, and we strongly encourage runners not to hesitate to register.

If the race is to commence as scheduled, what precautions will be in place to ensure my safety?

REVEL events are supposed to be fun, challenging, inspiring, and safe - and now more than ever, we take that last one very seriously.

Runners can be assured that REVEL will be implementing an extensive series of safety measures for both the expo and race day. These measures would be too long to list here, but among them include:

  • Gloves, masks, and temperature checks for all race staff and volunteers
  • Increased hand-washing and sanitation stations
  • Limited "touch-points" and vigorous sanitation of each
  • Assigned time slots for race packet pick-up and mailing options
  • Provided face masks for runners during race-day transportation

We will provide detailed updates regarding race day and safety protocol as we grow closer to the event.

We look forward to REVELing with you all in Salt Lake City. See you in September! 

April 27, 2020

Unfortuntely we have had to cancel the following events due to COVID-19: REVEL Mt Charleston (4/4/20), REVEL Rockies (6/6/20), REVEL Mt Hood (6/27/20) and REVEL Chilliwack (7/25/20). Although deeply saddened by these cancellations, we are committed to joining the efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and ensure the health of our runners and host communities. 

These cancellations have led to questions regarding the status of other scheduled REVEL events in 2020. As of now, the remaining fall REVEL events in 2020 are scheduled to proceed as planned. They include:

-REVEL Big Cottonwood: September 12, 2020

-REVEL Big Bear: November 14, 2020

We emphasize that the coronavirus issue is evolving on a daily basis and therefore future plans may need to be adjusted. We will continue to monitor the ongoing situation as it unfolds throughout the coming months and comply with regulations of local and federal government health officials. 

Because many of our runners may naturally be hesitant to register for a race under the current circumstances, we wish to clarify our current plan for responding to the possibility of prolonged restrictions on events:

  • -We remind runners that we have always had a very generous transfer/withdrawal/deferral policy that provides flexibility in times of uncertainty. Subject to certain deadlines, runners may use these policies to defer or withdraw from any race. Registered runners who are uncertain about their participation in the remaining 2020 REVEL events are invited to consider exercising these options.
  • -If a future REVEL event is forced to cancel due to health and safety regulations, we may attempt to postpone the race to a future date in 2020. In the event of a postponement, registered runners would automatically be deferred to the postponed race. If the new date is incompatible with a runner’s schedule, the runner will be allowed to defer their entire registration to a future REVEL event without incurring any fees.
  • -Postponement is not always a viable option due to permit restrictions, venue availability, and weather conditions. If postponement is not possible, a race may be cancelled altogether for the 2020 year. Under this scenario, runners will be given the following two options:
  1.       1. Defer registration and receive credit that can be used to register for any future REVEL race. Note that the regular deferral fees will be waived in the event of a cancellation so that runners will not incur any cost to defer.
  3.       2. Complete a Virtual Race and receive a mailed race packet, free of charge. Race packets include a race shirt, medal, personalized bib, Tru Flask, Goodr sunglasses, REVEL running cap, customized result card, and a coupon code for a 20% discount on a REVEL merchandise purchase. 

Our sincere hope is that our fall 2020 races will not be impacted by the current situation, and we are actively planning for that scenario. Given the policies outlined above, we encourage our runners to not hesitate to register for these events. The race production community is currently experiencing unprecedented turmoil. Those in our industry rely on constant registrations to enable operations to continue. We urge runners to support the industry by continuing to register for races, whether they be REVEL races or not, so long as those races have reasonable policies in place to deal with potential postponements or cancellations. 

Above all, we implore our runners to remain safe and healthy. We all share a common passion for distance running and cannot imagine life without. Yet in these uncertain times we must remember to put the overall health of our community above all other concerns. Look for opportunities to be an influence for good during this outbreak. Offer assistance to others as appropriate. Remember that we are all in this together.

We appreciate the patience of our loyal runners during these difficult times and look forward to REVELing with you all as soon as possible. 

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