Blog

Sept. 27, 2018
REVEL Big Bear Logo
Important Parking Updates

Race week is right around the corner and we want to provide you with specific details on race day parking to make your race morning smooth! Participant parking is NOT available at the finish venue. All runners should park at the designated parking area located at 650 E Hospitality Ln. San Bernardino, CA 92408. You will board your bus to be taken to the start line from this location. 

Marathon and half marathon participants will board buses in two separate locations within in the parking area. All participants must take the bus and your bib is the ticket to board the bus. Don't be late. There is no parking at the start lines, and participants may not be dropped off at the start venues.

Marathon buses will load from the NE corner of the lot on E Carnegie Dr and will depart from 4:00-4:45 AM. Half marathon buses will load from the SW corner of the lot on E Hospitality Ln and will depart from 4:30-5:15 AM.

Post Race Shuttle

From approximately 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM there will be a continuous shuttle that will take participants from the finish venue back to their cars at the designated parking area. Runners can board the shuttles at the west end of the race finish venue at the corner of Dearborn St & San Bernardino Ave. 

Spectator Parking

Spectators WILL be allowed to park in the area surrounding the finish venue. Please tell your fan club to plan to park in the parking lot immediately north of the Redlands Sports Park at 1790 Dearborn St, Redlands, CA 92374. If this parking lot fills, spectators should park on the city streets (Dearborn St and San Bernardino Ave) near the finish venue.

Big Bear High School Shuttling 

For those participants staying in Big Bear, a roundtrip shuttle service is available from Big Bear High School. This shuttle will take runners from Big Bear High School to the race start lines before the race, and then return runners from the finish line back to the High School after the race. Tickets must be pre-purchased for this service. Tickets for this option can be purchased here. *Unless you pre-purchase this ticket, you must take the free shuttle service from the designated race parking area as explained above.

Sept. 24, 2018

REVEL Mt Lemmon

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 26-26.2: 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 13-13.1: 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 7,900’ 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 about 100’ of elevation, which is nearly identical to the famous “Heartbreak Hill” in The Boston Marathon. Mile 2 loses roughly 250’ of elevation and can be extremely fast, with an overall downhill grade of -4.7%.

Miles 3 and 4 are where you can expect to slow down the most. Mile 3 gains over 290’ of elevation, and that is at altitude of roughly 8,000’. Breathing will be difficult, and the climbing will be tough. Mile 4 offers a little less of a challenge, but it still has about 150’ of gain.

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 elevation at mile 4 is approximately 8,174’. Over the distance of the next 21 miles, all the way to mile 25, you will lose over 5,220 feet. That is almost 250’ per mile, with a downhill grade of -4.7% per mile.

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 9 and 16, drops more than 200’ per mile, with most well over 220’.

Speaking of miles 9 and 16, there are a couple of short but steep climbs in those sections. At mile 8.6 and again at mile 15.7, you will encounter two climbs (around 55’ and 88’, respectively) that will slow you down a bit, but overall your pace in those sections will still be faster than what you encountered in the climbs inside the first 4 miles.

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, you will notice the flatter sections of the finish.

Summary of the Marathon Course

The Mt. Lemmon Marathon course loses almost 5,200’ of elevation from start to finish, but actually loses more than that (5,463’) 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 5,860’ of elevation, the course drops over 270’ from the start to mile 1, and then loses another 210’ from mile 1 to mile 2. That is a comfortable and manageable descent for your first two miles. 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

Not long after you pass the 2-mile mark, around mile 2.1, your elevation will be 5,375’. Over the next half-mile, up to mile 2.6, you will drop to 5,181’, which is a loss of over 190’ in a half-mile. That is a big drop. However, from mile 2.6 to mile 2.75, you will climb almost 90’ to 5,269’.

You can expect a short slowdown in the second half of mile 3 due to the short, but steep, climb. 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 more than 2,400’ of elevation, which is nearly 270’ 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. The elevation loss essentially is roughly 60’ for the entire final 1.1 miles of the course.

Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The Mt. Lemmon Half-Marathon course loses more than 3,100’ of elevation from start to finish. With an average loss of around 240' per mile (a grade of -4.5%), 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

Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is an 18-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 16 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

Sept. 9, 2018
REVEL Big Cottonwood

REVEL Big Cottonwood is excited to announce the 2019 event will be taking place on Saturday, September 14.

Save up to $15 when you sign up by September 26. Use $10-off code GOBIG at checkout along with the $5 team discount to redeem your savings!

Register for REVEL Big Cottonwood

 

Sept. 3, 2018

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 Big Bear 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 Big Bear 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 Big Bear Marathon course can be divided into six sections:

Miles 1-2: The Warm Up
Miles 3-4: Slower But Steady, Get Up and Down
Miles 5-9: Rolling Downhill
Miles 10-13: Pick Up Speed
Miles 14-20: Accelerate
Miles 21-26.2: Fast Finish

Similarly, the Big Bear Half-Marathon course can be divided into three sections:

Miles 1-4: Very Fast Start
Miles 5-9: Settle In
Miles 10-13.1: Coasting In

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 1-2: The Warm Up

Starting at almost 6,630’ elevation, the first 2 miles of the course are almost straightaway, with very gradual turns and an elevation loss of about 325’ total. In the first mile, you will lose roughly 200’ of elevation. The second mile drops about 125’.

Overall, this opening 2-mile segment is one of the more gradual downhill segments of the entire course. You want to approach this as a nice “warm up” to the miles ahead, and you should resist the urge to chase other runners if they pass you. You want to start the race by easing into your own 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.

Miles 3-4: Slower But Steady, Get Up and Down

Miles 3 and 4 of the course are a series of up and down sections that, overall, result in -38’ of elevation for the 2-mile leg. After the opening “Warm Up” section that is mostly downhill, you almost certainly will be aware of your pace slowing and your level of effort increasing on the climbs here. This is where you will run slightly slower than your first two miles, but still can maintain a steady level of effort as you work your way uphill and downhill for two miles.

This is a segment where you really do not want to concern yourself with runners passing you on climbs. It is easy in a race to get caught up with the pace of other runners. You still have many miles to go, and you want to conserve your energy for the miles ahead. With that in mind, pay attention to your own level of effort: if you feel yourself working too hard on the climbs, then simply slow down.

Miles 5-9: Rolling Downhill

This is where you will begin to build speed. As you pass mile 4, you will begin a series of small rolling hills that, overall, lose 500’ of elevation. You will encounter small, short climbs here and there during this section, but they are minor in comparison to the overall elevation loss.

If you are keeping tabs on your splits every mile or every few miles at marked intervals, don’t be surprised to see that you are running slightly ahead of your goal pace on the downhills. This is where gravity is your friend, and the downhill profile of the marathon course will benefit you significantly.

At the same time, be wary of a sensation of “running too fast” downhill. If you feel out of control, or if you feel yourself working “too hard” while running downhill, then slow down. But be mindful that it is expected for you to be ahead of goal pace during these downhill segments of the race.

Likewise, don’t push yourself on the climbs. They are short, and you gain very little by increasing your level of effort to sustain a faster pace while climbing. Once you get past this section, the course starts to get much faster, and you want to conserve your energy for the speedy downhill sections ahead.

Miles 10-13: Pick Up Speed

This is where you will start to really gain speed running downhill.

If you have “held back” your downhill speed for the first 9 miles, while managing the minor climbs along the way, you should expect to be very close to (or slightly ahead of) your goal splits up to this part of the race. Your legs should feel strong, warmed-up, and ready for the supremely fast latter half of the race.

Just past mile 9, the course begins steadily dropping mile after mile. For the first time since mile 1, you will start to see elevation losses well more than 200’ per mile. Start turning on the speed here, but don’t get too enthusiastic just yet. As you approach the second half of the course, think of these “last 4 of the first half” as an appetizer for main menu ahead.

Miles 14-20: Accelerate

The REVEL Big Bear Marathon course will give you an opportunity to start “turning on the speed” at the halfway mark. The elevation at mile 13 is 4,770’. By mile 20, where the elevation is 2,658’, you will have lost over 2,100’ in a 7-mile stretch. That is an average of more than 300’ per mile. More importantly, there are no noticeable climbs anywhere in this stretch. It is one long, sustained, fast downhill section.

This 7-mile section is where your race is made. Instead of the usual “struggle” to maintain pace in the third quarter of a marathon, miles 14-20 of Big Bear are where you will find yourself running faster than expected. Keep churning out the miles with a sense of free-flowing, efficient, downhill speed. By the time you get to mile 20, you can expect to be right on your target split, if not well-ahead of it.

Miles 21-26.2: Fast Finish

The last 10K of the marathon course is a continuation of the long, sustained downhill section that began way back at mile 13. Even better, the downhill in the closing 6.2 miles is less severe than the earlier segments, which is easier on tired legs.

The final 6.2 miles of the course lose 1,100’, or an average of roughly 180’ per mile. This is a comfortable downhill section, and you should be able to sustain your goal pace throughout the final 10K.

Summary of the Marathon Course

The Big Bear Marathon course loses almost a mile 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 run “too fast" at any point in a marathon, remember that gravity is your friend, and you want to take advantage of the benefits of downhill running. Still, hold back until mile 9, manage the short climbs up to that point, and then start accelerating into the second half of the course. Keep in mind that even splits (or negative splits) are highly likely on a course like Big Bear. In other words, expect your second half to be faster than your first half! The key to success will be your ability to keep accelerate from miles 13 to 20, and then holding on at goal pace (if not faster) for the final 10K.

The Half-Marathon Course

Miles 1-4: Very Fast Start

Starting at just over 4700’ elevation, the half-marathon course drops about 1,265’ total from the start to mile 4. That is an average of more than 315' per mile, which is a significant drop.

You will need to resist the urge to chase people if they pass you. Although you want to take advantage of gravity throughout this course by running “comfortably fast” on the downhills, you need to manage the early downhill drops by easing into your pace, settling in for the long haul, and letting gravity pull you along. 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.

Miles 5-9: Settle In

Overall, you will drop just over 1,260' in miles 5-9. That is an average of roughly 250’ per mile, which is remarkable. Compared to the noticeably fast downhill miles from the start to mile 4, this section is a much more “comfortable” downhill.

This is the section where you can really settle into your race pace. The downhills are less sharp than the opening segment, and all of them lose between 215’ and 280’ per mile. 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. If you are keeping tabs on your splits every mile or every few miles at marked intervals, don’t be surprised to see that you are running well ahead of your goal pace.

Miles 10-13.1: Coasting In

Remember that the opening 4-mile segment loses more than 300’ per mile, and the second 5-mile segment loses about 250’ per mile. This final segment loses an average of about 157’ per mile. This is still a significant drop per mile, but it is much more gradual than the earlier miles.

As the course begins to descend more gradually, you might notice that your pace is beginning to slow. Pay close attention to your own level of effort. Whatever level of effort you feel on the opening downhill segments is your benchmark; duplicate that level of effort on the less downhill miles, but do not go harder. Pay attention to your breathing and heart rate. If you feel yourself working too hard, then simply slow down. You should be coasting in for the final miles.

Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The Big Bear Half-Marathon course loses 3,161' of elevation from start to finish. That's an average of more than 240' 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 17-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 15 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

Aug. 29, 2018

Mike Peterson

Dear REVEL Big Cottonwood Runners,

On behalf of our City, I welcome you to Cottonwood Heights. We are thrilled that our beautiful and vibrant community will once again play host to this world-class event. Your experience here is sure to be among the best of all races you have run.

Incorporated in 2005, Cottonwood Heights has quickly become known as a progressive community and a very desirable place to live and visit.  Soon after our incorporation as a city, Money Magazine recognized us as one of the 100 most desirable places to live for a city our size in the United States.  We are proud partners of the REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon and Half as it provides us an opportunity to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of our thriving community.  

Much like the race you are about to run, our City prides itself on offering top tier services to our residents and visitors. We are home to more than 1,500 businesses, several of which are among the Fortune 500. I encourage you to patronize these businesses as much as possible during your visit. When choosing your restaurants, entertainment, and other purchases, please consider selecting from among the myriad options available to you right here in Cottonwood Heights.

I wish you the best of luck in your upcoming race and hope that you will enjoy your visit to our City as much as we enjoy hosting you and your supporters.

Sincerely,

Mayor Michael J. Peterson   

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