Blog

Dec. 4, 2019
The Run Down - REVEL Race Series Newsletter Dec 2019

Kulia Course Preview

REVEL Kulia

A critical component of a race strategy is the course profile. 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 Kulia Marathon course can be divided into four sections...

Read Kulia Course Preview

KULIA Price Increase

REVEL Kulia

REVEL Kulia has a price increase coming up on December 10. Enjoy a getaway to
Hawaii while participating in the REVEL with the most elevation drop of all of the REVEL
courses. The half marathon increases $15 and the marathon increases $10, so be sure
to sign up now!

 

Register for Kulia

REVEL Running Retreat

REVEL Running Retreat

We're kicking off a new way to REVEL in September 2020! Introducing the REVEL Running Retreat - an affordable, informative, and enjoyable 3-day program that will boost your knowledge, ability, and confidence in racing any of the downhill courses in the REVEL Race Series. Experience the beauty of Fall in Park City, rub shoulders with Olympic Marathon athletes, meet one-on-one with our experienced coaches, and learn from published biomechanics scholars. The retreat culminates with the running of the 2020 REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon or Half Marathon. Space is extremely limited .

 

Learn More

Breakfast in Boston

Breakfast in Boston

Join the REVEL owners and CEO for Breakfast in Boston! We'll be hosting a breakfast buffet on Sunday, April 19 at 9:00am at Clerys. The event will include a course overview and strategy presentation by REVEL Coach Paul Carmona. The cost is $25 per person and non-runner guests are welcome.

Purchase Your Tickets

WE'RE HIRING

Hiring

Want to join the best team in the industry? We have two job openings available:

- Brand Manager / Purchasing Specialist
- Sales & Partnership Manager

Read the job descriptions and apply at www.brooksee.com/jobs.

 

Launch Team

Launch Team

Youth training for the REVEL Mt Charleston Half Marathon starts in Las Vegas in early January with the Launch Team. The Launch Team has trained hundreds of youth to complete half marathons, so your youth can do it too! Give them a challenge and you'll be amazed at what they can do. Learn more at thelaunchteam.org.

 

Things To Do - Rockies

Echo

Visit the marathon start line of REVEL Rockies in the winter! Echo Mountain was reborn in 2016 with a vision to be Denver’s closest, most affordable option for snow sports and  outdoors enthusiasts in Colorado’s front range. Stop by to ski, tube or enjoy a meal at the lodge from their new revitalized menu. Visit https://echomntn.com/ for hours and additional details.

Enterprise/National Car Rentals

Enterprise National

REVEL is excited to announce it has teamed up with Enterprise Rent-A-Car & National Car Rental to get you the best rate! Book your rental today at this link.

Race Calendar

Jan. 18, 2020 REVEL Kulia
Big Island, Hawaii

Price Increase December 10!

Apr. 4, 2020 REVEL Mt Charleston
Las Vegas, NV
Jun. 6, 2020 REVEL Rockies
Denver, CO
Jun. 27, 2020 REVEL Mt Hood
Portland, OR
Jul. 25, 2020 REVEL Chilliwack
British Columbia, Canada
Sep. 12, 2020 REVEL Big Cottonwood
Salt Lake City, UT
TBA REVEL Mt Lemmon
Tucson, AZ
 Nov. 14, 2020 REVEL Big Bear
SoCal

REVEL Mt Lemmon Winners

REVEL Mt Lemmon was held on November 2, 2019 in Tucson, AZ. Here are all the winners:

Gerardo Moceri
Male Marathon Winner
Gerardo Moceri
2:45:05
Coco Miller
Female Marathon Winner
Coco Miller
3:01:52
Derek Delancey
Male Half Winner
Derek Delancey
1:10:13
Amanda Sharpe
Female Half Winner
Amanda Sharpe
1:28:22
EVR
Half Team Winner
EVR
1:31:07.07
Run Eat Repeat
Marathon Team Winner
Run Eat Repeat
3:46:25.06

REVEL Big Bear Winners

REVEL Mt Lemmon was held on November 9, 2019 in Redlands, CA. Here are all the winners:

Matt Collins
Male Marathon Winner
Matt Collins
2:25:23
Kristen Thorne
Female Marathon Winner
Kristen Thorne
2:51:16
David Salas
Male Half Winner
David Salas
1:08:36.22
Alexandra Caminiti
Female Half Winner
Alexandra Caminiti
1:16:59
LA LEGGERS
Half Team Winner
LA LEGGERS
1:31:28
Team L.A. International
Marathon Team Winner
Team L.A. International
2:58:13

Participant Highlight

Leo

REVELer Leo Richard, life-long Tucson runner and coach with Southwest Endurance Training, passed away suddenly on October 12th at the age of 67. Leo was known and loved by many in the Tucson running community; he was always supportive, friendly, humble and always had an amazing story to share if he was running with you. Leo ran the 2018 REVEL Mt Lemmon Marathon and was not satisfied with his time, so this summer he trained hard and smart, intending to take 28 minutes off his finish last year. His target was a 4:20 marathon, but his real goal was to run a 4:05 and qualify for Boston. Leo had finished the peak week of his training for Revel when he passed peacefully in his sleep. Upon hearing the news, Southwest Endurance Training didn't skip a beat and relayed his bib in for his final Boston Qualifying time of 4:01!

REVEL Reward Program

Get It On Google Play

Want to earn points for free REVEL Races and other prizes? Install the REVEL Race Series app today! You earn points when you register for REVEL events plus bonus points & prizes when you visit designated booths at our Expo & Packet Pick-Ups.

Random Race Entry Winner

Random Winner

Congratulations to Sharla-Ann Fujimoto who ran the 2019 REVEL Kulia Marathon. She 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. Sharla-Ann, email revel@runrevel.com to claim your prize.

 

 
 
Dec. 3, 2019

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 REVEL Kulia course!

The head coach of REVEL’s Online Coaching Program, who has run a Boston Qualifier in all the REVEL marathons he has run, has prepared a detailed description of the Kulia 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 Kulia Marathon course can be divided into four sections:

Miles 1-7: Blazing Fast Start

Miles 8-13: Slow Down and Hang on

Miles 14-20: Pick Up Speed

Miles 21-26.2: Cruise to the Finish 

Similarly, the Kulia Half-Marathon course can be divided into four sections:

Miles 1-7: Extremely Fast Start

Mile 8: Short Slowdown

Miles 9-12: Cruising to the Coast

Mile 13-F: 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 1-7: Blazing Fast Start

Starting at almost 5,400’ elevation, the marathon starts near the Kilohana Girl Scout Camp on the western slopes of Mauna Kea. The first 8 miles of the course generally trend north/northwest, which means that the rising sun will be mostly at your back.

The first seven miles of the course lose 2,591' of total elevation (grade of -7%), making this one of the fastest starts of any marathon anywhere. With the average loss of 370' per mile, the downhill grade of this section is extremely fast, meaning you will need to get your legs moving right away. Resist the urge to push your pace hard in these first miles. There is a lot of downhill ahead, and you want to manage the early downhills by easing into your pace, settling in for the long haul, and letting gravity pull you along at a comfortably fast pace.

Miles 8-13: Slow Down and Hang on

When you pass the mile 7 marker and begin mile 8, you will have lost almost 2,600’ of elevation since the start of the marathon. That is 48% of the total elevation loss of the course, but only a little more than one-quarter of the total distance of the race. Although there is still a significant amount of downhill remaining in the final 19 miles (more than 2,700' of loss), the first real challenge of this course will be holding onto your goal pace for miles 8-13 on legs that have worked hard over the first 7 miles.

One important mental note to make here is that after mile 8, the course makes the first of only a handful of hard turns on the entire course. After running on Saddle Road for the first 8 miles, you will make a hard-left turn, heading south/southwest on Mamalahoa Highway. Not only does the elevation make a noticeable change, but you literally change directions.

Miles 9 and 10 together lose just over 30'. Essentially, this is a totally flat section. Mile 11 actually gains 48' overall, and mile 12 gains another 16’. The slowdown you experience here will simply mean that gravity is no longer assisting you very much (for the moment). Mile 13 loses 149' of elevation, and you will start to feel gravity helping you again as you approach the halfway mark. That is where you want to starting thinking about a second surge of acceleration ahead.

Miles 14-20: Pick Up Speed

Two important things happen as you approach mile 13. First, you make the second hard turn of the course, which mentally is always helpful when running through a tough stretch. Second, you begin the next sharp descent towards the finish: miles 14-20 lose 1,656' overall. Although those aren't the kind of whopping downhills you saw in miles 1-7, this section loses, on average, 237' per mile, which is a -4.5% grade. Generally, you should find it easy to accelerate to a pace that is similar to what you maintained from miles 1-7. You might not be quite as fast as earlier miles, but the more gradual downhill of this section will make it easier to sustain your goal pace, or faster than goal pace, all the way to mile 20.

Miles 21-26.2: Cruise to the 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 796’, or an average of roughly 128’ per mile. This is a comfortable downhill section of -2.4% grade, and you should be able to sustain your goal pace throughout the final 10K.

Just before mile 25, you make the third hard turn of the course, turning left onto Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway. Miles 25 and 26 are mostly on the blacktop highway, surrounded by lava fields on both sides of the road. Although the final 2.2 miles lose 194’ total, it will feel very flat, exposed, and slow. Be prepared to work hard through this stretch as you head towards the finish at Queens’ Marketplace and the stunning Waikoloa Bowl at Queens' Garden.

Summary of the Marathon Course

The REVEL Kulia Marathon course loses 5,354' overall, more than 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. In that regard, it makes sense to run as fast as you can comfortably run on the downhills, hold on during the middle flats and climbs, and then turn on the acceleration again for the second half of the race.

The Half-Marathon Course

Miles 1-7: Extremely Fast Start

Starting at 2,480’ of elevation, the course drops 1,645’ in the first 7 miles, which is an average grade of -4.5%. The average loss per mile here is 235’, making this a very fast start. You will need to resist the urge to chase people as they pass you. While you want to take advantage of gravity throughout this course by running fast on the downhills, you need to manage the downhill drops 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 fast.” If you do, then you should ease back a bit and aim for a “comfortably hard” pace.

Mile 8: Short Slowdown

Mile 8 drops 32' overall, but there is a climb of about 35' that starts shortly after the 7-mile mark. After that, the course drops about 65', making this the slowest mile of the course so far.

You can expect a short slowdown in this mile due to the short climbs and flatter terrain. 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 segments. Also, you really do not want to concern yourself with runners passing you if that happens. It is easy in a race to get caught up with the pace of other runners. Remember, you have some downhill miles ahead where you can expect to speed up significantly to finish the race, and you want to conserve your energy for the finish. If you feel yourself working too hard in this section, then simply lower your overall effort.

Miles 9-12: Cruising to the Coast

Miles 9-12 are similar to the long, sustained downhill section from miles 1-7. Even better, the downhill is less severe than the earlier miles, which is easier on tired legs. Overall, this section drops 694’, or an average of roughly 174’ per mile. This is a comfortable downhill grade of -3.3%, and you should have no problem sustaining your goal pace throughout this section.

Mile 13-F: Flat Finish

Just before mile 12, you make the first hard turn of the course, turning left onto Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway. The next mile is mostly on the blacktop highway, surrounded by lava fields on both sides of the road. Although the final 1.1 miles lose 69’ total, it will feel very flat, exposed, and slow. Be prepared to work hard through this stretch as you head towards the finish at Queens’ Marketplace and the stunning Waikoloa Bowl at Queens' Garden.

Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The REVEL Kulia Half-Marathon course loses more than 2,400’ of elevation from start to finish. With an average loss of more than 188' per mile (a grade of -3.5%), 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 is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is a 23-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 21 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

Nov. 26, 2019
REVEL Race Series Logo
Cyber Monday Comes Early!

Cyber Monday Pricing on REVEL Merchandise has already started and runs through Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019. You don't want to miss out on these deals! We have running shirts, jackets, hats, hoodies, and more.

Shop Now

Sale Items Sale Items Sale Items Sale Items

 

 
Sept. 24, 2019

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 he has run, has prepared this 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 6,630’ elevation, the first 2 miles of the course are almost straightaway, with very gradual turns and an elevation loss of 326’ total. 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 502’ 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 your goal splits up to this part of the race, and probably slightly behind (slower than) your target splits. 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 1,288’ total from the start to mile 4. That is an average of 322' 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 nearly 1,250' in miles 5-9. That is an average of 250’ per mile, which is remarkable. Compared to the noticeably fast – and steep – 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 216’ and 272’ 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 250’ per mile. This final segment loses an average of about 159’ 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 3,186' 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 22-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 20 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

 

Sept. 23, 2019

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 Mt. Lemmon 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. 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 four sections:

Miles 1-4: Fast Start

Miles 5-6: Short Slowdown

Miles 7-20: PR Territory

Miles 21-26.2: The Flat Finish

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

Miles 1-7: PR Territory

Miles 8-10: Gradual Slowdown

Miles 11-13.1: 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: Fast Start

Starting at over 8,100’ elevation, the first 4 miles of the course lose more than 1,120’ of elevation. That is a severe drop, and 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 on the downhills, you need to manage the sharp drops by easing into your pace, settling in for the long haul, and letting gravity pull you along at a comfortably fast pace. You might feel a bit winded from the altitude, but 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 5-6: Short Slowdown

Right around the mile 4 marker you will notice that the course starts to climb a bit at times. The climbs over the next two miles are short but noticeable. You will feel yourself slowing down a bit, which is fine. Also, the overall elevation is still fairly high (around 7,000’), and you might find it difficult to breathe due to the added demands of climbing – fighting gravity.

Consider this section to be a short “breather” where you can ease off a bit, assess how your legs are doing, and prepare for the upcoming section that is remarkably fast. You still have many miles to go, and you want to conserve your energy for the miles ahead. As you reach the mile 6 marker, you will be about to start the next segment of the course, which is one of the fastest downhill sections of any marathon, anywhere. Just be patient, and you will be ready to run some significantly fast miles ahead.

Miles 7-20: PR Territory

From the mile 6 marker to mile 20, you will lose over 3,770 feet of elevation. That is an average of 270’ per mile, with a downhill grade of -5% per mile. You will encounter small, short climbs here and there, 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 well ahead of your goal pace. 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 21-26.2: The Flat Finish

Make no mistake: it gets tough for the final 10K, which loses a total of 325’ of elevation. Compared to the early miles of steady downhill, you will, without any doubt, notice how in miles 21-26 it is harder to hold your pace. Coupled with the late-race fatigue that typically sets in at this point of a marathon, the flatter terrain will make it feel like climbing. Moreover, the very minor climbs that do appear in this segment will slow your pace noticeably. Just hang in there, keep your legs moving, and work hard to get to the finish.

Summary of the Marathon Course

The Mt. Lemmon Marathon course loses more than 5,500’ of elevation from start to finish. With an average loss of more than 213' per mile (a grade of -4%), this one of the fastest marathon courses you will ever run. Over the 26.2-mile course, you likely will surprise yourself with your "faster than normal" pace on the downhill segments.

The Half-Marathon Course

Miles 1-7: PR Territory

Starting at 4,770’ of elevation, the course drops 1,928’ from the start to mile 7, which is an average loss of 275’ per mile. That is a comfortable and manageable descent, and you will want to manage the downhills 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.

Miles 8-10: Gradual Slowdown

Not long after you pass the mile 7 marker, the course noticeably starts to lose less elevation. It does not quite “flatten out” yet, but you will go from losing 275’ per mile to losing 64’ per mile. That is noticeable, and you will gradually start to slow down. You will need to “switch gears” to a slower pace based on even effort and should be prepared to run markedly slower than whatever pace you averaged in the first 7 miles.

Miles 11-13.1: The Flat Finish

The final 5K of the course is relatively flat. The total elevation loss is roughly 80’ for the entire final 3.1 miles of the course. Compared to the early miles of steady downhill, you will, without any doubt, notice how it is harder to hold your pace for these final miles. Coupled with the late-race fatigue that typically sets in at this point of a half-marathon, the flatter terrain will make it feel like climbing. Moreover, the very minor climbs that do appear in this segment will slow your pace noticeably. Just hang in there, keep your legs moving, and work hard to get to the finish.

Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The Mt. Lemmon Half-Marathon course loses more than 2,200’ of elevation from start to finish. With an average loss of around 170' per mile (a grade of -3.2%), 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 22-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 20 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

 

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