Jan. 24, 2024

A course strategy – and overall race strategy – is necessary for optimal performance on race day. Whether this is your first half-marathon, and your goal is simply to finish, or you are aiming for a PR, you must 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 Qualifier on all the REVEL marathon courses he has run, has prepared a detailed description of the Mt Diablo Half-Marathon course.

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.

The Mt Diablo Half-Marathon course can be divided into three sections:
Miles 1-2: Severe Downhill
Miles 3-10: Settle In
Miles 11-13.1: Coasting In

You can study the course yourself on the REVEL website. You can zoom in, use the interactive elevation chart, and get a feel for what lies 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 half-marathon course is summarized below based on the segments described above.

Miles 1-2: Severe Downhill
Starting at just over 3,800’ elevation, the course drops 823’ from the start to mile 2. That is an average of 412' 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 3-10: Settle In
Overall, you will drop 2,567' in miles 3-10. That is an average of 321’ per mile, which is remarkable. Compared to the noticeably fast – and steep – downhill miles from the start to mile 2, 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 262’ and 367’ 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 tracking 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 11-13.1: Coasting In
Remember that the opening 2-mile segment loses an average of 412’ per mile, and the second 8-mile segment loses an average of 321’ per mile. This final segment loses an average of about 85’ per mile. This is still a net downhill per mile, but it is much less 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 lower your level of effort. You should be coasting in for the final miles. Keep in mind that although you still lose 261’ total in the last 3.1 miles, that amount is minor compared to the average elevation loss from the start-up to mile 10; every mile from 1-10 loses more elevation per mile than the entire final 3.1 miles combined. The slowdown you will experience in the last 5K is expected.

The REVEL Mt Diablo Half-Marathon course loses 3,651' of elevation from start to finish. That's an average of more than 278'; per mile (-5.3% grade), 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 "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 30-time REVEL marathon finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course. His streak stands at 24 successful BQ efforts in a row at REVEL marathons.

Aug. 1, 2023


We are thrilled to officially reveal the gorgeous medals for REVEL Big Cottonwood 2023 presented by Albion! This unique medal is sure to stand out in your collection with the intricate depiction of the famous "S" curve on the course, the majestic shield shape, and that epic black metal. We can't wait to put this around your neck in just over one month on September 9, 2023!

 REVEL Big Cottonwood Price Increase

This is your FINAL CHANCE to save on REVEL Big Cottonwood presented by Albion! Prices will increase one final time on August 9, 2023. Don't miss your chance to get the best price on registration and join us at REVEL Big Cottonwood's best year yet on September 9, 2023!



Prices for REVEL Big Bear will increase on August 16, 2023! REVEL Big Bear will be the final REVEL event of 2023 on November 18, 2023. This course is the fastest marathon and half marathon in all of California! Taking runners through the breathtaking San Bernadino National Forest into the foothills of Redlands, California, this fast and stunning race is one you can't miss! Register today to save!



By now we are sure that you have heard all about REVEL White Mountains, but have you registered yet? Remember, this race will be a special edition event! This means that it will only happen ONCE. Nobody likes to have FOMO and trust us this is one event you can't miss! Register for this gorgeous race which is sure to be New England's fastest marathon and half today! We can't wait to see you all on May 5, 2024 in Conway, New Hampshire


Did you participate in one or both of REVEL's spring events? Then there is still time to become a Triple REVELer! Be sure to register for REVEL Big Bear and/or REVEL Big Cottonwood presented by Albion so that you can go home with the highly coveted and beautiful Triple REVELer Medal! Hurry, there is just over one month until REVEL Big Cottonwood presented by Albion, so register today!


Be open to pushing your limits with open-ear headphones. Shokz open-ear bone conduction headphones bring you:

✅ Greater awareness
✅ Connection to your audio and the world around you
✅ Open-ear comfort, nothing in and over your ear
✅ All-day power for any challenge 


dōTERRA is excited to partner with REVEL again in 2023 and provide the fan-favorite Deep Blue(R) stations.  From fueling your body with doTERRA protein to providing a relaxing aroma with our Lavender essential oil, we want to be with you every step of the way. Want to learn more? Check out our dōTERRA booth at the REVEL Big Cottonwood expo and after the race.



June 7, 2023


Thank you to everyone who joined us at REVEL Rockies 2023. The REVEL Race Series team is thrilled to have had the largest number of finishers at the 2023 event in REVEL Rockies history!

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2024 REVEL Rockies Marathon & Half is NOW OPEN! The 2024 event will commence on June 1, 2024.

Join us next June in beautiful Denver, CO for REVEL Rockies 2024 and save $20 on your registration with code EARLY


Prices for REVEL Big Bear will increase on June 15, 2023. REVEL Big Bear will be held in Southern California on November 18, 2023. With a smooth downhill slope, this incredible course carries runners through the spectacular scenery of the San Bernadino National Forest.

Don't miss your chance to register for this gorgeous Southern California race at an excellent price! 



The REVEL Race Series is thrilled to be coming to the East Coast for the first time ever in 2024 with REVEL White Mountains Marathon & Half! Right now you can save big and get $20 OFF on your registration with code EARLY

REVEL White Mountains will commence on May 5, 2024, in Conway, New Hampshire. This race will be a Special Edition event, meaning it will only happen ONCE! Whether you are looking to score a BQ or PR, run a REVEL Race at a lower elevation, or check New Hampshire off of your 50 states list, REVEL White Mountains is sure to be an incredible event! 


REVEL Mt Charleston was just voted Best Marathon in Nevada by RaceRaves! Thank you to everybody who voted for REVEL Mt Charleston and all of the REVEL Races! 

Are you ready to see what REVEL Mt Charleston is all about? Register today and join us on April 6, 2024, in Las Vegas, NV! As a thank you to all of you for voting, for a limited time you can use code NEVADASBEST for $15 OFF of your registration for REVEL Mt Charleston! Hurry, this code will expire on June 8, 2023.


Remember that if you run three or more REVEL Races within a calendar year, you will become a Triple REVELer! If you participated in one or both of REVEL's spring events, be sure to register for REVEL Big Bear and/or REVEL Big Cottonwood presented by Albion so that you can go home with the highly coveted and beautiful Triple REVELer Medal! 


The REVEL Race Series would like to wish you a happy Global Running Day! Celebrate with us by sharing a post or story of your favorite REVEL Race memory to your Instagram or Facebook. Be sure to tag us @runrevel and use the #runrevel for a chance to be featured! 

To celebrate Global Running Day, TODAY ONLY, June 7, 2023, you can use code GLOBAL and save $10 off on your registration for ANY REVEL Race


Be Open to pushing your limits with open-ear headphones. Shokz Open-ear bone conduction headphones bring you:

✅ Greater awareness
✅ Connection to your audio and the world around you
✅ Open-ear comfort, nothing in and over your ear
✅ All-day power for any challenge 


Rapid Reboot is offering 10% OFF on all recovery products for all Revel Rockies participants! Discount is applied at checkout. All pneumatic compression packages are eligible for purchase with HSA/FSA. Follow this link to claim your 10% off.



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May 10, 2023


Volunteer Coaches Needed

If you are interested in volunteering as a coach to help train the youth, please Apply. Coaches who complete the program receive a free entry to the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon. Duties include meeting twice per week with their team to follow the prescribed training program. No previous coaching experience is required; only a passion for running and a desire to help youth develop a love for running.


Launch Team Footer
May 1, 2023


We are thrilled to officially share the Triple REVELer Medal! This gorgeous and highly coveted medal is awarded to the REVELers who run three or more REVEL races within the calendar year.

If you have already run REVEL Mt Charleston, good news, only two to go! If not, it's not too late to register for REVEL Rockies, REVEL Big Cottonwood, and/or REVEL Big Bear so that you can finish out the year as a Triple REVELer.


Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2023 REVEL Rockies race medals! Do you want to add one of those gorgeous medals to your collection? The final price increase for REVEL Rockies will take place on May 11, 2023. Take advantage of the opportunity to run through the stunning Rocky Mountains into the foothills of the Denver, Colorado area and register today.

REVEL Rockies is actively seeking volunteers! If you would like to volunteer, please visit our website. There are available volunteer shifts on June 1st, June 2nd (Expo Day), and June 3rd (Race Day) for both individuals and groups.

Do you want to pace REVEL Rockies? Apply to be a pacer today!



We are elated to announce that Albion will be the presenting sponsor of the 2023 REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon & Half! Headquartered just steps from mile 23 of the marathon course, Albion is an apparel company that sells fitness apparel, swimwear, and lifestyle clothing. 

Albion will be creating and producing all of the participant shirts for REVEL Big Cottonwood and is promising participants their best race shirt ever! Albion values community and adventure and we can't wait to celebrate those shared values at the 2023 REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon and Half. 

REVEL Big Cottonwood presented by Albion loves giving back and is excited to team up with The Road Home. This is a private nonprofit that helps people step out of homelessness and back into our communities. When you register for REVEL Big Cottonwood presented by Albion, consider donating to The Road Home.

Register today and join us on September 9, 2023, at REVEL Big Cottonwood presented by Albion!


Do you want to run REVEL Mt Charleston 2024? Then register TODAY for the chance to save up to $25 off of your registration! Use code EARLY at checkout to save $20 and register with a team for an additional $5 off. Hurry, code EARLY will expire TODAY May 1, 2023, at 11:59 PM.


Are you looking for some insight on the marathon and half marathon courses for REVEL Rockies? Coach Paul Carmona has written a descriptive course preview that provides all of the need-to-know details for both the marathon and half marathon courses. Read it here today!



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