Reminded me a lot of St. George, but no uphills. That is the only other desert marathon I have to compare with. The start was beautiful and cool. The downhill grade was perfect, not too steep, but enough it definitely helped you maintain speed with less effort. I started conservatively and passed many runners miles 12-19 and that was fastest race split. The last 6 miles were more difficult as it flattened out and came into the city, but I knew this and was mentally prepared. I also had planned on this section about a minute a mile slower than my canyon pace. Started to get hot and not much shade. I think many runners could have used and an extra aide station miles 23-26 or some ice. I came with 9 run friends and all of us clocked the course at 26.4ish. Not a big deal unless your barely qualified or something.