July 5, 2018

Mt Hood

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 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. Hood Marathon and Half-Marathon courses.

Managing the Course Based On Segments
A critical component of your 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 Revel Mt. Hood Marathon course can be divided into five sections:

Miles 1-5: The “Ski Slopes” Fast Start
Miles 6-10: Settle In
Miles 11-15: Accelerate Past the Half
Miles 16-20: Flatten Out
Miles 21-26.2: Rolling Finish

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

Miles 1-4: Fast Four
Miles 5-8: Steady Four
Miles 9-12: Work Hard Four
Mile 13 (plus .1): Fast Finish – Final Kick

You can study the courses yourself on the REVEL Mt. Hood 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.


Miles 1-5: The “Ski Slopes” Fast Start

Starting at 5,620’ elevation, the marathon starts adjacent to the ski lifts at The Timberline Lodge and Ski Area at the base of Mt. Hood. The first five miles of the marathon are almost entirely on the Timberline Highway, a smooth paved road that is nestled between tall pines and firs that line the road.

The first five miles of the marathon lose roughly 1,640' of elevation, with less than 20 total feet of climbing over that opening segment. These downhills are notably sharp, and you will want to take advantage of gravity by letting yourself move comfortably fast. Be wary of a sensation of “running too fast” in this entire stretch of the race. If you feel out of control, or if you feel yourself working “too hard” while running downhill, then slow down.

Miles 6-10: Settle In

Shortly before mile 5, the course turns from Timberline Highway onto U.S. 26. Over the next 5 miles, the course loses another 1,350’. This 5-mile segment is not as sharp as the opening segment, but still runs noticeably downhill. Like the opening 5 miles, this section is where you will want to take advantage of gravity and let your pace accelerate to the "comfortably fast" edge of your ability as you “settle in” at your goal pace, or slightly ahead of it.

Miles 11-15: Accelerate Past the Half

From mile 10 to mile 15, the course loses approximately 1,050’ of elevation. You will notice the more gradual descent, which is still significant, with each passing mile. At this stage of the race, with the sharpest descents behind you and the flatter miles ahead, you want to accelerate past the halfway mark. Miles 14 and 15 are two of the last miles where you will see elevation loss greater than 3% (more than 160’ per mile). Take advantage of these downhill miles as you approach the last 11 miles of the race.

Miles 16-20: Flatten Out

Overall, miles 16-20 lose about 360’ total, compared to earlier segments that lost 3-4 times that. These are much more gradual drops that what you encountered in the first 15 miles, and the key to this section is to maintain a steady pace that parallels the lower drop in elevation: lower drop means slower pace. You will notice a slowing of your pace, and that you cannot increase your pace without an increase in effort. This is due not only to the normal and expected fatigue at this point in a race, but also due to the lower amount of elevation loss per mile.

Miles 21-26.2: Rolling Finish

Make no mistake: this is where it gets tough for about 5 miles of the final 10K. All totaled, the final 10K of the course loses about 350’ of elevation. Miles 21 and 22 together lose a total of about 180' of elevation, and there are some noticeably sharp drops followed by gradual climbs. After that, miles 23 and 24 roll gradually up and then down to lose just over 120’ of elevation. Mile 25 actually gains 11’, and then mile 26 loses just under 60’. The final .2 is essentially flat.

Summary of the Marathon Course

The Revel Mt. Hood Marathon course loses over 4,750’ 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 "go out too fast" in the opening miles of a marathon, remember that gravity is your friend, and you want to take advantage of the benefits of downhill running.


Miles 1-4: Fast Four

Starting at 1,759’ of elevation, the course drops roughly 440’ total from the start to mile 4. You will encounter a few gradual climbs in these opening miles, but nothing too severe. What you want to do at this early stage of the race is take advantage of the downhills, take it easy on the uphills. The downhill is noticeable but comfortable – not too steep, but just enough to let your legs turn over quickly. 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 5-8: Steady Four

You will notice the difference between miles 1-4, which average more than 100’ of elevation loss per mile, and miles 5-8, each of which drop between about 50' and 80' per mile. These are more gradual drops than what you encountered in the opening segment, so you will want to maintain a steady pace. There are no steep, fast drops, but also no hard climbs. As the course gradually drops, you want to maintain a steady level of effort to hold your pace.

Miles 9-12: Work Hard Four

Make no mistake: this is where it gets tough and where you will need to work hard. Miles 9 and 10 together lose a total of just over 50' of elevation. You don’t want to “push” yourself to try matching the fast pace that you held in the more downhill miles earlier in the race. Mile 11 will suddenly feel faster again. It loses over 70’ of elevation, and you will notice it. However, mile 12 requires some work: it gains more than 20’ overall.

Mile 13 (plus .1): Fast Finish – Final Kick

Once you reach mile 12, you can say to yourself "now downhill to the finish!" Even better, the downhill in the closing 1.1 miles is steady and gradual, but quite noticeable, which is great for tired legs. The elevation loss from mile 12 to the finish is roughly 70’. You should find yourself able to resume some of the faster paces that you were able to run in the earlier miles of the race.

Summary of the Half-Marathon Course

The Revel Mt. Hood Half-Marathon course loses nearly 900' of elevation from start to finish. That's an average of around 70' 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 16-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 14 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

June 21, 2018

There are many downhill training methods and workouts that help runners find their optimum amount of downhill training, meaning the appropriate level of intensity depending on experience level, and the adequate number of days and proper distances for downhill "practice" during the weeks leading up to race day.

Generally, you should include downhill training hill workout about once every 10-14 days. Hill workouts place a lot of load and stress on your legs. An excessive number of hill workouts can lead to injury. Likewise, hill workouts typically should be a bit lower on mileage than most other runs. A 5-mile easy run is a lot less stressful on your body than a 5-mile hill workout. Again, overdoing it with mileage on a hill workout creates a higher chance of injury.

The types of hill workouts that will benefit you the most are downhill repeats of distances ranging from 1/4 mile up to 1 mile in length, although more advanced runners can practice sustained downhill intensity for longer distances. Whatever your experience level, your training should include enough downhill distance to allow you to practice your form, but without putting enormous strain on your legs.

Finally, it is important to find the right downhill grade for your workouts. Almost all REVEL courses all average between 3-4% total downhill grade. It will help you to run similar grades in your training. To determine grade, use your GPS device to measure the total distance of a hill (in miles converted to feet) and the total downhill (in feet). After that, use simple math to calculate the grade, which is total elevation loss in feet divided by the distance in feet. Remember that a mile is 5,280 feet.

Thus, the math for 1 mile that loses 150’ in elevation is as follows:
1 mile = 5,280’
150’ divided by 5,280’ = 2.8%
The 1-mile downhill is a -2.8% grade.

Similarly, a half-mile that loses 100’ can be calculated as follows:
Half-mile = 2,640’ (half of 5,280’)
100’ divided by 2,640’ = 3.7%
The half-mile downhill is a -3.7% grade.

Using these calculations, find a hill that loses anywhere from about 150’ to 200’ over a mile, and use that hill for your downhill workouts.


Paul Carmona is the Online REVEL Coach who has designed training plans specifically for REVEL downhill courses. He is a 16-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course that he has run, with his current streak at 14 BQs in a row at REVEL marathons!

May 22, 2018
Launch Team HeaderLaunch Team Kids
Launch Team Kids

REVEL is proud to partner with the Launch Team to create a SoCal group to train for the REVEL Big Bear Half Marathon to be held on October 14, 2018. Launch Team's mission is to get youth of all abilities off the couch and out running.

Training will start in mid-July. The youth will meet twice a week in Santa Monica (Wednesday at 6:30pm and Sunday at 6:30am). Parents can also sign up and join their youth at training and at the race. Parents do not need to run the same pace as their youth.

Altra, Hoka, and New Balance have donated 57 pairs of shoes that will be given to the first youth to signup (while sizes remain). The program fee is only $95 and includes:

  • Race entry into the REVEL Big Bear Half Marathon on October 14, 2017
  • 12 week coaching program
  • Group training sessions twice per week
  • Launch Team T-shirt

Register at:


Volunteer Coaches Needed

Launch Team is also seeking volunteer coaches. Coaches get the same benefits at the youth participants including a free entry to the REVEL Big BearHalf Marathon. Apply to be a volunteer coach at:

Coaching Application


Launch Team Footer
May 12, 2018
The Run Down - REVEL Race Series Newsletter May 2018

ROCKIES Course Preview

Training Tip

A course strategy – and overall race strategy – is a must for optimal performance on race day. Whether this is your first REVEL Rockies race and your goal is simply to finish, or you are a veteran aiming for a PR or BQ, you should 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 Qualifying time in all the REVEL marathons, has prepared a detailed description of the 2018 Rockies Marathon and Half-Marathon courses. Read More

Coach Paul will also be giving a detailed course description at 10:45am and 1:30pm at the expo, so stop by the expo during either of those times to get even more details and to ask your questions.

For a training plan that is designed specifically for REVEL downhill courses, consider the REVEL Online Coaching Program, which is designed by 14-time REVEL Marathon Finisher and Coach Paul Carmona, who has run multiple Boston Qualifiers on every REVEL course!

Rockies Price increase

REVEL Rockies

REVEL Rockies in Denver has a $10 price increase on May 17! Rockies was the second REVEL event and runs in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. Like the others, it's fast and beautiful.

Register for Rockies

Summer Youth TrainiNg in Salt Lake & Vegas

Launch Team

Get your youth in Salt Lake and Vegas off the coach and out running this summer with the Launch Team. Training starts mid June in 8 different convenient locations in Salt Lake and Vegas. Visit for all the details and to sign up! Kids as young as 8 and as old as 18 have completed this program and they love it.

Downtown Portland Bus Tickets for Mt Hood

Charter Bus

Are you staying in Portland and looking for a more convenient way to get to Mt Hood for the event? Purchase a roundtrip bus ticket and you'll be picked up and dropped off in downtown Portland. Much cheaper and more convenient than an Uber!

Bus loading will occur from 2:30 to 3am in front of DoubleTree Hotel on Saturday, July 28, 2018. These buses will take you directly to the start lines. Spectators should not take these buses as it will leave them stranded at the start line. Buses will make the return trip from the finish line to the DoubleTree every hour. Without this ticket, you will take the free bus from the event parking to the start line race morning.

Mt Charleston IS Open For Registration

Mt Charleston

The 2019 REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon & Half will be taking place Saturday, April 27, 2019. It sold out last year in October, more than 6 months before the event. We are expecting the 2019 Marathon to sell out very quickly as well. As with last year, we will be reserving some spots for sponsors, charity partners, and VIP programs. These programs will be announced later.

Register For REVEL Mt Charleston before to sells out!

Race Calendar

Jun. 3, 2018 REVEL Rockies
Denver, CO

Price Increase May 17, 2018!

Jul. 28, 2018 REVEL Mt Hood
Portland, OR
Sep. 8, 2018 REVEL Big Cottonwood
Salt Lake City, UT
Oct. 14, 2018 REVEL Big Bear (replacing Canyon City)
Nov. 3, 2018 REVEL Mt Lemmon
Tucson, AZ
Apr. 27, 2019 REVEL Mt Charleston
Las Vegas, NV

Merchandise Highlight

You know you need a new REVEL hat or visor. And we've got your covered!

Speaking of cool headwear, GET CAUGHT by our REVEL photographers wearing any Headsweats gear at REVEL Rockies and you could win a 2019 REVEL Rockies Full Marathon Entry! Winner will be announced on June 6. Click on any photo above to purchase one of these amazing new hats.


iBody Recovery

iBody Recover will be providing services at the Expo and at the Finish line for REVEL Rockies. Don't forget to prepay at the expo or get your appointment scheduled online today. They provide many different IV hydration, cocktails, B-12 shots, ChryoSauna Therapy—basically anything you need to get ready and recover from your 13.1 or 26.2 mile race.

Scott James Sport Jewelry Partner

Scott James Sport Jewelry

Regretting not starting your race charm collection sooner? No need for regret! Get started on your SJ Sport Jewelry collection HERE with our handmade, sterling silver charms & quality chains & bangles. Designed to commemorate your dedication & perseverance in every race, you won’t want to put it off any longer – you deserve this! Have an inspirational mother who loves to run? Our jewelry makes the perfect Mother’s Day Gift! For a limited time, use code MOM4THEWIN to get free shipping on your entire online order!

Team Highlight

Team Up and Running

Up and Running Again, founded in 2009, is a non profit organization who's mission is to train homeless to run half marathons. The group had 19 runners train for and run Mt Charleston! The runners enjoyed it so much they are continuing to run and train for their next race.

Intermountain Alta View Hospital


Foot & Ankle: Is it Really Just an Ankle Sprain? Would you like to know the secret solution to nearly all foot and ankle pain? Alta View Hospital has an article you should read.


Mirror Lake

Powerade, the fuel to power through. Look for Powerade at all our REVEL Race aid stations.

Runner Highlight

Sue Landa

How many people can claim they PR'd and BQ'd in the marathon at age 69? How many 69's are out doing speed work at the track to get there? Sue Landa can. She came all the way from Georgia to the run the REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon, and she nailed it. But not without a lot of preparation to get there.

Read Her Story

doTERRA Deep Blue on the course

doTERRA Deep Blue

Look for doTERRA Deep Blue Rub at our last 8 aid stations along the REVEL Rockies Marathon & Half courses this year. doTERRA Deep Blue Rub is a topical cream formulated with Deep Blue Soothing Blend of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils, natural plant extracts, and additional helpful ingredients that provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem areas.

REVEL Mt Charleston Winners

REVEL Mt Charleston was held on April 28, 2018 in Las Vegas and it did not disapoint. Over 30% of the participants qualified for the Boston Marathon despite warmer than normal temperatures. Can you say "Fast and Beautiful"?

JJ Santana
Male Half Winner
JJ Santana
Sylvia Bedford
Female Half Winner
Sylvia Bedford
Ian Sharman
Male Marathon Winner
Ian Sharman
Selina Sekulic
Female Marathon Winner
Selina Sekulic

Half Team Winner
MCL Run Club

Marathon Team Winner
LA Team International

Random Race Entry Winner

Random Winner

Congratulations to Kim Bloomquist who ran the 2018 REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon. She was randomly selected as the winner of a FREE race entry to any 2018 REVEL event. Keep your eyes out each month to see if you're the next random winner. Kim, email to claim your prize.

May 11, 2018

Hi Coach Paul,

After a long day of travel yesterday, we are finally home!  I probably could have floated all the way back to Georgia on a runners HIGH!  I am not even sure where to begin. But FIRST of all, thank you! I must confess that when I have done previous marathons, I had simple goals: "to finish and to finish upright."  So those were my goals and I was okay with them. But with this race, I wanted a goal time and a training plan. And thats what your online coaching  gave me. I wanted a PR and a good run (Marine Corps Marathon 2017 was such a disaster for me) - - so I also began thinking this Mt. Charleston run would be a revenge race to get back confidence, and feel at 69, I could do a marathon again. Your online program tailored to my goal was a challenge to me: getting the miles in, the speed work, learning  a lot of track terminology, figuring out how to actually do the speed, pace, etc. workouts, understanding the videos, the whys of a workout, etc.

But you were always an email away and prompt to respond to my questions and when I needed clarifications.  I needed the accountability on the training calendar to record what I had done - and see were I needed to go as well as see what I had NOT accomplished. The biggest change for me in this marathon training is ACTUALLY doing the speed work on the track. I HATE track runs, but in this program I got a HUGE satisfaction of nailing a time and completing the speed work.  I was the silver haired geek on the track with a clear mailing tape laminated" wristband with spilts printed on the band and smiled when I nailed it!

I have to do most of my running alone and am self motivated, which is a big reason your training plan worked for me.  Particularly, these past 2 months I have really tried to stick with the plan.  The last track work before race doing the 24 X 400m, I hit all my goals and then some.  It really gave me the confidence I needed before the race.  I knew by last week, training is toast and nothing I did would make me get to my goal faster.  There is so many variables that go into a marathon, and I also worked REALLY hard on my nutrition and hydration plan.  The fueling has hurt me sooo many times, even during half marathons.  I nailed the nutrition this time, which is HUGE for me.  I also drank water/electrolytes as much as I could, but probably could have done more - -but hydration was great on the course. 

All your advice was right on!  I felt like I knew the course after your power point and then drove it the day before the race.  Loved how you broke it into segments (which I wrote on my hand in magic marker!)  The las 5 miles were brutal - -HEAT, QUADS, TIRED!! etc.  You know what I mean! But I PUSHED for that PR!

AND:  I HIT my GOAL!  So thrilled for a PR - - - and the "cherry on top" is the BQ, which surprised even me.  So, which leads me to more comments:)  I know Boston is has a different registration/acceptance for BQ times (than other races.)  Do you think my 9 minute cushion might get me there?  If so, sign me up for Revel Boston 2019!  I would love to be part of another online coaching program of yours.  If ever need recommendations, Ill be happy to recommend.  I love to cheerlead programs that excellent as well as the support for the program.

Any hints on recovery (Ha! Ha!).my quads hate me and I have lots of stairs in my 70 year old house.  I go backwards down the stairs and I guess recovery will be when I can go forward down the steps!

So nice to meet you and Katie and become a runner in the Revel Program!  Cannot that you enough for the support and belief that I could make my GOAL!




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