Will undoubtly get bigger. (about: 2009)|
T. S. from Seattle, Washington (6/29/09)
11-50 previous marathons
| 1 Utah Valley Marathon
This was my 25th marathon, and 20th state. Most marathons are fairly nondescript - a start line, a course, and a finish line. This is one of those marathons that has an unfair advantage of being run in a unique setting that few others can compare with. With the exception of a few trail marathons or ultras, the first 10 miles of the UVM include some of the most beautiful scenery you will encounter in all of road marathoning. I suspect it may also be amongst the fastest first 10 miles of any marathon course, as you basically get "dumped" out of the valley and into the town of Provo.
My only note of exception to a really well run event is something that I find smaller marathons seem to struggle with lately - correct, visible and present mile markers. Some markers I found, but others I did not. Some were way-off (Mile 19), so I did not trust some of the subsequent ones. The course once out of the Valley does have some really tight turns and varying terrain under roads and over bridges - keeps things interesting, or tricky depending on your likes.
The finisher shirt and medal are remarkably nice considering the small size of this marathon, if that type of thing is important to you.
I like this marathon, and there is real potential to PR on this course if you train-up the downhill muscles and run smart.
There was one problem I found that had nothing to do with the race organization. There seemed to be an excessive number of people outside of this marathon jumping into the race and extensively "pacing" fellow runners. I know that this is not the Olympic trials, and it's all about fun, but it does offer an unfair advantage to those of us who have no one to pace us through the tough miles and offer other extensive aid. Whatever the official course support offers is all that should be adhered to. I really do not want to have to run around "pacers" or have them "pace" someone by me in the latter stages of the race. It's fun to have a social run with friends and family as I often do, but I restrict that to my training runs. I run the official race solo and un-aided to test myself against the distance, the course and my fellow competitors, yielding to them the respect they deserve.