A small affair (about: 2013)|
J. L. from Unites States (10/27/13)
3 previous marathons
| 1 SoJo Marathon
I ran the SOJO Marathon in 2013 and had a mixed experience. It is a fairly new race, and a small race, about 250 runners when I participated.
The race begins near the Kennecott Copper Mines and winds through very small towns and rural areas. They could have used a few more porta potties (what race starting line couldn't), but they started on time, which earns them points in my book.
There were almost no spectators, which is to be expected from a rural race of this size. That said, there were plenty of volunteers on the course to make sure runners never had to contend with traffic on cross streets, which I appreciated.
The aid stations had a variety of food and drinks (trail mix, bananas, gel, Power Aid and water), and the volunteers were friendly. Some of the aid stations do lose a few points in my book for not having the water ready. They made us stand there while they filled the cups from the Coleman jugs. It wasn't that they were busy - just that they waited until runners reached them to prepare the cups. That cost me precious seconds, and though I'm slow, I still care about doing my best. This is just a training issue and it can be fixed. I hope the race director does a better job in the future educating volunteers about how to run an aid station.
The course itself was a gentle downhill for most of the way, with a 1 1/2 mile hill starting at about mile 6. A few parts were quite scenic, but for the most part I found it unremarkable (lots of running through cookie cutter McSubdivisions) especially compared to some of Utah's other spectacularly breathtaking races.
My real disappointment with this race was the finish line. When we crossed, near the back of the pack but well within the cutoff time, there was silence. The announcer was having a conversation with someone and didn't even say our names. We had to track down a volunteer and ask for our medals because she was busy eating a sandwich. There was one banana left and my friend and I had to dig around under a table to find a bottle of water (the volunteers were nowhere to be found). My friend commented that it was the worst finish line experience she'd ever had, and I have to agree. If we had not finished within the allotted time, this would be understandable, but we were well within the limits. We were bummed, and probably will not run this race again.