Revel Big Cottonwood
Half #200 is in the books!!! Finally!!
Revel’s Big Cottonwood Marathon and Half Marathon in Salt Lake City!! Revel Races began 9 years ago and Big Cottonwood was its first race. Since then they have grown to be the premier race organization for downhill courses!
A point to point race, runners had to take buses, a lot of buses, to the 13.1 start line and the 26.2 start line. The Marathoners start was 11 miles further up. Once we got to our start line we ran the same course except for a short marathon out and back near the bottom to make up the few miles needed.
Big Cottonwood Canyon Road was going to be closed to a one way highway with police escorting traffic up and down the road. They strongly implied that spectators could not be at the start.
When someone says you can’t do this, that is a signal to David that he has been challenged! So, he figured a way to get to the start line and surprise us all, especially me. It felt like all in the world was right with his 0.0 shirt and cowbell!
It was about a 30 minute drive up the mountain. On the drive up to the start line, the temp dropped 15 degrees. It was in the 40s when we got off the bus!Everyone was wearing jackets or wrapped in the silver foil blankets just to stay warm.
The bus had us there plenty early so there was time to visit with friends and take some club photos. Since this was a point to point race, they had a bag drop at a truck that took our unneeded gear to the finish line.
At 6:45 we were off and running! The course went about a 1/4 mile up beyond the start and then we made a u-turn and began our descent. This is a true downhill course! There are very few flat spots and even fewer uphills.
After seeing everyone at the start, David got a head start and stopped at Mile 3 and an Aid Station. It was here we saw a moose!
A girls soccer team, AYSO Utah United – Salt Lake City, was manning a water station. Setting up at 6:15am… in the dark with head lamps and lanterns, the girls with Coach Steve Service, were ready with drinks and Revel cowbells. This was just an example of the great support on the course. David felt at home!!
Once everyone went by, he hooked up with the “Police Train” and head back to the finish, arm hanging out the window and ringing that cowbell all the way down the mountain!
The views of the mountains and canyons are stunning! The photos can’t say it all because it was even better than any picture can capture. I loved this race and hope to do it again next year!
Revel Races are always very well organized from Expo to Start to Finish. There were well manned aid stations every two miles serving up water and electrolyte drinks and fruit, bio-gel muscle rub and honey stinger packets. One even had anti cramping pills.
Revel had a GPS driven app that you turned on when you started to run. The narrator gave course turn directions and offered up interesting facts and tidbits about the race as we ran past certain areas. I loved that!
The last few miles of the race went through town with the finish line being a straight shot. As we got closer to the finish there were more and more spectators, which was great to see. We got a very unexpected rain shower but all was good! Any finish is good!!
The finish line area had the standard…medals, drink and fruit. It was a great medal, large and heavy. They had tents set up for pizza, Crumbl Cookies, massages, and a beer garden. Interestingly, the beer tent could not open until 10:00am due to a local ordinance. There were also other tents set up by local clubs and a few vendors selling race items.
After resting, visiting and a beer, it was time to head back to the hotel for a well deserved shower and nap! Next on the agenda for the day was the 50 States Half Marathon Club Awards Dinner and my 200 Half Marathon award!
I loved everything about this race and I am so glad I chose it for my milestone race!!
Photos and Post Credit Jennifer Clark