It was tough, but also beautiful. There was snow covering the red rock mountains. This is my favorite course based solely on scenery.
The first mile was a big circle in front of the visitor’s center, then immediately came the uphill portion. The uphill portion was about 5.5 miles long. There was a short flat section and a downhill section that teased my muscles with relief before returning to the steep uphill. My calves were on fire. I took a Gu around 6.5 miles, and drank some water from the aid stations.
The remainder of the race was downhill with a sprinkle of short uphill sections. The elevation map is from Calico Racing, the company that put on the race.
Overall, it was a fun and challenging race. I want to run the marathon next year, only this time I plan to train properly.
Packet pick up: The packet pick up was small. A plus was that they gave away samples of Starbucks Via iced coffee. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. A negative is that the packet pick up was in a smoky casino.
Course: It was an absolutely beautiful and challenging course.
Volunteers: The volunteers were great. They were cheerful and happy to be there.
Aid stations: I didn’t pay attention to the aid stations. I know they had water and Heed. There was an aid station about every mile to mile and a half. If I was running the marathon, I would have paid more attention to them.
Food/Drinks: Plenty of food at the end of the race. There were mainly breakfast foods such as donuts, cinnamon rolls, danishes, cuties, bananas, etc. My biggest complaint was that there wasn’t any water at the end of the race. None. At least there wasn’t any when I finished. There wasn’t even any Heed left. I thought I was going to die.
Water, or any liquid, is an absolute must at the end of any race especially in the desert. I ate several cuties to help quench my thirst. It was awful.
Shirt/Medal: The tech shirt is maroon with long sleeves. I love long sleeve tech shirts. The medal is big and has a similar design as the shirt.
I recommend this race if you a) love hills, b) want a tough and challenging course, and c) want a gorgeous view.