I realize that I didn’t give a complete race review of the St. George marathon, so here goes:
Entry is by lottery only, unless you are a local. My husband and I were able to register for the lottery as a couple, meaning either both of us got in, or neither of us got in. We found out in May that we were in! We booked our hotel stay at the Inn at Entrada. It’s smart to book your room right away, as apparently prices increase quite a bit for the race.
Here’s a few pics of the place.
As mentioned in an earlier post, the expo was held on Friday at the Dixie Convention Center. There was ample parking, and getting our gear bags and bibs was quick and easy.
The race started at 6:45 am. Buses started running from 4 am til 5:30. We arrived around 4:30 and got right onto a school bus. We arrived at the starting line to music, plenty of water, coffee, etc, and bonfires to stay warm! It was actually 67 degrees at the start, so the bonfires weren’t really necessary, but they were an interesting touch. In fact, it was 85 degrees by the time I finished, which is quite warm. Usually it’s only in the 70’s at that time of day in St. George. However, even though it was hot, there was a huge difference between 85 in the midwest and 85 in the desert- no humidity! Cooler temps definitely would have helped, but at least we didn’t fall apart.
The race started in pitch black. The pacers had glowsticks on their pace balloon sticks. I planned to stick with the 4 hour pacer, but he was going out pretty fast to bank time before the hills at Veyo. Around mile 7, there was a pretty challenging hill that inclined for about 2 miles. There were a few more aggressive hills early in the race, but the second half was primarily downhill. I picked up the pace on the downhill, but didn’t realize just how hard the downhill would be on my quads. By mile 20, the course flattened out completely and my quads were pretty torn up. In fact, my husband and I both agreed that our legs have never been so sore after a marathon. All because of that downhill!
Anyway, the support stops were every 2 miles, and extremely well organized. GU’s were offered multiple times and each support stop had Gatorade and water, and people giving quick rubdowns with Ben-Gay. Oranges and bananas were also offered quite often.
All in all, it was a beautiful course. I would recommend this race to anyone looking to check out the Southwest. The people of St. George were very friendly and welcoming. My final time was not a PR, but I did manage to stay under 4 hours, which was great!