Friday, June 14, 2013

Utah Valley Half Marathon 2013

Before the even the race team was great about posting updates via email etc. When I arrived to pick up my packet it was very organized. Took less than 5 minutes. They had some great venues and booths set up to purchase things or find out about different running products. They had music playing, they made it so fun!

The day of the race. I arrived around 3:50am they had several buses lined up and ready to roll. My friend and I were able to climb right on a bus without any line. At the top they had several fire-pits burning, as it was cold but not freezing (luckily). We huddled by they fire we had about 2 hours before race time. We met other runners, stretched. They had several porta potties at the top. We were able to use them twice with minimal wait time (this is important ).

The race started promptly at 6am. The course starts in the Provo Canyon and winds down the road. They had the left side of the road closed from traffic which was very nice. The scenery was breathtaking. The first part of the race is a nice down hill, as you approach mile 3 you are climbing on a pretty nice hill. Nothing so big that it would slow you down much. At about mile 7 you are now out of the Canyon an on Provo City Streets. The nice thing is you continue on the left side of the road, the race is west facing so the sun is not in your face at all and we were in the shade 90% of the run.

Just before 8am it was getting warmer. I was happy to see a couple misters available to run through. Towards the end of my run, the 10k started to run with us and the 5k runners as well. The funny thing is this pushed me to run faster as they had a new energy and excitement they brought to the run . I heard later they had about 8,000 runners total for this race including the full, half, 10k and 5k. For as many people as they had, it never felt extremely crowded to me. This surprised me.

The Finish was a nice downhill, nothing to steep just a gradual downhill. At the finish, the streets were lined up with rows and rows of people. I felt like I was in a parade. I enjoyed it and it got me pumped up. After crossing they had a fun PR bell that finishers got to ring if they reached their PR's. I loved this idea! I got to ring the bell!

They had photographers right off to the side taking pictures. Several vendors were lined up giving out after race recovery drinks and snacks. Among them were Jamba Juice, Cinnabon and Creamies. They had several porta potties at the end of the race to use. Bounce houses for kids available and bag pickup was very organized and easy to find. They had several massage tables available. I didn't take advantage as there was a long line.

We boarded a bus immediately, no waiting, to ride back to our car at university mall. The ride took about 5 min. It was fun to speak to other runners.

My ONLY complaint is there was not ONE porta potty the entire race route. Not one. I thought this was odd, although it helped my PR I just couldn't believe that they purposefully did not place any for the entire route of the race. The next day we did receive an apology email from the race directors expressing how extremely sorry they were for the mix-up that the company who provides the honey buckets had messed up and did not place them on the route. Feeling grateful that I did not run the full without any potty's I gracious accept their apology. Mistakes happen.

Overall I will definitely do this race again, I may even run their full marathon one day. It was a beautiful run, gradual downhill made for great recovery and I PR'd! I give this race 4 shoes!

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