Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ogden Half Marathon 2015

There are 2 words to describe Ogden's 1/2 Marathon 2015 - Cold and Wet. This was my 2nd time running the Ogden 1/2 Marathon and when I ran it 2 years ago it was also very wet and cold. With that said I must admit that I still love the Ogden Marathon. It starts at Eden Park in the Ogden Valley and runs down the Ogden Canyon down the Ogden River Parkway and ending on the Historic 25th street area of Downtown Ogden. I grew up in the small town of Eden and my sister still lives there which gives me an emotional connection to this particular race. If anyone has ever visited the area you know that it is a beautiful part of our state. The Ogden canyon in particular is one of my favorite places, with the evergreen trees lining the road, a river roaring beside you as you run and ending in an amazing waterfall as you exit the mouth of the canyon it is a beautiful and peaceful place to run. There are not sidewalks or trails for most of the canyon so this race gives you a rare opportunity to run the canyon while it is closed to traffic.
This was the 15th year for the Ogden Marathon and they have done a fantastic job in making it not just a race but a full event. While the poor weather certainly put a damper on the finish line festivities the race overall is very well organized and provide lots of amenities to runners. Starting with the packet pickup expo which included blow up slides for kids and families, plenty of running gear vendors with new and interesting products to sell and what I felt was a pretty well organized packet pickup process. One tip though is to make sure that you have your number when you go to pick up, it will speed up the process for you. There are 10,000 runners between the full, half, and relay race so expect the expo to be crowded. When it comes to the swag bag I am not super impressed with what you get, I got a couple sample bars, a sunblock and a magazine. But I have never been a huge swag bag person. However I do love their t-shirts. They have a different style for men and women and they are a long sleeve tech material that is sized pretty well. The full marathoner's get a slightly nicer shirt with a zip front collar.
On race day I did not have to bus to the start line since we walked over from my sister's house but I will say that I would not try to drive to the start line. There is not a lot of places to park and there is a lot of traffic trying to make it to the start line. For aide stations and everything it is very well set with stations every 2 miles with at least a few porta potties, water and Gatorade and then most stations had either Gu, Sweedish Fish, oranges, or banana's. 
The race stays completely off of open roads so you are not competing with traffic and worried about safety which is nice. The finish line had soda, chocolate milk, Creamies, warm toast, and bottled water for runners. And from what I could see they had lots of vender booths and entertainment, however with it being as cold and wet as it was I booked it to my warm car and may have missed any fun that was there. Overall I love Ogden Marathon and do plan to run it again in the future. It is a well organized race with plenty of amenities included - just remember to register early! It books out fast and you will be sad to let this race pass you by!