Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon/Half Marathon

The REVEL Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon and Half Marathon in Utah is an exhilarating and challenging event that attracts runners worldwide. Situated in the stunning Wasatch Mountains, this race offer...

Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon/Half Marathon

The REVEL Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon and Half Marathon in Utah is an exhilarating and challenging event that attracts runners worldwide. Situated in the stunning Wasatch Mountains, this race offers participants a unique and unforgettable experience with a drop of 5000 ft in elevation (full marathon) through the breathtaking scenery of the Big Cottonwood Canyon. The event typically takes place in September when the leaves on Utah quaking aspen trees turn brilliant shades of gold, orange, and red, creating a spectacular backdrop for the runners.

The race is organized by Revel Races, a company known for hosting high-quality scenic races across various locations in the United States. The race offers two main distances: a half marathon (13.1 miles) and a full marathon (26.2 miles). Both courses start at different points in Big Cottonwood Canyon and wind down the mountain, providing participants with a net downhill route. The downhill nature of the course allows runners to achieve fast times and personal bests, making it a popular choice for those aiming to set new PR records and finally hit the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.

Runners should be aware of the challenge of this race. The course presents its fair share of steep sections and varying elevations, requiring runners to prepare physically and mentally for the event.

Race Day Prep: 

• Achieving your personal record (PR) requires dedicated downhill training to condition your legs. Master the art of downhill running by leaning forward, harnessing gravity’s assistance rather than resisting it.
• Carb up the night before at these suggested restaurants.
• Don’t drink too much water on the downhill because this can work against you. Causing stomach pain or a jostling feeling.

• Elevation can take a big toll on unadapted runners. If you are coming from a lower elevation, arriving a few days or weeks early is recommended to adjust.

• Shoe support is crucial for downhill running. Depending on your needs as a runner, we suggest more padding but not with the compromise of balance.
• The race’s final stretch can be sweltering and lengthy, with crowds and vehicles making the finish line appear deceptively distant. We suggest using a quality pair of headphones and a carefully curated playlist to stay focused and motivated. This segment is also an ideal moment to take energy shots or refuel to keep your energy levels up.
• The race begins early in the morning in the chilly mountains. While you can remove layers to adapt to the temperature. REVEL donates unclaimed clothing to charity, so add your name to your items if you want them back.
• Parking is a nightmare, give yourself extra time to battle traffic, find parking, and walk to catch the bus. Traffic shuts down across Big Cottonwood Road with no through traffic during the race. Plan accordingly.
• Aid stations are well-stocked with water, electrolytes, and snacks to fuel and hydrate the runners throughout the race.
• If you compete in three REVEL races, you can receive the Triple REVEL medal.
• Plan your strategy. The course layout includes start locations for the half marathon and full marathon, aid stations, mile markers, and the extra loop for the marathon runners.

One of the highlights of the Revel Big Cottonwood Canyon Race is the incredible community support. As participants make their way to the finish line, they are met with cheering crowds, a nicely made medal, food, and swag booths. The post-race festivities are filled with camaraderie and celebration as runners share their experiences and achievements.

In addition to the exhilarating race, many participants take advantage of their time in Utah to explore the nearby attractions. (Links) The vibrant city of Salt Lake offers a range of cultural, (link) culinary,(link) and outdoor activities,(link) making it an ideal destination for a memorable race weekend.

The Revel Big Cottonwood Canyon Race is a testament to nature’s beauty and the human spirit’s resilience.


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