On April 16, 2011 I ran the Salt Lake City, Utah marathon. I was both excited, and a little worried, about this particular race. Although I knew I could “easily” finish 26.2 miles, I didn’t know in what time – and this wasn’t my “A” race, it was merely a “training run with AID stations.”
Fortunately, the course is mostly downhill, and the the small uphills were nothing compared to some of my other training. My finish time would have been much better (4:26) except that I stopped to use the facilities about five times. I decided early on that since this wasn’t a PR – type race (being 4,500′ higher than my normal altitude), and I shouldn’t run uncomfortable. Oddly, by stopping as often as I did, my running pace was about 9:35min/mi, and sometimes faster. I’m not sure exactly why I felt like I needed to stop as often as I did (I think the electrolyte drink I was using was going right through me), but it did seem to increase my pace. And, in the end, I did actually set a PR – by about 2 minutes. Every minute counts!
The route was both scenic and convenient and was on streets the entire distance. We did this race without renting a car, as not only was public transportation from the airport convenient, but a cheap hotel (Rodeway Inn) was close enough to the expo and public transport to the start that it proved very unnecessary.
Salt Lake City is known for its cleanliness and friendliness, and it didn’t disappoint. We of course stopped for pizza, before the race, and the little corner pizza place we found was quite yummy. The race was well organized, there was plenty of room for the runners, lots of spectators, and the weather was perfect. You couldn’t have asked for better conditions while running.
Unfortunately, I have no photos from this race – after the race, my iphone, which I had taken photos on, decided that it was time to start freaking out and displaying lines making it fairly useless. Despite trying to backup my phone, that failed, and I had to replace it – with the loss of photos. Of course, marathonphoto was there, but I’m not paying their prices.