Regardless of your location, marathons require months of intensive training, strict dieting, and a deep reserve of both physical and mental toughness. When it comes to choosing marathons and long-distances races, it makes sense that runners get a little picky. Races can be expensive, and they take months of physical and mental preparation. That said, some races are, objectively, better than others. That’s how we feel about the Clarke Capital Utah Valley Marathon in Provo. Here’s why this should be the marathon you choose this year.
It’s gorgeous. Sure, we’re talked about how beautiful it can be to run in Utah. But if you’re going to run 26.2 miles, you should do it somewhere with consistently spectacular views. That’s what this marathon can offer. The Utah Valley Marathon winds through Provo Canyon, providing a running tour of diverse scenery. You’ll see waterfalls, mountains, horses, rolling farmlands… everything Utah has to offer.
The post-race party is notoriously good. Every marathon has a post-race celebration, but the Utah Valley Marathon has really honed its craft. This race is sponsored by the likes of Cinnabon and Jamba Juice. Personally, the last thing I want after 26 miles is a warm beer—bring on the cinnamon buns. Plus, they have a PR Bell for PR setters to ring.
The entire course is downhill. No, really. It’s kind of crazy. Runners are bussed to the top of Provo Canyon at the start of the race. The entire 26.2 miles are run completely downhill, and the incline is gradual enough for you to save your legs the trouble of managing the decline. Over the course of the race, you’ll lose nearly 1,500 feet in altitude. This makes the race perfect for first timers and those looking for a new PR.
It’s your best shot to qualify for Boston. Anywhere between 14 and 19 percent of Clarke Capital Utah Valley Marathoners qualify for the Boston Marathon. This is significantly higher than the national average of 12%. The combination of downhill terrain and a nice, pushing tailwind help runners get their best times ever.