It seems that there are more and more races springing up every year in Utah. I seriously would not have to drive more than 3 hours from home to run a stellar marathon or ultra from April to October.
With so many races to choose from in July, why do I continue to run the Sogonapmit (that's Timpanogos spelled backwards)? Well there are a few reasons:
1) Generally the marathon starts at 3:30am (which in July is great). You start at the finish line at Lone Peak High School and run up American Fork Canyon 13.1 miles and then turn around and run down the canyon with the 1,000 + half marathoners.
2) This race is very well organized. Race Director, Scott Hardy is a Marathoner and Iron Man and he really tries to make all his races great for all the runners.
3) The bling! Sogo always has awesome race medals and this year we got hooked up with a HUGE medal, t-shirt and a really nice jacket!
Unfortunately, this year's marathon had a permitting issue and was forced change the course, making this the inaugural (and only) year for the Timpanogos Marathon.
This year the race started at 5:30am up at the half marathon start at Tibblefork. We ran down the canyon and then shot off onto the Murdock Trail for a long out and back to the finish.
Even with the course change, most people chose to run the half marathon. This race draws a large half marathon crowd and very few marathoners which make it a pretty cool race to do. This year there were 1,053 half marathon finishers and only 66 marathon finishers.
I woke up at 2:30am, got dressed and drove the 18 minutes from my apartment to Lone Peak High school to catch the bus to the start. When I got there I ran into my cute friend Marsha and a few other Maniacs.
Fellow Maniac Marsha Monson and I at the start.
A few Maniacs at the start. I didn't know these guys without their Maniac gear, but I was glad they knew me so we could get a photo!
The temperature at the start was cool, but not cold which worried me a little. I didn't want to think about how warm it would get once the sun came up and we were out of the canyon!
At around 5:20am the small group of marathoners (and half marathon walkers and folks that just wanted to beat the heat) gathered at the starting line for a very quiet start. In fact the guy that started us said they didn't want the half marathoner to jump into the start, so he literally just said "Ready? Set? Go!" and we were off!
The one thing I love about the Sogo course is usually when we get to the top of the canyon, the sun is just coming up and it is so beautiful at the top of that canyon. This year it was still so dark, we didn't get to enjoy the view as much as I would have liked, but I still managed to get a few OK shots of the beauty of American Fork Canyon.
The sun is not quite up yet, but the moon still is.
I just love the pink sky!
The entrance to the Timpanogos Caves. I really need to go there soon.
Pretty flowers everywhere!
As we made our way out of the canyon at around mile 7ish, we hit the paved Murdock Trail. At around mile 10 we stopped at a water stop and the young volunteers were confused as to which way runners were supposed to run. There was a fork in the road with cones on both sides. They sent about 20 of us to the left fork and off we went. After about a mile or two, we all figured out that we had been directed the wrong way adding exactly one mile to the course.
At this point the heat was really getting to me and with the wrong turn we had went about 3 miles without an aid station. It is a really nice trail, but there is not a speck of shade on it! It is days like this that I am so glad I wore my fuel belt.
Since the course was an out and back with the turn around at just past mile 17, a few of us discussed turning around right at around 16.5 to get back the extra mile. That was until we heard that they were writing down numbers at the turn around. At that point I decided to suck it up and put in the extra mile even if I had to walk it. I wanted to make sure I got an official time.
Really cute farms off the Murdock Trail.
I loved this little red barn!
When I finally got to the turn around, I took a photo of my Garmin to show how many miles I had put in.
After the turn around I started getting the chills and feeling really dizzy and nauseated, which is the first signs of heat stroke. I would run until I got to overheated or dizzy and then I would walk. I did more walking than running those last few miles and was bummed because I could have killed my PR!
I continued to take photo of my Garmin at miles 24, 25 and 26.22, in hopes that with proof, my marathon time could be adjusted to exclude the extra mile we were directed to run.
Even walking a lot the last two miles, I pulled out a 4:33:33! I was pretty happy with that given the circumstances!
After I hit the marathon distance, I ran into another lady that I had seen earlier in in the race. She was struggling too, so we just walked that last bonus mile in until the last 200 yards when we ran it in.
I saw Scott Hardy and told him what had happened and of course showed hin the photos I had taken and he said he would make sure to have my time adjusted. This is one thing I love about this race! When your RD's are runners themselves, it makes issues like this much easier to deal with. They get it.
After the race I ran into a few of the Run Aways who ran and volunteered! Yay Briggs, Ruthie, Lorri and Matt!
My ballroom BFF Briggs and I striking a pose! Ha Ha!!
While this new course had it's challenges, I thought the race was awesome. A few more water stops given the heat and some volunteer training (just to make sure they know where to direct the runners) and I would have no problem running this race again. I can't wait to run up the canyon again next year!! Sogo Challenge is back baby!!
Huge thanks to Scott Hardy and his team for all the hard work they put in to this amazing race and for giving me the opportunity to run it! YOU ROCK!
Oh yeah! The Marathoners got hooked up!!