This marathon is amazingly scenic. You shouldn't expect to set any PR's (elevation, hills). The course consists of mostly paved roads and some gravel roads along a rolling course with only a few steep (although short) hills. The snow-capped mountains and small field really give you a chance to relax and enjoy the tranquility of this beautiful area. The race organizers and volunteers were very friendly. This is a newer race (2012 was its second year) and there are places for improvements. I personally had trouble with three of the turns, marked only by arrows on the ground. These were the turns onto Swalley, onto Surgeon, and onto Marsh Road. It would be very helpful to have course marshals or upright signs with giant arrows indicating these turns. It was also unclear on the last loop around Eagle Crest Resort where to run. There was a short portion on grass to a walking/biking path, then onto the street. The official marathon route during this brief portion were not clear. The aid stations were generally staffed with very enthusiastic volunteers and well stocked with water and Gatorade. Some stations toward the end also had energy blocks and fruit. The aid stations could be ready a little sooner for runners. I missed the aid station at mile #16 because the volunteers were still setting it up. Also, there were no volunteers at the aid station just prior to mile #25 even though there were supplies there. Packet pickup was easy although the chips arrived late. This caused a bit of confusion and slight delay in starting the race. The organizers did a nice job sending an email to the runners regarding these last minute details. All in all, each of these issues can easily be resolved to provide a better race day experience. Overall, this is a great scenic run for those who love nature and don't mind small fields.
Beautiful scenery. Friendly and helpful race committee but some serious course issues when it came to marking the course. Several people off course because turns were not well marked or staffed. Lots of great volunteers - spread some out to those turns! Relay has issues with long waits in cold weather. Better off to run your own vehicles to exchanges so you have a warm car to sit in. No hoopla that makes a race fun at the start or finish. In fact if you are slow or walking, don't count on anybody being around to celebrate with - even the food and beer were packed up and ready to pull out. What's a finish without some fun????
It was a beautiful run through a gorgeous country side. The three sister mountains were just breath taking. You couldn't help but be happy whenever you looked at them.
Would do it again.
It is a well kept secret, the word needs to get out there.
For a fairly new race in it's 2nd year they did a good job.
A few logistical issues with parking, packet pickup and chip pick up. As the front runner in the race I ran with another runner for the first 16 miles and we both took 2 wrong turns because of poor marking and then I took 1 other wrong turn towards the end because Eagle Crest put out their own cones on a trail. My biggest surprise was there were no awards for overall. I don''t think I've ever ran a race where there was no overall award.
However, I really enjoyed the event, the scenery, the amount of support we received from the volunteers and the others driving around the course cheering us on.
They asked for our reviews so that they could make this a better event. I write not to complain but to give my opinion on what they might want to address because I believe this could be a really great event in the years to come.