Marathon's Worth Traveling For - St. George Marathon

New for 2016 and starting today, Marathons Worth Traveling for. A new series I am putting together this year, that I hope you enjoy!

While I know there are many other destination race distances, I myself have only ever traveled for 26.2. So if you are a runner who loves the marathon, you may enjoy this series this year.

While I go for the race itself, when I pick a marathon the race is only about 75% of what I look for when I travel to run: I want a race that is known to be great, nicely organized, great volunteers. If I am coming to run 26.2 I want a race that makes me feel the marathon is their most important distance, even if they have other distances. (Though I am sure every distance wants to feel that feeling.)

I look for other things as well: Great location, a place I will want to stay a few days and explore. Races near National Parks or State Parks. America is a beautiful place, if I am going to travel to a marathon I want to see some of the most beautiful places in the country.

This week, I am going to introduce you to my favorite marathon. The St. George Marathon, this fall marathon has a special place in my heart. I used to live in St. George, and it happened to be my first marathon. But those aren't the only reasons I am recommending, here are a few others:

* The scenery is stunning. Beautiful red rock desert landscape. It's absolutely gorgeous, you'll be out on the course getting the chance to watch the sun begin to light up the landscape around you. Canyon's, Cliffs, you even get to run up and around a volcano.

* It's a fast course, yes there are hills but you descend over 2,600 feet. Almost everyone I have talked to, including myself have received their fastest times, PR or Boston Qualified on this course. It's listed in Runners World in the top 20 fastest marathons.

* It's focus is entirely on the marathon. You have no other distances to compete for road space with, all the focus and energy put into it goes toward making it great for each marathon runner.

* They do have a 2 mile walk/run that is the last couple miles of the marathon course. Mainly this is for the marathon runners family, or community who want to experience what it feels to cross that beautiful finish line. Gives those coming to watch you something to do, besides sleep in and go out to breakfast while they wait for you.

* Runners World has named it in the top 4 as a race to build a vacation around. They've also named it in the top 10 most scenic marathons in America.

* Talking about stuff to do, you are a short distance away from Zion National Park (above) which is one of the most stunning national parks in the country. Your also in the race running past the beautiful Snow Canyon State park. Your in beautiful red rock Canyon Country, you can't go wrong where you decide to go explore after or before the race.  Take your hiking shoes, mountain bike spend a week if you can. I guarantee there is so much to do and see in the area, you won't get bored.

* It's big, but not too big. Only 7,800 runners are allowed (it's a lottery each year). The volunteers are amazing, they give you the small town hospitality at each and every water stop. The military also comes out with their water trucks giving you that spritz you may need to get through on the years the October race is still getting warmer temps.

* It's a point to point course. You are go by bus to the start, so you don't ever have to run past the same part twice. You won't even need your headphones to keep your attention. The scenery is so amazing, you'll be focused more on that anyway.

* Of all the marathons I have ever run, it's the best organized race, with some of the best volunteers. The community here loves to come out and support the runners and they pull out all the stops. You'll feel their enthusiasm and joy of being able to serve you while you run the race.

Have you run the St. George Marathon before?
Or is this one on your list to travel to someday?


  1. I completely agree with you, that when I travel for a race the destination itself is also a factor in which racecations I'm going to take. I would hate to travel for the race and then not like anything about the destination itself. Why book the racecation then?

  2. Absolutely. The race is only part of the trip, so why go somewhere that wouldn't be fun? They do say to keep moving after a major race so your muscles don't get terribly sore, so why not site see and enjoy the surroundings.

  3. This race really is, it's probably the reason I've already done it 6 times, LOL
    This race is quite popular, it sells out every year I am not surprised it was mentioned in a podcast. It's one of those races that have been around for over 35 years so it's well organized and well known.

  4. I couldn't agree more! I used to get told about all these races (when I was traveling and working on my 50 state goal) each time someone would tell me about the race, I would ask what else is there in the area. Some looked at me weird, but hey it's expensive to travel to a race, I want to see a bit more and do a bit more while I am there if I can !

  5. That is so true! I've found a short little hike the evening after a marathon or a walk is one of the best recovery tools. And if your in a beautiful or interesting area, that just makes it a total bonus!

  6. Great review! I almost registered for Utah Valley Marathon this year. In a future year I'll have to take a close look at St. George.

  7. Some people hate point to point races, but seriously if I ever do a marathon (and i'm contemplating it for when I turn 42), it will HAVE to be a trail mara, just so I could have a kick ass view.
    Just stunning.

  8. I've heard Utah Valley Marathon is pretty good. But if you like beautiful desert scenery and fabulous organization St. George is a great choice. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I love point to point races, I never got why some don't. I can totally see you doing a trail marathon one day. I've done a couple, they really are great and have some of the greatest views! I bet you have some amazing ones in Australia!!

  10. I'd love to do this one! I'm running Big Sur in April--I think that's on the list too!

  11. The Hesitant RunnerMarch 8, 2017 at 6:14 PM

    I was so excited to see this! Hubby and I are hoping to do this one in the fall and will be entering the lottery on April 1. We love racecations, and from your post, it sounds right up our alley!!

  12. This looks like such a great marathon choice with having only the marathon runners and the very short distance for the families. I have read a few blogger recaps of the race, but for some reason did not realize this was your first marathon. We have not visited Zion National Park but it is on our list. I may have to talk my hubby into spectating a marathon too!

  13. Wow that looks so beautiful! I am all about doing new races this year in new places.

  14. Omg!!! This looks sooooo beautiful! Look at that red rock-such beauty!!!!

    No marathon for me anytime soon but love getting information about different ones.


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