Revel Big Bear Marathon Race Report – Kyle Robinson

Race: Revel Big Bear

Runner: Kyle Robinson

Race Date: 11/12/2022

Location: Redlands, CA

Results: 3:07:28

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

Beautiful course, substantial downhill, well organized.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

It’s hard for spectators to cheer, they really can only be at the finish. Thankfully the race starts early so by the time most of your family is up and out the door it is time for the finish anyway.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

3:30 AM bus loading!

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

The course is sneaky. It is a net 4,300 foot downhill but the first 8 miles have rolling hills at 6,600 feet of elevation. The course favors patience, if you go with what the course gives you the reward is a screaming negative split.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Take the first several miles easy. Once you hit the decline you have many miles to make up for the slower start. Also this is a quad killer. Whatever you are doing for leg day double it and then double it again! Seriously. Two days post race and my quads are still on fire.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

More leg days. Also, due to the cool temperature I didn’t drink enough water at the first few aid stations. At mile 24 that caught up with me! The dry and thinner air were a bit deceptive!

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The hills on mile 2, 4, 6, and 8 aren’t bad. But they are there. Given the elevation and what is to come go easy over those. When the course drops go with it.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Beautiful. It honestly might be one of the most beautiful courses I’ve run. The first two miles are pre-dawn and you are in the mountain woods with stars everywhere. Then the rollers through the mountains at sunrise is inspiring and downhill is scenic until mile 15 or so. Then it is so-so but you are still enjoying the downhill so the most beautiful part of that section of the course is your mile split!

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

It’s sneaky. The first several miles should be managed. If you haven’t prepped your legs the downhill would be brutal but if you’ve done the work it is a wonderful course.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

It was fairly well organized. They started a bit late due to a few late buses and could have benefited from better signs at the bus loading but their email communication was great and as long as you read what they send you will be ready to go.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

It’s a fast course with good pacing groups and some shift runners. Great course for a PR.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Try to find a hotel near the bus loading area. We were only 4 miles away but given the early start time that proved to be a little annoying on the morning of the race. Some folks staying nearby just walked over which would have been better!

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

They had Powerbar Power gels…who knew Powerbar was still around??!! Good luck finding that at your local running store!

Weather and typical race conditions

Cool and dry…the start is chilly, bring a shirt to toss.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

Leg day. Honestly, the downhill running is no joke.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

No, this is the one bummer of the course.

How’s the Swag?

Awesome. Good shirt and a surprise with a great hat!

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

Highly recommend! 4.5/5