Race: Utah Valley Marathon
Runner: Lexie Riofrio
Race Date: 06/04/2022
Location: Provo, UT
Results: 4:21 something
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
The scenery was awesome, everything was really well organized, and the crowd support on the last few miles was solid.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
The first half was more challenging than I anticipated. It was mostly downhill with several uphill segments that tested my altitude fortitude, and while the downhill was great for cardio, it crushed my quads.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
I wouldn’t say “weird” but you have to get up very, very early. Buses depart to the starting line between 315 and 415. The race starts at 6.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I tried my best to pace myself in the first half of the race, and by holding back just a bit I thought I would save my legs (this wasn’t so successful). This was a beautiful course, and I tried my best to enjoy the scenery even when things weren’t going so well.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Train for long stretches of downhills and uphills, doing so at altitude would probably also help (the race started at 6200 ft). Also, consume more calories than I did during the race; in retrospect, I didn’t eat enough.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Eat more during the race! And do more long hill repeats in training.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
Long downhills with some significant uphill segments the first half of the race, the second half was flatter although with still a slight net downhill
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
I think this would be a really fast course if you train for it well. For me, it turned out to be more challenging than I anticipated and my legs really struggled the last 6 miles.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Yes, definitely well run
Competition – Is there a strong field?
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.
I would highly recommend staying at the Provo Marriott, which is literally one block from the bus pickup, the finish line, and the convention center where packet pickup is.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Pretty well stocked aid stations every 2 miles, two of which had fruit instead of gels. I don’t like bananas very much so another fruit besides just bananas and orange slices would have been welcome.
Weather and typical race conditions
Perfect weather. It started in the mid 40s and finished in the low 70s.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
Bring a pullover you can wear at the beginning and throw to the side of the road. These get donated to charity.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Spectators were there but sparse until the last 4 or so miles.
How’s the Swag?
Huge medal, nice shirt, and they give you a drop bag at the expo. Not much of the way of free samples in the bag, though.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
8 out of 10 (or 4 out of 5 stars). I’d definitely recommend it to others and would even consider running it again, provided I train a little differently and do better with my race nutrition.
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