For the first time, the St. George Marathon is not requiring a lottery for entry this year! This is great news as the St. George Marathon is definitely one of the most scenic marathons around so this is one that you should definitely consider. Registration is now open so check it out.
St. George Marathon Is Now Open
The Race Course
The race is well-known as being a very fast course. If you train correctly, and I mean really work on your quads, you can get a very fast time on this course. The starting line is at over 5,200 feet of elevation and drops to a finish line elevation of 2,600 feet. That is a serious decline! There are some small hill areas, one that I remember well was around mile 8, but everything is pretty much down.
With the race beginning in the early morning – 6:45 – you will be up at elevation in the darkness for a while. The race is a point-to-point course so you are taken by buses to the starting line. It is a very chilly morning but they are well prepared for that by having hot beverages on hand as well as campfires.
- To be held on October 7, 2017
- Start time is 6:45AM for the runners
- The marathon is the only distance offered
- Start altitude is 5,243′
- Finish altitude is 2,678′
- Fee is $95
- Cap is 7,800 runners
- 2017 is the 41st running of the St. George Marathon
- registration link
A Must-Run Marathon!
This race had been on my radar for a longtime but because of scheduling and cost, I never bit the bullet to apply. However, with miles and points, cost never needs to be a reason to avoid such a race! Finally, in 2012, everything worked out – schedule was clear, I had my miles, and I was selected in the lottery. I absolutely loved it!
I had a hamstring problem going into the race and it seized up on my around miles 18 so what should have been a big PR was a 3 minute PR instead. I fully intend to go back, but I don’t mind waiting a while. My son (he keeps my poster of the race above his bed) has said that he wants that to be his first marathon. He is only 7 so we will have sometime before that, but he thoroughly enjoyed his first 5k and is already chomping at the bit to run another!
Travel for the St. George Marathon
Yes, the flights and hotels can cost a chunk of money, but that never needs to be a reason to stay away from such a trip, thanks to miles and points. I personally flew into Las Vegas since it cut down on my connections and I got to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way up. Plus, it is less than a 2 hour drive so it is perfect (also, rental cars can be cheaper out of LAS and you can get some really cool cars also!).
As for hotels, this is one of the beautiful parts about the Hilton Honors program! The closest hotel to the expo, right next door in fact, is the Hilton Garden Inn. It costs 30,000 points per night at the high end (and it will likely stay there due to the influx of customers). This actually gives you an great value of .7 cents per point with rates currently over $200 per night. This is a great way to put your Hilton points to use! There is another Hilton hotel in town as well for 30,000 points per night also if you do not get the first one in time.
There is an IHG hotel in near the expo as well with rates also over $220 per night and only requiring 20,000 points per night. This is another great option.
The St. George Marathon is a must-run for runners given the beautiful scenery and the downhill course. If you train properly for the downhills, you could easily put up a great PR. Of course, given the net negative gain, this course is not sanctioned for things like Olympic qualifiers or record attempts. Still, I doubt most of us will be going for something like that. 🙂