Destinations Marathons

One of the Most Scenic Marathons Is Now Open!

St. George Marathon
Written by Charlie

The beautiful and scenic St. George Marathon is now open – and it is available without a lottery! Check out the details and great hotel options.


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

Link: St. George Marathon Registration

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.

St. George Marathon

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.

Race Details

  • 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!).


St. George Marathon

The Hilton Garden Inn – Perfect for the St. George Marathon

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.

St. George Marathon

The Holiday Inn for the St. George Marathon

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. 🙂

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • It was a nice marathon – very scenic. I stayed in the area for a few days with friends and we visited Zion.

    Flying into LAS is best. There are shuttle buses that go to St. George.

    Although there is serious elevation – since you start at the top and go down, it is not as bad as climbing up elevation. As for the net decline – there were still hills and I felt them.

    Most of the course, you are running through the mountains without many spectators (except for a few that arrived by tractor!). I don’t mind the lack of spectators, but some people might. It is only when you get back to St. George in the last few miles, that there are spectators. My favorite sign was from a mortuary, which said something to the effect of We want your business but we can wait.

    • That is a great sign! I didn’t know about the shuttle buses, that is good to know. Cars were cheap enough and I like to be able to get around so I didn’t mind doing that but I am sure others benefit from the buses.
      The descent definitely hit some people hard as they did not realize the stopping power to the legs! They were flying early on and even though I was fighting my injury, I passed them later on as their legs were toast. All in all, a great rate that I will do again some day. I love that there is no lottery now!

  • Any insight as to how quickly St George will fill this year? Asking from Minnesota.

    • Even with the lottery the last couple of years, they didn’t fill. My guess is, if it does fill, that it won’t be until next month sometime. But, I would not be surprised if it did stay open all the way through June until the close date.