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The St. George Marathon
Southern Utah is known for it's nice year round weather, making October a perfect time for the St. George Marathon. This annual event draws thousands of participants and spectators. This article offers information on the marathon course, elevations, and community support.
On the first Saturday of every October, runners from everywhere line up for St. George's renowned marathon. Currently, it is the 13th largest in the United States, accommodating up to 7,400 registrants, who are selected by random lottery to participate. As one of the most scenic races in existence, this event originated back in 1977, with only 57 runners and 1 wheel chair racer. Today, it is a well organized, highly accredited event that has been recognized by Runner's World Magazine as a top 20 marathon and 1 of 4 that is worth building your vacation around.
Breath taking views line the course of the 26.2 mile journey that include the majestic Pine Valley mountains, the beautiful cliffs of Snow Canyon National Park, red sandstone rock formations, black lava rock crevices, and the rising St. George sun, as it is not seen anywhere else. It begins northwest of the city, in a mountainous region, at an altitude of 5,240 feet. Traveling the course of the highway, competitors pass several small towns and the scenery of Snow Canyon, running up and down the hills of unleveled terrain. Overall, there is a 2,600 foot decent before they reach the finish line at the Vernon Werthon Park, near the center of St. George.
Runners must be able to complete the course in 6 hours of less. Many of them participate in this run as a pre-qualifying race for entrance to the Boston marathon. As a highly organized event, bus transport, cheering sections, aid stations, and more are prepared and attended to by the city, and a great amount of community support and volunteer work from locals. The success of the St. George marathon can be attributed to efficient planning, the pleasant scenery of the area, and numerous contributions.
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