If there’s one thing that all runners have in common it’s a desire to keep testing themselves and pushing beyond their limits. A yearning to test their mettle at a range of different courses and races. Seasoned runners often find themselves competing in different races around the state, the country and, indeed, the world. Every race and every venue offers runners unique opportunities and challenges, as they pound sidewalk to raise money for charitable causes, bond with work colleagues or simply smash their previous record.
Here we’re going to talk a little about the Ogden Marathon which took place earlier this year.
The Ogden Marathon: Race Overview
A scenically beautiful course that offers a great combination of gratification and challenge, the Ogden Marathon has won acclaim from the running community and event organizers alike for years. Its popularity is owed both to the challenging and diverse nature of the course itself as well as the area’s stunning and verdant scenery. Indeed, it is widely believed to be among the most scenic Boston Marathon qualifying courses.
Among its many accolades, the race was voted “5th Best Marathon in the Country for Beginning Marathon Runners” by Shape.com in March 2015 as well as “One of the Best Courses in America for First-Time Marathon Runners” by Runners World in January 2012 and “one of the Top Ten Marathons in the World” by the same periodical in January 2011.
So, let’s see what all the fuss is about as well as diving into a more specific review of this year’s event.
The Ogden Marathon is held on the third Saturday of every May. This year’s marathon fell on May 18th while next year’s (2020) will take place on May 16th. The gun typically blows between 6:45 and 7:00 am and the race ends at 2:00pm.
The race begins in Ogden’s beautiful uplands, just below Red Rock Outfitters Ranch located 8 miles east of Huntsville on Highway 39. The course starts at an elevation of 5400ft and gently slopes downward as runners pass by open fields and the beloved river. By the halfway point (where the half marathon begins), elevation drops to 5,000 feet.
The marathon’s second half trails around Pineview Reservoir before dropping into Ogden Canyon where runners trot alongside the Ogden River. Surrounded by pine-covered hills and steep rock faces, runners will exit the canyon onto the Ogden River Parkway for roughly two miles. On the home stretch, runners will pass such stately landmarks as the Utah State University Botanical Gardens and the Dinosaur Park before ending downtown on Historic 25th street at a final elevation of 4,309 Feet.
The Ogden Marathon draws runners from all 50 states as well as several overseas countries. This year there were 1,067 finishers for the full marathon and roughly 3,000 for the half marathon. Relay teams also take part and can have between two and five participants. Relay teams compete in four divisions- Men’s, Women’s, Mixed and Corporate.
As well as the marathon itself there are a range of events available to runners of all experience levels. While the race is particularly friendly to new marathon runners due to its largely downhill profile, there’s also a half-marathon, 10K, 5K and children’s races.
The Ogden Marathon 2019 Race Review
As we can see, The Ogden Marathon is much beloved by both veteran runners and newcomers alike. And this year’s race was no exception, proving a big hit with all kinds of participants.
First time’s the charm
Participants at all levels have been known to remark on the friendly welcome from locals and the real sense of support that they felt from communities in Ogden. New participants have remarked both in their Google reviews and their own blogs and websites about how the stunning scenery, friendly welcome and gentle downhill profile combine to make this the perfect course for those attempting their first full or half marathon. One Facebook reviwer in particular cited their first marathon as “amazing” and stated that they “couldn’t have asked for a better first time experience. The organizers are the best! The staff are great and the volunteers are one of a kind human beings.”.
Another reviewer on RaceRaves.com praised the way in which the gentle nature of the course was conducive to helping runners beat their personal records and that “Lots of smooth elevation loss … welcomes personal record times galore. It wasn’t too steep, it was a nice gradual down hill almost the entire course. If you want to set a new PR, come here.”.
Atmosphere, support and “PHENOMENAL” volunteers.
Multiple viewers spoke highly of the “electric” atmosphere at the event and the sense of excitement and optimism that permeated the event.
Despite the notoriously unpredictable nature of Utah spring weather, many participants were bowled over by the friendly and positive atmosphere and the energy, positivity and sincerity of the volunteers who were always on hand to help keep participants motivated and hydrated. More than one Facebook reviewer took time out to praise the tireless efforts of the “PHENOMENAL volunteers”.
Visitors and residents of Ogden alike have been quick to praise the proficiency with which the event continues to be organized, with first-timers and regular visitors to Ogden remarking upon how easy the organizers make it for participants to be where they need to be and make the most of their race.
What’s more, local business owners have been quick to remark that the event continues to be a real boon for the local economy and always brings an electric, exciting and convivial atmosphere to Ogden.
The combination of stunning scenery, challenging yet enjoyable and welcoming course, expert organization and dedicated volunteers made this year’s Ogden Marathon a real hit even among those who have run this race before and despite the sometimes challenging weather conditions. `
As registration begins for next year’s race in less than two months, we anticipate this beloved marathon and accompanying events to be at least as popular in 2020.
We hope to see you all there!