Our flight left ATL super early. I tried to keep my feet elevated as best as I could, wore compression sleeves on the flight and drank lots of water and Nuun.
We arrived in Salt Lake City the day before the race around 10am. After picking up our rental car we headed to breakfast at Ruth’s Diner.
Ruth’s is a delicious spot in an old trolley car at the base of Emigration Canyon. They are known for their huge biscuits.
I splurged and ordered the chicken fried steak benedict. It was an English muffin with chicken fried steak, sausage gravy, poached eggs and hollandaise. I loved every bite!
We decided to drive up the canyon, snap a couple pictures then head to the race expo.
Emigration Canyon was just as beautiful as I remembered from our trip last year.
The race expo was small, but I like that. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. There weren’t very many vendors set up at the expo, but the photo opportunities were endless.
Needless to say I didn’t waste any time and took a zillion pictures.
The Mr. and I decided to drive the race course since it wasn’t far from the expo and our hotel. I nearly cried my eyes out when we started driving. I’m a really emotional person and Big Cottonwood Canyon was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.
Pictures never do these types of places justice because you can’t see the scale or magnitude. We drove all the way to the top at Guardsman Pass. This is where the marathon would start, but the half marathon started at Spruces Campground which was further down the canyon.
Every turn was more beautiful than the last and I was really overwhelmed. I felt (still feel) so grateful to be able to run in such a magical place. The trees were starting to change and there were bursts of yellow, orange and red the higher we went.
On our way down I really got a feel for just how tough the course was going to be the next morning. The half marathon was a decline of almost 3,000ft. WHOA! I really noticed it on our drive down and took note where the course leveled out a bit and where the grade was sharper.
After going to the expo, getting my bib and driving the canyon I was ready to settle in for the night and focus on getting race ready. I tucked in to my new pre race meal of a Chipotle burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, chicken, lettuce, pico and guacamole and set out my gear.
The swag for this race was serious. The shirt is really cute and we got a hat (with pony tail hole) which I wasn’t expecting. The race start ended up being 32F, so I’m glad they included gloves and a mylar blanket.
Since it’s a point to point race the plan was to drive to the finish, park the rental car then walk to the bus that would take me to the starting line.
I got my gear together, set out my throw away grandpa flannel and breakfast for the morning then got some sleep. I had to be on the bus by 5:30am.
Stay tuned for the actual recap 🙂
Have you ever done a downhill race like this one?
Have you ever drove a race course before?