Yes, this is a USATF certified Boston-qualifying marathon course, with certification number UT14009KH. To qualify for the 2015 Boston Marathon, runners must complete a marathon on or after September 14, 2013, which was our race date last year.
If you didn't race Big Cottonwood last year, the good news is that this year's race can qualify you for two Boston Marathons!. The Boston Marathon has announced that registration for the 2015 Boston Marathon will begin on September 8, 2014, which is just five days before the race. Historically, this has provided plenty of time for our runners to register and get into Boston for the upcoming year. Additionally, the qualifying window for the 2016 Boston Marathon begins on September 13, 2014, which is our race date. This means that your BQ time at Big Cottonwood can get you qualified for two consecutive Boston Marathons.
For more information regarding Boston Marathon qualifying standards and timelines, please visit the qualifying procedure page of their website.
Because road closures for the race must be re-opened for normal traffic, we are required to set course time limits. See the event info page for exact time limits.
Because the canyon portion of the race is significantly downhill, the cardiovascular requirements during this portion are largely minimized. Additionally, atmospheric oxygen levels will increase as runners descend the canyon, allowing runners to benefit from increased oxygen intake as they progress in the race. Based on the experiences of runners coming from lower elevation in previous years, altitude has not been a factor and many have been able to achieve personal records by significant amounts.
Increased speed on a downhill slope also increases footstrike impact and works your muscles differently compared to running on flat surfaces or uphill slopes. The bottom line is that if you prepare by following a few simple training guidelines that are specific to downhill racing, you will be able to take full advantage of this course without adverse effects. See our Training page for more specific and comprehensive advice on preparing for a downhill race.
The entire race is run on paved road. Runners will have at least one full lane of the road the entire race (no shoulder), and up to three lanes during the last few miles.
We understand that life is unpredictable and that plans sometimes need to be changed. Our very generous withdrawal policy allows you to withdraw from the race and get a full refund minus a small transaction fee. Visit our withdraw page for more details or to complete the process.
We understand that life is unpredictable and that plans sometimes need to be changed. Our very generous transfer policy also allows you to transfer between races or transfer your entry to another individual. Visit our transfer page for more details or to complete the process.
In order to avoid delays and so we can ensure an on-time start, we do not offer packet pick-up the day of the race. If you are unable to make it to the expo to pick up your race packet, we will allow another individual to pick it up for you as long as they have a photocopy of your driver's license or another photo ID and a signed note from you authorizing them to do so.
All of our aid stations will be supplied with electrolyte drinks and water. Additionally, various aid stations will be supplied with energy gels, fruit, and other nutritional items to keep you running strong to the finish. Details regarding nutrition along the course (brands, flavors, locations) will be provided as the event nears on the event info page and will also be given in the race program.
Runners will be allowed to use iPods on the course. However, for your safety we highly recommend that you keep the volume of your music low enough to still be aware of your surroundings, as police officers, volunteers, or emergency vehicles may need to get your attention at some point along the course.
Because of both logistical and liability issues, we are not currently allowing strollers on the buses or in the event. We're sorry that we are not able to accommodate you at this point, but will keep these requests in mind for future years.
We will send an email prior to race-day asking for permission to have the photos and personalized highlight videos given to you directly via Facebook. Once the photos and video are in your possession they are all yours!
All runners completing the race will receive one of our famous finisher's medals. Additional awards will be given to the top runners overall and in each age division. See the event info page for more details. Age division placers must pick up their awards at the race.