Big Cottonwood Marathon Race Overview & Perks

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Training for this race is key if you hope to be successful. Notably, its course largely descends – with 16 miles falling 5 percent of the time!

Vigor Utah is a Boston Marathon qualifying race, offering Smart Pacing as an effort-based pacing strategy to maximize potential on this unique course.

Start Line

The start line for the Big Cottonwood Marathon can be found on the western side of Big Cottonwood Canyon Road just south of Old Mill One and lies at an elevation of 9,626 feet, falling to 4,440 feet throughout its course.

This race starts by gradually climbing for three miles before turning downhill after that, making it a fantastic option for anyone hoping to set their personal best marathon time or achieve Boston qualification time. While generally it is advised not to start too quickly in the initial miles, in this instance gravity could help push you along more rapidly than expected and you could find yourself surprised with your speed!

At mile 18, the course will leave the canyon and head out on S. Wasatch Boulevard for a 2.26-mile out-and-back segment that will allow them to lose roughly 100 feet in elevation. On their return, they’ll begin an uneven gradual climb that eventually levels off before proceeding down towards their finish line.

As you make your descent down the mountain, the course will follow Big Cottonwood Creek through historic places and sights such as Old Mill Ruins before eventually flowing into Utah’s Jordan River and ultimately ending at the finish line of REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon & Half Presented by Albion.

REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon is an extremely popular race that sells out quickly; therefore if you wish to participate, act quickly if you wish. Both marathon and half marathon courses feature fast yet scenic courses from Big Cottonwood Canyon into Salt Lake City; great for pushing yourself towards new personal records or simply enjoying stunning views! Plus the REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon boasts a fantastic finish area filled with coke, water, Gatorade, pizza and free throwaway gloves!


At this stunning marathon and half marathon, runners are treated to an unparalleled descent through scenic mountain canyons. One of Utah’s most beloved road races, this Boston-qualifying course will bring runners from Salt Lake City’s mountains down into Salt Lake City at breakneck speed!

Starting at Solitude Ski Resort, this course will travel for over 3000 feet of decline along Big Cottonwood Canyon Road before turning west along Vine Street into Murray. Once at Murray, runners will pass Old Mill Park which houses relics from a granite mill built in 1880 from stone left over from construction of LDS Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City. From there it travels through Cottonwood Heights on Old Mill Boulevard, Arbor Lane and Highland Drive before entering Murray and crossing Van Winkle to reach Vine Street before finally ending at Cottonwood High School where runners will arrive to be welcomed at finish line before being welcomed back at Cottonwood High School to complete their run.

Vigor Utah is proud to present this fast, scenic, and friendly road race. Register for it by clicking here; as a member you’ll also receive a complimentary shirt!

Aid Stations

The Big Cottonwood Marathon features multiple aid stations along its course, located approximately every two miles. At these aid stations, runners will find water, electrolyte drink, fruit, snacks and basic first aid supplies as well as medical personnel available; runners who require more specialized attention should visit the full-service medical tent at the finish line.

The race begins at Solitude Ski Resort and descends over 3000 feet to Cottonwood Heights City. It features one of Utah’s fastest half marathon courses due to the descent. As with all courses with steep declines, practicing running downhill on this particular course before race day may help amplify your effort and shorten finish time. Pacing strategies varying according to percent grade are recommended to get maximum effort out of every effort and enhance finish time.

This course is USATF certified and qualifies runners for Boston. For marathoners, their certification number is UT15006KH while half marathoners may use UT14008KH; it should be noted however, that Boston may alter registration or qualifying standards at any point in time.

Race Support

SAG wagons and ambulances will be on hand to transport runners who become incapacitated during the race, while volunteers on hand are there to offer assistance for injuries on course.

Every aid station will offer water, Nuun Lemon Lime and various snacks for runners to fuel them throughout their race. There will also be first aid items at each station such as bandages, moleskin and vaseline; additional first-aid kits may be scattered along the course as well.

Runners must ensure they run on the appropriate side of candlestick barricades and road signs; those straying onto the wrong side will be disqualified and police officers on site may enforce safety regulations.

Aid stations will be open from approximately 6 am to 11 am on race day, encouraging runners to bring their own water bottles that must be empty by the time they reach an aid station. They are permitted to bring food or personal items that must be placed into a special bag which will then be transported directly to the finish line.


The Big Cottonwood Marathon course may be challenging, but with proper training, nutrition, and hydration you can have an enjoyable experience. This race is one of Utah’s premiere running events and draws top runners from across the state to participate. Running it provides an opportunity to get back into running while meeting other runners and reconnecting with your passion for running.

This route starts and finishes at Solitude Mountain Resort and boasts breathtaking views of Salt Lake City and Wasatch Mountains, making it an excellent option for first-time half marathoners who wish to set personal bests as well as experienced runners aiming to break four hours. Plus, most of it is downhill! Stunning scenery awaits participants along its course.

Due to being situated entirely within a canyon, spectators are not permitted to watch most of the race course; however, participants will receive a T-shirt, medal and finisher’s bag upon completing it. Furthermore, the finish line will offer coke, water, Gatorade as well as pancakes, pizza and live music; plus participants can take advantage of free race photos and an opportunity to view a highlight video!

Closing Thoughts

This marathon is an USATF certified Boston Qualifier; both full marathon (UT15006KH) and half marathon races have received this certification, making those completing them within their qualifying time eligible to enter next year’s Boston Marathon as long as registration for it occurs within its appropriate window.

Big Cottonwood Marathon has long been a favorite destination of marathon runners, and event organizers take great care in making sure it remains safe. The course is well marked, while bags for each participant are clearly labeled. In addition, race organizers provide a medical team at the finish line to monitor any injuries that might arise.

runners can register early for this race at a discounted rate, earning themselves the Triple REVELer medal by running three REVEL events within one year; REVEL Mt Charleston, Big Cottonwood and Big Bear qualify.

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