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Review of Mammoth Half Marathon by

Posted by: on June, 24 2013

Bottom line: Well-organized, medium-sized event (about 1000 finishers), great destination, drop-dead gorgeous course, but don’t expect a PR due to the elevation (start at 9000, end at 7800 ft). Details: option to mail packet, otherwise easy-peasy packet pickup. Gourmet pre-race dinner compared to most pre-race pasta/slop meals. (baked trout, quinoa salad, garnet yams, red and yellow watermelons.) Shuttles to top from several area hotels ran smoothly, plenty of toilets at the start, easy bag drop, coffee and water available as well – nice touch. Note that this is a TOUGH course, if you don’t live or train at elevation, I ran almost 20 min slower than normal (!!) despite working much harder than normal. First 5 miles drops you about 1000 ft in elevation and will trash your quads if you don’t train for it. By mile 6 you’re in town and the course starts to roll a little. At home, those rollers would barely merit any notice, but at 7700 – 7800 ft of elevation they feel like huge mountains, everyone was really sucking air! Most of the people around me (wave 2 out of 5) were walking! However, it’s worth it because this is also a STUNNING course, even the part through town which is mostly on paved bike paths that either run through nice wooded areas or offer beautiful vistas. Probably the most beautiful course I’ve seen, and that includes dozens of half marathons, marathons, and ultras in 13 or 14 states. Recommendation: go early, acclimate, enjoy the area, run the in-town portion of the course so you know what you’re getting into, then relax and take in the scenery while you ponder that your path follows the daily training runs of elites.