1. Utah Valley Marathon
Unless you’ve avoided every major thoroughfare in Utah County the past few months, you’ve heard about the Utah Valley Marathon. With the massive marketing effort, the 1,000 spots in the marathon and 1,000 in the half marathon sold out quickly. With a finish line at the Provo Towne Centre, the finish line is full of community excitement.
2. Hobble Creek Half
This August half marathon down Hobble Creek Canyon is the perfect ending to a summer of training. Dubbed as the “ultimate St. George Marathon tune-up,” this fast course is mostly downhill, which means a higher chance of setting a personal best. Plus, the flowers given to all female finishers is a fragrant touch.
3. Lavender Harvest 5K
Running and relaxation may not by synonyms, but this early morning meandering through 200 acres of vibrant lavender fields may be the closet thing to bring the two words together. Young Living hosts this July race in south Utah County and follows the race with live music, wagon rides, a lavender fairy tea party and more.
4. Rex Lee Run
More than 2,000 runners came out this past year to race around BYU’s campus in honor of the school’s president who died in 1996 just two months after leaving his post. Runners show their admiration for a cancer victim or survivor by wearing a certificate bearing the name of the cancer fighter.
5. Running with Angels 5K
Named for Pamela Hansen and her book with the same title, the Running with Angels 5K is a walk/run through the beautiful and fragrant gardens at Thanksgiving Point. Pamela lost 100 pounds in one year by taking that first step, and then another, and before long a marathon. Proceeds go to Women’s Service at UVRMC.
6. Freedom Run in Provo
The multi-event Freedom Festival isn’t complete without a run around Provo. With a 1-mile, 5K and 10K option (and patriotic music in the background), the setting and patriotism is worth joining the large crowds. Let Freedom Run, as the shirts say.
7. Provo Halloween Half Marathon
Touted as the “most fun you can have in Provo without being arrested,” the Provo Halloween Half draws in costumed runners for this fast and scenic downhill course from above Sundance to the finish line at the Shops at Riverwoods.
8. Hale Freezes Over
Fair-weather runners need not apply for this January jaunt sponsored by Hale Center Theater Orem. More than 250 runners came out for the Highway to Hale 10K and 5K this past winter around the chilly streets of Orem.
9. Thanksgiving Point 13.1
Even though the Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon runs through the gardens at the height of the Tulip Festival in April, you won’t want to stop and smell the roses until after you’ve crossed the finish line at the Electric Park. This half marathon and Kids Fun Run (3/4 mile) benefit the recently announced Museum of Natural Curiosity.
10. Mad Dash to Beat Cancer
The American Fork Hospital is gaining a reputation for its cancer center, and this fall 5K raises money for the cause. Perhaps the best part of this race — other than the good cause, of course — is the long-sleeve wickaway athletic shirt. Plus, runners who beat the hospital administrator get a prize. (Bonus — his busy hospital post doesn’t leave time for rigorous training.)
Filed Under: Top Ten