There's good news and not-so-good news for runners in this year's Deseret News-KSL Radio Marathon on July 25.
First, the not-so-good news: That new section of State Road U-65 from the highway maintenance shed at the 2-mile mark is a little steeper than the old road with an average 6-percentgrade and 7 percent in a short area. Fortunately, the climb is at the first of the route while runners are still fresh and the weather is cool.Now the good news: The marathon's famous turnaround in East Canyon is a quarter of a mile shorter than in previous years. It's in this area the slower runners get a look at the leaders of the pack as they begin the return to the junction and on to Little Mountain.
The road changes are the result of work on the new Little Dell Reservoir. When completed, part of the old road and the previous junction to Emigration and East canyons will be under water. The new reservoir will be seven times larger than Mountain Dell.
Because of the changes, the course is being re-measured for TAC certification, according to race officials.
The marathon begins at Washington Park at 5,650 feet above sea level, climbs to 5,923 feet at the junction, 6,010 feet at the turnaround, and 6,227 feet at Little Mountain, approximately the 11-mile mark. From that point the route drops down to 4,230 feet, the lowest point at 9th South and Main Street, and finishes at 4,270 at Liberty Park.
The changes do not affect the 10K route, which begins at the marathon's 20-mile mark at Research Park on Foothill Blvd. and Wakara Drive. This 6.2-mile race, considered by many to be one of the fastest courses in the country, begins at 6:15 a.m. Runners in this shorter race should be well out of the way when marathoners reach this point.
Winners in the two races will share in more than $28,000 in prizes and cash. The first male and female 10K winners each will receive a 1988 Hyundai 4-door Excel from Larry H. Miller Hyundai. The male and female marathoners will receive a trip for two to Hawaii through Murdock Travel.
The Deseret News-KSL Radio Marathon & 10K are sponsored in cooperation with Diet Pepsi, Larry H. Miller Hyundai, Minit-Lube, Skippers, Smith's Food & Drug, Sterling Blonde Beef, The Western Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Utah State Credit Union.
Other prizes for the 10K include men's and women's 2nd place, $1,000; 3rd, $600; 4th, $500; 5th, $350; 6th, $200, and 7th, $100. In the 10K wheelchair, first male and female winners will each receive $250.
Both races will include overall and division trophies, medals and ribbons.
Because the traditional Pioneer Day of July 24 falls on Sunday, Days of '47 activities, including the parade, marathon and 10K, are scheduled for Monday, July 25. Registration for both races will be accepted until July 14 although those registering late may sign up before July 21 with a late fee.