Saturday, September 10, 2016 • Cedar City, UT • Course Map
Marked by both the red rock formations as well as the tree-covered hills and mountains here along the western edge of the Markagunt Plateau, Cedar Canyon makes for an especially scenic and fast course thanks to its long, gradual downhill descent at the Cedar City Half Marathon, which organizers call one of the nation’s fastest half marathon courses.
Runners start the point-to-point course for the race just south of the Cedar Breaks National Monument outside Cedar City, which is home to just over 27,000 residents here in southwestern Utah and the site of the annual Utah Summer Games, a three-week-long Olympics-style sports festival that draws some 9,000 athletes and 50,000 spectators to the local area every June.
The starting line lies on the Cedar Canyon Road, at an elevation of about 8,200 feet above sea level (Cedar City lies at an altitude of just over 5,800 feet).
From there, the course unfolds through the white sandstone cliffs and mountain faces of the canyon, taking runners along Highway 14 as it winds its way roughly westward through the canyon toward Cedar City, dropping nearly 2,400 feet in elevation by the time runners reach the finish line in Main Street Park.
Along the way, runners leave the roadway just after passing the mile 10 marker, where they head onto the Canyon Trail, a paved running, walking and jogging trail that is shaded by willow and cottonwood trees as participants keep heading west toward the city.
The fall colors should be out in full bloom, giving runners the chance to see why this has been called one of the country’s best destinations for viewing fall foliage. Runners will stay on the Canyon Trail for just over a mile until they reach U.S. Highway 14 again, and then cross over 14 to join up with North Highland Drive, which they follow north for nearly half a mile.
The final couple of miles of the half marathon route are largely flat in to the finish line, as they wind past the Cedar Canyon baseball complex along 275 North and into the city, crossing onto Center Street.
There’s just a few more turns before runners are hitting the home stretch along South 100 East, and making their way in to the finish line at the park.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in Utah’s southwestern corner, just over 250 miles south of Salt Lake City along Interstate 15, Cedar City typically sees September temperatures that average between 48°F and 79°F, while rainfall totals average just over 3/4 of an inch for the month.
On race day (Sept. 10), the average low is 50ºF and the average high is 81ºF.
See race website
To reserve your spot in the 2016 running of the Cedar City Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at the event website here.
Official Race Website
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