Designed as a half marathon race that's especially friendly for first-timers and beginning runners thanks to its mostly downhill elevation change from the start in Utah's famed Emigration Canyon to the finish line next to the state capitol building, Salt Lake City's Freedom Half Marathon & 5K also is timed to mark the nation's birthday by coinciding with the 4th of July Independence Day holiday weekend.
Set for its second annual running in the summer of 2011, the race starts in the area known as Emigration Canyon, which was made a National Historic Landmark back in the 1960s for its history as the path that brought the Mormon pioneers into Utah and into what is now Salt Lake City. The canyon area ends at the city's edge near the campus of the University of Utah, and the race starts roughly six miles up into the canyon, in the Wasatch National Forest.
From there, runners follow Emigration Canyon Road straight downhill for the race's first six miles or so until they reach the southern end of the university campus, where they turn and head north through Matheson State Park and then onto Colorow Road. This road takes runners north and northwest along the edge of campus, crosses over Red Butte Canyon Road and then onto Medical Drive, where runners pass by the university's medical school campus areas.
The route makes a couple of turns as runners leave the medical school area and head onto Popperton Park Way, which takes them past the park of the same name as they keep heading west and meet up with 11th Avenue. As runners make their way past the Salt Lake City Cemetery, they remain on 11th Avenue for roughly the next mile and a half until they run into Memory Grove Park, where they turn right on Bonneville Boulevard and head north.
The race's last couple of miles take runners up and around Bonneville as they head around the northern and western edges of Memory Grove, which is dedicated to the memory of soldiers from the Salt Lake City area who lost their lives in World Wars I and II and lies near City Creek Canyon. Once around the park, runners remain on Bonneville until it becomes East Capitol Street, which takes them down to the finish line (with one last turn on East 300) in front of the state capitol.
Weather & Climate
Located in the northern part of the state, near the southern end of Utah's Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City typically experiences its warmest and driest weather conditions of the year during the summer months. In July, the city's average monthly temperatures range between 89°F and 67°F, while rainfall totals average just under three quarters of an inch for the month.
To reserve your spot in the Independence Day weekend 2011 running of Salt Lake City's State Capitol Half Marathon, register online at the event website.
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