We have had some good meetings with UDOT recently to get the course approved and we have some information you need to know. Please read all of this.
1. Virgin to Springdale – I hope everyone is familiar with our course by now but if not, you should read this post. We have tried to be very clear that the course is not inside park boundaries, but we want to make sure everyone is aware. It is still stunningly beautiful and we finish literally across the stream from the park. You will not be disappointed.
2. Open Course – The Zion Half is an open course. That means cars will be on the road as well as runners. That means if you step off the course you will get hit by a car. We will have cones and road control along the entire course, but it is very important that you stay on the correct side of the cones. Anyone caught stepping off the course and into traffic(even if there are no cars present) will be disqualified and not allowed to run in any of our races in the future. There are a few very narrow sections of the course, but you are expected to run slower rather than step outside the course in order to pass someone or for any other reason. Be aware of cars, and do not step outside the course.
This should also clarify some logistics for a few or you. If you are getting dropped off at the starting line, your driver will likely be able to get back to the finish in time to watch you finish, but the road will be slow for drivers throughout the morning. If you are fast and get dropped off a few minutes before the race starts, your driver might miss you. Your best bet is to always give yourself extra time. We have significant road control on the road between the start and finish to keep both drivers and runners safe.
3. Choke Start – Because there are a few narrow sections on the course we will be choking the starting line. If you are unfamiliar with a choke start, I made an attempt to draw it for you below.
The idea here is that we need to thin out the crowd early so we will narrow the course right at the start. We will be placing some barricades to make the starting line less wide. That means that if you start at the back of the starting pack, it will take longer than normal to get started. After the gun goes off, you will just stand there for 15-20 seconds and not move. Keep in mind your official time does not start until you actually cross the starting line, so be courteous to others as we start the race. Ultimately, we figured it will be better to wait a few seconds at the start when you are “off the clock”, than to have to stop mid race for a bottle neck on a narrow section of the course. Those seconds will count against you.
4. Writing on Road/Trash – We really need your help here. UDOT has just re-covered the road we will be running on so it is super clean. Any kind of road markings with paint or even chalk will not be allowed. UDOT will make our company pay for the removal and it is super expensive. Please help us keep the area pristine for those who come after us. Additionally we will also have trash cans at every half mile. There is no excuse to litter on this course.