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REVEL Big Cottonwood
REVEL raises hopes for Boston Marathon posted on 07/02/2018

Up to 3,000 people, runners and those who support them, are expected to be on Mount Hood on Saturday, July 28 for the inaugural REVEL Mt. Hood marathon and half marathon. And while they will all get to experience the joy of running in the scenic beauty that surrounds Mount Hood, a number will also be vying to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Cydney Westgate, Vice President of Business Development for the REVEL Race Series, noted that the races they organize are downhill affairs (the Mt. Hood marathon will go from Timberline Lodge to the Rainbow Trout Farm, while the half marathon will start on Lolo Pass and go to the Rainbow Trout Farm), offering faster race times and allowing more qualifiers to the Boston Marathon. Westgate estimated that many racers can shave off up to five minutes in a REVEL race.

“A lot of people think (qualifying for the Boston Marathon is) not going to happen,” Westgate said, adding that some racers run other marathons many times without being fast enough. “That downhill part is really an edge.”

Westgate noted that in the REVEL Rockies race held last month, approximately 29 percent of the field of about 2,000 racers qualified. The Mt. Hood Marathon will start at an elevation of 5,620 feet and drop to 862 feet, a difference of 4,758 feet, while the half marathon will see a drop of 897 feet.

The first race in the REVEL series, Big Cottonwood in Utah, is now in its seventh year, while there are also races in Southern California, Las Vegas, Tucson and Denver. Westgate noted the group has been working on adding the Mount Hood race since last year, looking to capitalize on holding the race an atypical and beautiful location while also offering a fast course.

“They really wanted to get people out in the really beautiful national parks,” Westgate said. “I can’t think of a more beautiful place than the Pacific northwest.”

The race will also offer an opportunity for nonprofits in the community to capitalize, as local organizations can staff one of several milepost stations (handing out water and helping runners) throughout the course to earn some money. Coni Scott, Volunteer Coordinator for the event, noted that while the race will help nonprofits in this way, it will also help area businesses as well with a number of people staying overnight and eating in restaurants.

“It’s going to bring business to us,” Scott said, adding that people can also volunteer for a discount to be in a future REVEL race or just out of the kindness of their hearts.

Westgate described the community response as “phenomenal,” noting that the race will require approximately 300 volunteers from organizations including Ant Farm, the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization and more, and the event is family friendly.

“It’s great because REVEL really takes pride in giving back to the community as well,” she said. “We take pride in leaving things cleaner than we found it and really growing with the community.”

The event, which could be a yearly event on Mount Hood, is open to the public, but there will be no parking at the finish line or on Sylvan Drive during the event.

Parking and shuttles will be available at Sandy High School, 37400 Bell Street in Sandy.

Registration for the event will be open until Friday, July 27. The first wave of racers will begin at 5:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 28.

For more information, visit www.runrevel.com.

Garth Guibord/MT
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