Downtown Alliance introduces new marathon for Logan City

Relay teams approach the finish line of the Top of Utah Marathon in Logan, Utah on Saturday, September 15, 2018. This marks the 20th year of the Top of Utah races. The route runs from up Blacksmith Fork Canyon to the Finish line at Merlin Olsen Park. (Megan Nielsen)

Logan Downtown Alliance is creating their own marathon to replace the Top of Utah (TOU) on Sept. 9, 2019, after a couple of years of declining participation.

Runners approach the finish line of the Top of Utah Marathon in Logan, Utah on Saturday, September 15, 2018. This marks the 20th year of the Top of Utah races. The route runs from up Blacksmith Fork Canyon to the Finish line at Merlin Olsen Park. (Megan Nielsen)

“The TOU had a successful run for 20 years,” said Gary Saxton of the Downtown Alliance. “We want to make an event out of it and make it a little more family friendly.

“We’re ready to re-brand the race and create The Logan City Marathon,” Saxton continued. “The Top of Utah started in 1998, went for 20 years. We want to create new opportunities by adding new energy and a new course.”

Organizing officials studied some of the most successful races in the world and found that most were on flat terrain.

“Our research showed that many of the greatest marathons offer level roads, mild slopes, and merciful downhills; such as, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and Berlin,” a press release said about the race. “We also wanted to maintain magnificent views and beautiful vistas.”

Saxton said they are in the process of getting the race as a Boston Marathon qualifier.

“We’ve learned from creating other athlete-focused events, like the Cache Gran Fondo, that the overall experience must celebrate the individual and their incredible accomplishment,” said Troy Oldham, of HeadSpin Events. “We set out to exceed expectations for the athlete and provide a world-class experience that puts them in the center of the event.”

“We are anticipating 800 to 1000 runners,” Saxton said.

All registered runners will receive a brunch courtesy of historic Center Street restaurants, featuring a wide selection of baked goods, waffles, pancakes, crepes, eggs, drinks and other great eats to refuel after the race.

“We will also feature live music throughout the race from start to finish, as well as a new Altra Runner’s Festival, hosted by longtime presenting sponsor Altra Running and Icon Health & Fitness,” Saxton said.

Organizers have also created a 10K Trail Race, 5K Fun Run, and a Kids & Family Fun Miler, so everyone can join in the fun.

We want to involve all runners, with all skill sets to join us,” Saxton said. “The course map is on our website.”

Runners approach the finish line of the Top of Utah Marathon in Logan, Utah on Saturday, September 15, 2018. This marks the 20th year of the Top of Utah races. The route runs from up Blacksmith Fork Canyon to the Finish line at Merlin Olsen Park. (Megan Nielsen)

All past Top of Utah participants have been notified.

The idea is to send runners on a beautiful valley run with low traffic and safe features for runners of all abilities. Logan City Marathon runners will enjoy a partially-closed course, little or no traffic, river trails and parks, and all with race grades at near 0 percent.

The Top of Utah Half Marathon will still beheld Aug. 24, 2019 and is part of the USATF Utah Road Racing Circuit. It starts seven miles up Blacksmith Fork Canyon at the Hyrum Electrical Plant and finishes at the Providence Zollinger Park.

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