The Logan Marathon will see its debut Saturday, taking over for the Top of Utah Marathon as Cache Valley’s lone full marathon.
Hspin Events, one of multiple companies owned by Troy Oldham, acquired the rights to the Top of Utah Marathon in 2018, taking over just after the 20th installment of the TOU.
The new Logan Marathon will feature an entirely new course, along with many added features, namely more options for runners. In addition to the classic 26.2-mile run, there’s a two-person team option, with each runner doing a 13.1 mile half-marathon. There are also 10K and 5K fun runs, along with a charity one-mile “Fun Run” for families and kids. The Fun Run doubles as a charity event, with every dollar from registration fees destined to be donated to The Family Place.
These added events have had the intended effect of raising the total number of runners. Oldham estimated the number of participants at around 600.
“It’s a good bump from what we thought it was going to be,” Oldham said. “We’ve had a real good surge of runners this last couple weeks.”
That total is roughly twice the number of the 2018 TOU, though the number of people running the full marathon, according to Oldham, is about the same.
Nailing down each aspect of the event has been a bit of a challenge for Oldham, who made one of his biggest marks by founding the Cache Gran Fondo, a cycling race, in 2011. That event had 1,300 participants in 2018.
“The biggest thing is the logistics of a marathon over what we’re familiar with, a bike event,” Oldham said. “We’ve had a ton of help from people that have been real good about giving us some advice and even been willing to come out and volunteer to help us.”
The vision for the revamped local marathon centered around a change of course, giving it a “downtown Logan focus.”
“A couple of things we wanted to do is have a flat course, but also have it be a new course and leverage some of those trails that the city and county have invested in,” Oldham said. “It’s really a beautiful course.”
According to Oldham, the entire course has “hardly a hundred feet of elevation” change, which could make it one of the flattest courses in the western United States (Oldham would like to make that designation official if they can confirm that such an assertion is true). The TOU featured a long downhill stretch at the start of the race coming out of Blacksmith Fork Canyon.
Runners will avoid roads with notable traffic, with the one exception for a four- or five-mile eastbound stretch on Mendon Road before joining up on another river trail by Logan River Golf Course. With that focus on trails and less road routes, there will be no road closures in Logan, save for the block where the finish line will be from main street to 100 West over by Cache Valley Bank. Oldham said there will be an added police presence on Mendon Road to ensure runner’s safety during the event, but the road will still be open.