Overall Rating
Overall Rating (3 Reviews)
4.3
(3 Ratings)(3 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.3
Come enjoy the weekend with friends and family at the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon! Run the Half, 5K and/or color run. Cool off in a waterfall, eat at one of our delicious local restaurants, and hike the beautiful Bryce Canyon trails all in one trip! Our Half Marathon always starts … MORE
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Recent reviews

    davethe10r REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Why wouldn't you want to run in scenic Bryce Canyon? This was the first half marathon I ever ran, WAAAAAAY back in 2016. This year (2019) I ran as a … MORE

    Why wouldn’t you want to run in scenic Bryce Canyon? This was the first half marathon I ever ran, WAAAAAAY back in 2016. This year (2019) I ran as a pacer, carrying the 1:45 stick with my friend Susan.

    It was just as beautiful as I remembered, though considerably easier (since I’ve run 25 half marathons and a dozen or so full marathons in between). This time around, I was able to pay a lot more attention to the scenery, which is spectacular in the first half of the race, though somewhat less so in the second half.

    The course starts near Ruby’s Inn, at the gates of Bryce Canyon National Park. My Garmin put the starting line at about 7,640 feet in elevation. The first 1.6 miles are relatively flat, and then … it’s off to the races! From that point until you reach the town of Tropic around mile 7, you drop over 1,200 feet. The slope is much gentler in the second half of the race, though you still lose another 500 or so feet of elevation in the last 6 miles.

    There are maybe three little “bumps”—uphill stretches that feel higher than they actually are. If you can run up a freeway overpass, you can run up these uphills. Also, if the day is warm (as it was this year), stay to the right as you approach Tropic and run through the misters for a quick cool-down.

    The race ends up in the city park in the town of Cannonville. Post-race refreshments included the normal bananas and ice cream sandwiches, and even chocolate milk! The medals are kind of meh both years, but the shirts were tech shirts and looked great.

    Finally, my GPS put the course at something like 12.97 miles. Others I talked to got similar results. It may be that canyon running affected GPS accuracy, or it might be that the course is a bit short. Hard to tell.

    Overall, a beautiful race that’s well worth running. If you’re from outside of Utah, make it a runcation and spend a day or two in Bryce. It’s one of the most stunning landscapes in the world.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    d.dencklau FIRST-TIMER '18

    Pros: -BEAUTIFUL -Plenty of water stops (important, it warms up fast!) -Shuttles from nearby towns make logistics easy -Mostly downhill -Reasonable cost, good swag (Lovely medal this year that represented … MORE

    Pros:

    -BEAUTIFUL
    -Plenty of water stops (important, it warms up fast!)
    -Shuttles from nearby towns make logistics easy
    -Mostly downhill
    -Reasonable cost, good swag (Lovely medal this year that represented the area well)
    -Great small race feel (Because it is a small race), but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking anything you find at bigger races
    -Beautiful course (Hey, sometimes it just needs to be said twice!)

    Not so good:
    -Some race communication about logistics didn’t match the website or the Facebook information. This frustrated the over planner part of me.
    -This isn’t on the race directors, but be aware if you come from sea level (like me) the elevation can make it a struggle to breath. I had to walk a bit a couple times just because I didn’t feel like I was getting enough air.

    Bottom line:
    Did I mention this is a beautiful race? It really does bear repeating, the entire Bryce Canyon area is lovely and well worth sticking around for a few days after the race. The race was solid. Small race that never felt like a small production. Nice course, great volunteers, and a reasonable price. What more can you ask for from a race?

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    CheriRichardson FIRST-TIMER '17

    Every year, on the second Saturday in July, runners from all over the country converge on the small towns of Bryce Canyon City, Tropic, and Cannonville to run the Bryce … MORE

    Every year, on the second Saturday in July, runners from all over the country converge on the small towns of Bryce Canyon City, Tropic, and Cannonville to run the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon.

    The race runs from Ruby’s Inn down Scenic Highway 12. The first mile is pretty flat, miles 2 – 7 are mostly downhill, and the race finishes out in rolling hills, the steepest being at mile 11 just as you’re coming into Cannonville and the finish line.

    The race starts at 6:00 A.M. – for good reason. Yes, it’s a bit chilly at the start line. Suck it up. Once you start running, you’ll feel great, and once the sun comes up, you’ll be a bit on the warm side. Besides, if you’re really cold waiting for the start, you can always gather around one of the many fire pits along the side of the road.

    With six downhill miles, the race is definitely conducive to faster times. But beware – the section where you can run the fastest is also the section where you’ll want to stop and take photos, or at least take in the spectacular scenery. This section runs just outside the national park boundaries, and the sun peeking over the red rock spires (they call them “hoodoos”) will take your breath away.

    This race has a small town feel, well, because the towns you run through are truly small. The residents gather along the race route, bringing signs, water guns, and the Bryce Canyon Coffee Company even offers espresso shots to the runners. The aid stations are staffed by locals and even the kids get into the action. I almost felt bad not taking water from some of the little children who were so eager to help. At the finish line, the local Lions Club hosts its annual breakfast.

    The Bryce Canyon Half Marathon is operated by the Bryce Community Foundation, a non-profit that disperses the earnings from the annual race to projects benefitting the local communities. The race fee is on the cheaper side of reasonable, although accommodations are a bit pricier as the race is held in prime tourist season. The race is well organized, from packet pick-up to shuttling runners to the start line and back from the finish line, to the classy awards ceremony.

    If you’re coming to the race, plan on staying a few days. Bryce Canyon National Park is absolutely spectacular. There are several other state and national parks within a day’s drive. The area features many locally-owned restaurants and shops, dinner shows, and even a rodeo.

    The Bryce Canyon Half has been added to my short list of races I’ll run again. Oh, and yes – I set a new PR!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Jul 14, 2017 at 7:40pm

    Awesome review and photo, Cheri! And bonus points for a well-played review headline. :) Appreciate your feedback since I know you're an experienced National Parks runner, and I'd love to… MORE

    Awesome review and photo, Cheri! And bonus points for a well-played review headline. :) Appreciate your feedback since I know you're an experienced National Parks runner, and I'd love to be able to run in Bryce. (The Moab Trail Half is another beautiful race in Southern Utah, if you haven't run it.) Congrats too on the PR, icing on the cake! LESS

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