The Morgan Valley Marathon has been a dream in the making for the past few years. The idea of a marathon in Morgan began among a group of friends who love to run the roads of the beautiful Morgan Valley.
Morgan roads have been the training ground for runners for years. The beauty, fresh clean air and majestic mountains are the perfect backdrop, so hosting a certified marathon here was an easy decision. The community here has supported this event so well, it is just a natural fit.
Much time and effort went in to organizing the inaugural Morgan Valley Marathon in 2011. After all the many hours of planning and worrying, everything came together and the marathon was a big success.
Volunteers come from all over Morgan to assist with the event. A special touch is having roving butlers. The butlers are medical personnel driving Rangers equipped with everything and anything the runners may need. They will even give you a lift back to the start if the need arises.
Every year our local marathon picks up a little more speed. Spaces started filling quickly for the newly added 10K race as well as the old favorites. The marathon, half marathon and the 10K cap off at 500 runners and the 5K caps off with 300. The half marathon and the 5K are nearly full, so if you want to join the fun, join quickly. It may never be the biggest race in Utah, but organizers aspire to make it the best run in the state.
This year’s race will be held on Saturday, July 27. The night before the race, runners, as well as the public, are invited to load up on carbs with a pasta dinner sponsored by the Morgan County Fair.
There will be an expo held again this year at the Morgan County Fairgrounds that will feature vendors centered on healthy living, running and nutrition Friday from 4 - 8 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. There is no charge for booth rental and there is still room for more vendors. This will also be the location awards will be given to top runners in individual categories.
All three races begin and end at the Morgan County Fairgrounds. The route has been certified again this year, so runners can use this race to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Each runner receives a “swag” bag, if you have a business you would like to promote, contact event organizers to be included in this bag.
Most of the sponsors for the marathon are from businesses in Morgan. Holcim Inc. has been the title sponsor since 2011 and Young Ford in Morgan began their sponsorship this year. Other important sponsors that have helped out each year are Dr. Jess Hopkin, Jerry Pierce, Dr. Jim Ellis , Striders running store, Ridleys, Rosehill Dairy, Pallet Express and the medical team from Mountain Star.
There is a great expense attached to organizing a marathon. Race permits, insurance, law enforcement, barricades, portable toilets, race shirts, medals, food and prizes….the list seems endless. Without sponsors and great local and community support, the marathon would not be possible.
Event proceeds go directly back to the community. Morgan High School receives scholarship funds and donations are made to families in need in the community.
Above all, organizers really strive to make a difference in the community and in people’s lives. Running changes lives, helping people to be healthier and happier. The MVM slogan is Do More….Be More….Run Morgan! Do more than you think is possible….Be more than you thought you could be…. Run Morgan and discover or rediscover the joy in running.
“Watching runners fulfill their goals and dreams is the best part of organizing a marathon. The dream to host a marathon in Morgan has become a reality. It involves hard work and much time and energy, but when you see runners crossing the finish line with a smile on their face…you know…it was all worth it,” say event organizers.
Register online at www.morganvalleymarathon.com. To say thank you to all Morgan runners, use promo code RUNMORGAN to get 15 percent off any race.
Volunteers are always needed. Volunteers “run” the race while the runners run the race. If you’re not able to participate, remember to watch the roads on marathon day and cheer on the runners as they pass by.
While viewing the race, please be mindful of the runners’ safety. The course is not a closed course, which means cars will be allowed to drive during the race. Runners should stay on the right side of the orange cones and against traffic while always following the marked route.
There may be a tendency for some drivers to follow their runner, but they are advised to cheer for their runner somewhere with plenty of parking. Some of the better areas to view the runners will include the Porterville LDS Church, the Milton LDS Church, the Enterprise LDS Stake Center, and Hinds convenience store. All three races will run past the Riverside Park in Morgan and this is a great place to cheer for that last leg of the race.