Sand Hollow Marathon mixes beauty and challenge on two distancesThe Sand Hollow Marathon and the new Sand Hollow Half, a 13.1-mile race, will take place March 11 in Hurricane. The races begin and end at the Hurricane Community Center. The marathon begins at 7 a.m., and the half marathon starts at 7:30 a.m.

“The Sand Hollow Marathon and half marathon are on a beautiful course during a great time of the year when it is still cold for the folks up north and at the same time not too hot down here in southern Utah,” said Chris Mathisen, race director for the Sand Hollow Marathon and owner of Red Dog Events. Mathisen said he expects approximately 200 runners for this year, which would represent a 40-runner increase from 2016.

Typically, about 70 percent of the runners are from outside the region.

“This is a more introspective running experience than some of the races with thousands of competitors,” said Kevin Lewis, director of the St. George Area Sports Commission. “The open environment and dramatic landscapes around Hurricane, Utah provide an extra sense of adventure, and the combination of a full and a half marathon at the same time will create an exciting element as well.”

The course includes a few daunting hill climbs. Yet Mathisen said that only adds to the experience for the runners.

“We run our events with the attitude that each one of our runners is very important,” said Mathisen. “The day is all about them. We have as many as 40-plus volunteers who prove to be so helpful, making this a great race with a small-town atmosphere.”

Late registration ends March 10 during packet pickup at the Hurricane Community Center from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. More information is available at sandhollowmarathon.net.

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