Cedar Canyon Road,
Main Street Park.
Called one of the fastest half marathon courses in the country, the Cedar City Half Marathon starts near the Cedar Breaks National Monument — at over 8,000 feet above sea level — and loses more than 2,300 feet over the course of the race’s 13.1 miles to the finish line in Main Street Park. The mountains, canyon cliffs and sandstone along the canyon road show off Utah’s natural beauty at a time of year when the fall colors will be in full bloom.
The starting line lies on the Cedar Canyon Road, at an elevation of about 8,200 feet above sea level (Cedar City lies at an altitude of just over 5,800 feet). From there, the course unfolds through the white sandstone cliffs and mountain faces of the canyon, taking runners along Highway 14 as it winds its way roughly westward through the canyon toward Cedar City, dropping nearly 2,400 feet in elevation by the time runners reach the finish line in Main Street Park. Along the way, runners leave the roadway just after passing the mile 10 marker, where they head onto the Canyon Trail, a paved running, walking and jogging trail that is shaded by willow and cottonwood trees as participants keep heading west toward the city. Runners will stay on the Canyon Trail for just over a mile until they reach U.S. Highway 14 again, and then cross over 14 to join up with North Highland Drive, which they follow north for nearly half a mile. The final couple of miles of the half marathon route are largely flat in to the finish line, as they wind past the Cedar Canyon baseball complex along 275 North and into the city, crossing onto Center Street. There’s just a few more turns before runners are hitting the home stretch along South 100 East, and making their way in to the finish line at the park.
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