Join Morgan Hill Marathon + Half
The beautiful green, tree-dotted rolling hills of central California’s southern Santa Clara Valley are the setting for the late fall running of the Morgan Hill Half Marathon, which makes its annual running this year, and is timed to take place between October’s San Jose Rock & Roll Half Marathon and the California International Marathon in December.
Perhaps best known for the distinctive hill known as El Toro, which can be seen throughout the city to the west and has become part of the city’s identity in its official seal and logo, Morgan Hill has seen its population grow in recent decades with the growth of California’s high-tech industry in nearby Silicon Valley, many of whose workers make their home in Morgan Hill and in other South Valley communities nearby.
The half marathon follows an out-and-back loop course that starts and finishes at the Morgan Hill Centennial Center on West Edmundson Avenue, which is part of the city’s Morgan Hill Community Park just south of its downtown areas.
From there, those running the half marathon follow a clockwise route along the loop course, heading out first onto West Edmundson for the first mile and a half or so of the race, and then turning right onto Oak Glen Avenue.
Hilly first half. The first half of the race is by far the more challenging half, as runners follow a slow but steady climb (filled with rolling uphills and some downhills) from just below 350 feet above sea level at the starting line to just over 650 feet above sea level at the race’s peak elevation, which occurs at about the mile 6 marker.
After runners pass through mile 6 and begin the second half of the race, the course unfolds with its steepest downhill section between the mile 6 and 7 markers, and then (thankfully!) flattens out for an even, flat race route for the remainder of the race.
Second half flattens out. Along the way, runners will pass through a variety of scenery, from the beautiful green and rolling hills that lie on the west outskirts of town, along Oak Glen and Willow Springs Road, where runners pass by the peaceful lakes of the Uvas and Chesbro reservoirs.
Then there’s a change of scenery in the second half of the race, which brings runners southward through Morgan Hill’s business and downtown districts on the way back in to the finish line at the Morgan Hill Centennial Center and park.
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