ST. GEORGE — Following a request for proposal process in which proposals were made by outside entities to potentially lease the St. George Marathon from the city of St. George, the Leisure Services Department has decided to continue operating the marathon.
“The future viability of the marathon was never in doubt. Many considerations were made on all levels and aspects of leasing the St. George Marathon,” Leisure Services Director Shane McAffee said in a press release from the city. “We rely on city resources to run this event. It was part of our due diligence to see if an outside entity could do a better job operating the event while at the same time allowing the St. George Marathon to retain the local flavor for which it has become famous. We received several viable options that could probably work. However, we felt it was best to keep our marathon operations plan intact. We thank Mayor Jon Pike and the city council for their support during this process.”
The St. George Marathon began in 1977 and has received many accolades over the years, including being rated by Runner’s World as one of the four “Marathons to Build a Vacation Around” and included in Runner’s World’s “10 Most Scenic and Fastest Marathons” and “Top 20 Marathons in the USA.”
A qualifier for the Boston Marathon, the St. George Marathon is hosted annually on the first Saturday in October. Its intangible value to the city is immense as it fosters civic pride while increasing the city’s profile in the West. It is also well known for its legion of volunteers who give a warm, personal touch to the event.
“After we began the RFP process, we received an outpouring of responses from the community in favor of the City supporting this event,” Michelle Graves, leisure services deputy director of arts and events, said in the release. “We will continue to host it and are honored to keep it as a showcase of our community to the world.”
This year, a half marathon race will be added to marathon weekend. The 13.1-mile race, now dubbed the “Mini Marathon,” will also be offered along with a new Trifecta series. Runners can sign up for the Trifecta, which includes the runner’s choice of either the St. George Marathon or Mini Marathon, along with the Snow Canyon Half Marathon in November and the St. George Half Marathon the following January. The early bird price is $200 and is available for purchase beginning April 1.
The St. George Marathon will host an open forum with refreshments at the St. George Running Center on March 25 at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome as the forum will discuss ideas, suggestions and answer questions about the 44th annual St. George Marathon, set for Oct. 3.
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