Run the AF Half Marathon, Fight Cancer

04.4.2011 | 12:19 pm

201104041111.jpg I’d like to take a moment and list a few things I really, really, really like.

  • American Fork Canyon: The fact is, when I moved back to Utah, I made a point of moving as close to it as I could afford. This is because it’s beautiful and hosts incredible biking, both road and mountain. It’s also where Tibble Fork is, which is the best place in the world. (In fact, The Runner and I like American Fork Canyon so much we got married there)
  • Fighting Cancer. I should probably be more clear about what I mean by “fighting cancer,” because I think different people mean different things when they say they’re joining the fight against cancer. One way to join the fight is to help raise money for research. That’s awesome. Another way to join the fight is to help people who have cancer and are fighting it. Because of my own experience, this is the fight I am motivated to join in.
  • Running a Half Marathon. You know what’s good about running a marathon? The first half of it. You know what’s a good distance to work up to running that most people can achieve? A half marathon. (I swear, The Runner did not force me to say any of these nice things about running.)

So when some people at Intermountain Health (which is where The Runner works as a nurse) asked The Runner and me to help organize the first annual American Fork Canyon Half Marathon and 5K, with all proceeds going toward helping people who can’t afford cancer treatment, answering “yes” was easy.

And if you’re local (I.e., if you’re anywhere near American Fork Canyon, UT) I’d love to have you join us — either as a racer, or helping us out on before and during the race day.

A Little About The Race

There are a few very important things you should know about this race.

1. It will be downhill. Since the AF Canyon half marathon starts at Tibble Fork Reservoir, comes down the canyon, and finishes at American Fork High School (click here to see the course in Google Maps), it has a really nice, moderate, downhill grade pretty much the whole way. Check out the elevation profile:


So even if you’re not normally much of a distance runner, think about the fact that gravity will be on your side.

2. It will be beautiful. I don’t love American Fork Canyon merely because it’s a good climb or has good access to terrific trails. I love it because it is a beautiful canyon. I don’t have any video of me running down it, but I think it might be worth doing a replay of a video I took a couple years ago riding down this canyon:

Seriously, if you’re going to run a half marathon, this is a beautiful place to do it.

3. The cause couldn’t be better. I get a knot in my stomach thinking how much more stressful and awful the cancer experience would have been if I would have had to be considering finances the whole time. Horribly, that’s the reality for a lot of people. All of the proceeds from this race will go to lighten the financial load of people who are fighting cancer here, close to home.

4. The race will be June 25. So you’ve still got time to prepare for it.

Sign Up or Help Out

I’d love to see hundreds and hundreds of people lining up to participate in this event, and I’d even more love to see some Fat Cyclist jerseys at the finish line (I’m not sure, but think that’s where The Runner and I will be helping out on race day). In which case I will give you a hug.

Unless you don’t want one.

If you can open the day up, please go visit the race site, learn more, and register. And I’ll see you there.

Or if you don’t think you can (or want to) sign up to race, we could sure use your help volunteering to make this event as awesome as possible. Email me with the subject line “AF Canyon Half,” and let me know when and how much you can help.


  1. Comment by Scott R | 04.4.2011 | 12:37 pm

    About 18 hours of driving each way for me… but still so insanely tempted!

  2. Comment by DOM | 04.4.2011 | 1:13 pm

    Beware of the downhill run course. A great chance for a fast time provided your legs are ready. Many get surprised at the toll running downhill puts on the quads.

  3. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 04.4.2011 | 1:16 pm

    I’m running my first half-marathon this month. (SLC) If it is not an unmitigated disaster, I might just line up at AF. Or, I could climb AF Canyon on my bike and yell at the runners as they run on by.

  4. Comment by Tim Zim | 04.4.2011 | 1:36 pm

    I just signed up for the St. George Marathon lottery — if I get picked, I’ll sign up for this 1/2 as a great way to get acclimated to downhill running.

    Good job Fatty, keep up the great work you’re doing.

    Plus, I just mapped out my 100 Miles of Nowhere loop. ~140 loops of this guy, with my house right in the middle for breaks/food. If any Coloradans want to join, let me know!,-105.0780529+to:cheyenne+st,+longmont,+co+to:Redfield+Cir+to:Sandpoint+Dr&geocode=FfZhZQIdXZq8-SmjUdkJKPlrhzGIlVA8UDDGBQ%3BFQdcZQId3KK8-SndB2P_J_lrhzHNpyOAZAZ4IQ%3BFUtbZQIdqZ68-SndAlfxJ_lrhzFfDcB7-zRpEg%3BFRJeZQIdJI-8-Q%3BFfphZQIdWpq8-Q&hl=en&mra=dme&mrsp=4&sz=17&via=1&sll=40.19788,-105.081115&sspn=0.004294,0.006899&ie=UTF8&z=17&lci=bike

  5. Comment by Richard (boomerang guy) | 04.4.2011 | 2:01 pm

    Hey Fatty: I think the run is a great idea and would love to participate, but my schedule has me in San Francisco. Hey, why don’t you offer a ride like your 100 miles to nowhere. People who couldn’t make it could enter the run, get a t-shirt, and on the day of the run, do their own 13 mile run or a bike ride. I would imagine that you have a lot of riders from all over the United States who would love to “participate”.

  6. Comment by Obstinate Roadie | 04.4.2011 | 2:11 pm

    Is this a mass start bike race or time trial? I couldn’t figure out what you meant by “running.”

  7. Comment by Andy | 04.4.2011 | 2:24 pm

    “Buses will leave from American Fork High School at 4 a.m.”

    What??? 4AM??? Will it even be light when the race starts?

    The run starts at 6am. It’ll be light. The race has to start early because the Forest Service won’t let the road be closed past 8am. – FC

  8. Comment by zach in a cubicle | 04.4.2011 | 3:18 pm

    Downhill and in the dark…!!! money.

  9. Comment by serviced apartment at goa | 04.5.2011 | 12:02 am

    You were very good at telling the plus points of this race. I’m sure that many will come when they read your piece.

  10. Comment by CBJ | 04.5.2011 | 6:18 am

    Wow…beautiful place!

  11. Comment by Squirrelhead | 04.5.2011 | 6:24 am

    That was a great video Fatty. How long is that climb?

  12. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 04.5.2011 | 6:25 am

    There are so many reasons that I wish I lived in Utah. This would be one of them. Wish I could run with you guys!

  13. Comment by SYJ | 04.5.2011 | 9:07 am

    Very tempting…I think I just might pull the trigger.

    BTW, not to tell you how to run your site or choose your advertisers, but the Swedish Snus ad running above your banner seems a bit *ahem* oddly placed.

  14. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.5.2011 | 1:33 pm


    Where’s my bus….we’re coming Fatty. Can I park in the driveway

  15. Comment by Wife#1 to the rescue | 04.5.2011 | 1:45 pm

    Here David… I *think* this link will work instead.ColorSlide01L.jpg

  16. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.5.2011 | 1:49 pm

    Apologies to all of Fatty’s friends. Wife #1 was trying to “help”. And she’s the communications manager. Oh well, whoever sees it will get the idea. I’d still like to park in the driveway.

  17. Comment by Travis | 04.9.2011 | 12:51 pm

    Just did 7 miles in preparation for it yesterday. Can’t wait to set a fast time on a beautiful course.

  18. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Come Ride AND EAT with Me Tomorrow at the 100 Miles of Nowhere | 06.3.2011 | 11:27 am

    [...] Note From Fatty: As I’ve mentioned before, I’m supporting and even involved in organizing the upcoming American Fork Canyon Marathon. [...]


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