The Origins of the Upcoming Virgin River Half-Marathon in January
With 2024 now less than two weeks away, it’s time to look toward the new year and what awaits Southern Utah during the opening months.
The city of St. George will kick off the year with the Virgin River Half-Marathon on January 13 with the kickoff event at 9 a.m. at the Dixie Convention Center.
David Cordero, the director of communications for the city of St. George, said the Virgin River Half-Marathon has a bit of a confusing origin story.
Cordero said, “People love to run here in St. George, and in particular, they love to run at all times of the year, which our climate allows. That’s why we started what used to be called the St. George Half-Marathon.”
You heard that right, this event used to be an extension of the widely popular St. George Marathon. Cordero said this event was mainly catered toward snowbirds, visitors from colder areas who come to St. George for the warmer weather.
Cordero said, “It was always in the middle of January, and it was always a haven for folks in the mountain West who were having to dig themselves out of the snow all the time. The idea was to come down to St. George and enjoy a weekend with your family, and by the way, while you’re here, run a 13.1 mile half-marathon.”
So, why did they change the name of the St. George Half-Marathon to the Virgin River Half-Marathon?
Cordero said, “When we decided to add a half-marathon to the St. George Marathon, under that window, we decided to change the name of the race that was formerly known as the St. George Half-Marathon. We thought to change it to the Virgin River Half-Marathon since it’s mostly run along a trail along the Virgin River, and it’s a really cool race.”
Along with the half-marathon, a 10-K, a 5-K, and 200-meter fun run centered around kids and those with special needs. More information can be found on the city’s website along with methods of registration should you wish to participate in the race.
St. George Marathon 2023
Gallery Credit: Elle Cabrera