The country’s largest indoor marathon is coming to the Utah Olympic Oval in 2012. The Icebreaker Indoor Marathon & Half Marathon will take place on Feb. 9-11 on the running track around the ice oval in Kearns.
The Utah event will be similar to the original Icebreaker, which has been held the past three years at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, Wis. It will feature a marathon, half marathon, marathon relay and 5k race.
“We have had such great success with our race in Milwaukee that we have decided to expand the concept to Utah,” said Chris Ponteri, the founder of the Icebreaker and owner of Longrun Athletics. “This is a one-of-a-kind event for distance runners and gives them a great chance to run a long race in the middle of winter without having to travel to a warmer climate.”
Ponteri said all of the events in Milwaukee have sold out each year and that the demand is growing for these types of events. The Icebreaker was one of the indoor marathons that were featured in a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
This past January, over 800 runners competed in the four races at the Pettit Center’s indoor track, which also goes around an Olympic-sized skating oval like Utah’s. Ponteri said he expects to have a similar number of runners at the Utah event.
The capacity for the marathon will be 130 runners, while the capacity for the half marathon will be 260 and will be done in two heats. The marathon relay will hold 100 teams of 2-4 runners and the 5k race will have a field size limit of 75 runners.
The races will all be chip-timed and there will be screens set up to show runners how many laps they have completed. Runners will have to finish approximately 95 laps for the full marathon and marathon relay and 47.5 for the half marathon.
The marathon relay will feature a “tag-team” format in which teams can switch runners as often as possible, which makes it an event for anyone who can finish a lap.
The tentative schedule for the Utah event is as follows: Thursday, Feb. 9 – 5k race; Friday, Feb. 10 – half marathon (two heats); Saturday, Feb. 11 – marathon (a.m.) and marathon relay (p.m.).
Registration will open around August 1 and the link can be found on the event website at www.indoormarathon.com.