Thursday, March 14, 2013

Phoenix Marathon 2013

This is the inaugural year for the Phoenix Marathon.  Last year they had a half marathon, which I believe prepared them well for this year.  The Marathon went super smooth and I was very impressed with crew.  The Phoenix Marathon isn't actually in Phoenix but just east in Mesa, Arizona.  It's a downhill course with a 1,000 feet of decent(there is a small 1-2 mile uphill at mile 4). The race start time was set at 7am but due to a forecasted higher temperature for the day they moved up the start time to 6:30am.  The high was supposed to get up to 82 degrees which I know had a lot of runners worried.  In my mind that just means you need to run a little faster to beat the heat! Motivation!

I drove to the finish line at 4am and caught a quick bus ride up to the start.  The bus was able to drive on a freeway most of the way up there so it made the trip quick.  At the top of the hill(aka "Start") they had music, bon-fires, heat lamps and drinks. The only negative I can think of was the insufficient port-a-potty number making lines very long.  They sang the star-spangled banner and launched fireworks to get the runners pumped up.  This is a medium sized race with a cap of only 2,000 runners(Next year is supposed to be 3,000) so to get over the start line isn't a big problem.   The race begins right under the famous Phoenix arrow which makes for some great views early in the morning.  The first 3-4 miles are a good downhill but not so steep you are having to control yourself too much.  At mile 4 there is a bit of a hill for almost 2 miles but it's so early in the race you don't even notice it.  From there on out it's all gradual downhill  or flat making for a very fast Boston Qualifier.  The finish was great with free massages, food, muscle milk and ice baths.  The heat ended up not being an issue  for me and from what I hear the normal temperature for that time of the year has a high of 68ish.   

The support for this race was pretty good for its first year.  There were quite a few spectators as accessibility was great.  My wife was able to see me 6 times throughout the course and that was while lugging around our 7 month old.  That made it a great race!  Having spectators throughout the entire course was fantastic and made the miles go by quickly.  As far as race support there were a lot of water stations starting with mile 3 and then repeating every other mile until the last 6 miles where the stations were present every mile.  Each water station had water and PowerAde and a few of the stations had  Cliff shots, bananas and oranges. 

Now for the Bling!  The race medal was a cool medal guessed it a Phoenix!  The race shirt was a very cool and simple Nike drifit.  

All in all I really enjoyed the Phoenix Marathon.  It was my second marathon.  My first was the St. George Marathon which is known to be a great marathon. I actually liked the Phoenix Marathon more as it was not such a harsh downhill and there were more spectators throughout the course making the time fly by.  I ended up running 45 seconds slower in this marathon than when I did the St. George, however I was in a lot better shape when I ran the St. George so I would say that these marathons are very comparable.  

I would give this race 4.8 shoes as I thought it was an awesome race!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

SoJo Half Marathon

Communication: Emails are very efficient, in fact I still receive one every month reminding me to sign up for next time J They also were great in providing pictures and race times really fast. Like times right away and pics within a few days. The emails they send now have promo codes which is nice.
Packet Pick Up: Soooo easy. They had some fun sample tables set up and stuff you can buy. They also had a huge layout of the course. Zero waiting to pick up my pack. Pack had fun stuff too. We all love that! Pedometer, freeze gel, energy shots, uhhmmm something else that was cool…can’t remember. Cool stuff.
Course: Course was ideal for a half marathon. Only had one uphill mostly level and downhill.
Course Support: Stations every 2 miles. So nice! Water, Power aid, Sodium water, Coke, pretzels…just really nice. Bathrooms every 4 miles.
Medal: Pretty sweet medal. Shirt was nice but STINKY. It had this really weird smell. I think it was the material. Nice heavy medal which makes it seem like it is a really big deal. Which it is, when it comes right down to it.
After Race Support: Awesome. Everything! Chick Fil A, cupcakes, shaved ice, ice cream, bagels, water, chocolate milk. A runners dream!
4.5 shoes for this sweet race.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Herriman Step Rock Run

Herriman Step Rock Run is held as part of Fort Herriman Days in Herriman, Utah. It is priced just right for the features that they offer. It is more of a fun community activity with little extras, and not a more competitive race. The shirts are just normal T-shirts and not the cutest race shirts we have. The medals are very simple. 

My husband and I have done this race twice, once for the 5k and once for 10k. Both courses are full of hills. There are a few water stations on the course that help get you through the run but nothing extra.

They have a mile fun run for the kids and the non-runners. The fun run goes on the same course as the 5k and 10k, so you can run part of the way together if you are all doing different races.  

Packet pick up is held the morning of the race. The pickup line goes really fast. Both years we have done this race, the after race celebration has been different. The first year we did this race they had a pancake breakfast, the second time fruit and yogurts. They also do a drawing for some of the Fort Herriman Days events. After the race stay the day for the parade and games, rides, and activities held at Butterfield Park.

This race gets 3.5 shoes.