We arrived in Arizona Friday evening and went to the expo in Phoenix. This race was set up a bit different. The 5k was on Saturday in Tempe along with a second expo day. On Sunday was the marathon, half marathon, 10k and relay. So something for everyone and those bling junkies could do a race a day for a “remix challenge”. The marathon started in Phoenix, went though Scottsdale and finished in Tempe.
We parked in the lot in downtown Phoenix and walked to the expo . I have to admit I was a bit giddy seeing all the super bowl signs hanging around with my Patriots in the AFC championship that weekend. The expo was well set up and stocked. My iPhone had finally crashed one too many times so A new phone meant I needed a new Spibelt. I prefere running with a tune band for my small arm but I didn’t have time to order one and I like my little pouch for walks and hikes. Finally found that at a little pop up shop called runners den. Next up was looking for NUUN. I needed a new bottle to run with and they always have great expo deals. I wasn’t sure if I packed my knee brace so I wanted to pick up some KT tape just in case. Hubby also picked up some socks and body glide. There was also some cool races to sign up for but we still don’t know where will be living next year….
My 5k started in Tempe beach park. This is a gorgeous area with paths, playgrounds and more overlooking the beautiful Tempe Town Lake. Now sometimes the smaller race just an after thought but that was not the case here at all. We had our own bag check which was nice because it was a chilly morning. I kept my clothes on until the last possible moment and headed to the back of the corrals. After the national anthem we were off. With all my gear on (see previous post) I felt pretty good. The course was fairly flat save a few overpasses one that was more substantial than others that I actually chose to gun up. We had a lot to look at running by the lake and some cool mountain/rock views. There was a band on course at the other end of a tunnel so it really amplified the sound and pumped you up as we ran though it. We also had a dj towards the end of the run. ( see the little 5k was not forgotten about;). I finished faster than my previous runs since undergoing my Lyme treatment. I felt pretty strong too…maybe I can run a little more?
Finish Festival. After collecting my medal (not bad guitar pick) and grub I met up with my family and went to the finish festival. It was pretty warm now and we sat in the sun and watched Desert Dixie, the post race band, play some country music. I had my free mich ultra. I never drink anymore with my Lyme but I earned it. They also had a kid run for grades k-12. My son is too young but because of this they had awesome inflatables to play on that he LOVED (5 dollars I’m sure for insurance and a signature). We had great fun in the sun.
Back at the hotel. My husband had scored a great deal as a military rate at the Marriott in downtown Tempe. It was a quick (less than ten minute walk for Tempe beach park) which was the hub really for race weekend. *a bit of advice ask to stay at no road side of building, it was a bit loud if you’re a light sleeper like me*. I rested for awhile and then we walked to PF Changs (race sponsor). Yummy food for my crazy diet. More rest after and then I took my son out exploring. (If you cut through garage even quicker walk to the shops). We found a cute candy shop and mini park with bunnies while my hubby kept his feet up in prep for the marathon.
Marathon day. My husband’s run started at 7:50, not too early. He said public transportation was super easy to get to the start.The course, he mentioned as fairly flat and had it not been for the unseasonable warmth (near 80 at finish) he probably would of PR’d. He’s fast too (3 1/2 average) so I can’t imagine being out there longer… Again it was easy for us to walk to the finish. We found our spot. (Marathon and 10k on one side 1/2 and relay peeps on the other). We cheered on the first female and waited for “daddy”.
Finish festival. It was pretty easy meeting up with my eight time marathoner at the baggage area. We chilled by the lake while he caught his breath and then picked up his finisher jacket (free brooks swag). Then it was time to hit the beer garden (children allowed in unlike some other races). The tent provided some good shade as I ate a fruit bowl and they shared a pizza. Entertainment was great with Wallflowers started and then OKgo.
Overall. It was a really fun weekend. A lot to do in the area. We cheered on the Pats at a Buffalo Wild Wings that night. I had really wanted to do a hike the next day but someone was sore so we hit a dunkies instead. The race was very organized, a lot going on, easy to spectate and something for everyone. A+ (just one plus nothing will beat the Bears).