Sunday, March 4, 2012

Phoenix Marathon 1/2

As Kristin said, this race was great!  I was a little worried that it would be chaos (packet pickup was!) since it was the inaugural year.  Turns out, it was a fun race, with lots of great swag, and PRs all around. 

The Phoenix Marathon (1/2 course)
First, the course.  It was great.  Beautiful scenery starting at Usery and heading down hill for 3 miles.  Then it leveled out and stayed level or slightly downhill for much of the remaining 10 miles.  The only challenges on the course were some stretches that were directly into the wind (luckily the wind was pretty mild, but you could definitely feel it when you were running into it).  And, there were some hills in the last 2 miles that felt tough, but were probably not as bad as we thought they were (but coming off all the downhills and being the end of the race they felt tough). 

Second, the weather.  It was perfect.  It definitely felt cool while we were waiting at the starting area.  They had some campfires set up so we could stay warm.  However, once we started running, the cool air felt wonderful.  I loved the temps throughout the race and I felt fully comfortable running! 

Another Medal and another PR!
Sunrise at the starting line
Third, other race logistics.  It wasn't crowded.  There was plenty of room on the course.  I didn't feel like I was adding extra mileage dodging other runners.  Additionally, there were plenty of port a potties at the starting area.  So, I could use the potty just before the race started and I didn't have to stop on the course.  This was huge--the last couple of races I ran I lost between 5 and 10 minutes waiting in line to use a port a potty.  It was nice not to have to worry about that.  The race crew also did a nice job of keeping water, powerade, and gels stocked at all the aid stations.  The finish wasn't too crowded or chaotic and there were lots of goodies to be had (even cotton candy!!). 

The other great part about this race was that I got an awesome PR--2:12!  I've been chasing 2:15 for my last couple of halfs and I was happy to beat it on Saturday.  This PR is about 9 minutes faster than my previous PR.  It's also a almost a full hour faster than the first half marathon I ran 6 years ago.  It's crazy to think of how far I've come since then. 

Also, I placed 11th for the Athenas!  Not too shabby overall.  Next big race-Marquee 1/2 Iron Tri!!

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