- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Other
- Road Race
This was a really cool race that I would like to do again someday!
They give you a really nice technical tee, a little backpack, chap-stick, a finishers medal, and free race photos.
The aid stations start out every two miles on the mark, but increase to every single mile at some point after the half (thank goodness).
The course starts around a housing development in the middle of the desert and at about mile 5 spits you out onto the longest, straightest stretch of highway through the middle of the desert. I honestly felt like I was in a Road Runner and Coyote cartoon. It was really cool running down the seemingly infinite stretch of straight, flat highway, past tons of cacti and tumble weeds toward the mountains & plateaus in the distance.
Not only was the course incredibly straight, but it was also really, really flat. The course elevation map shows it's almost all slightly downhill, but I honestly don't remember any significant hills up or down.
Parking both at the start and finish were easy (this marathon does not finish where it starts). Also as soon as you got onto the longs stretch of highway your friends/cheer squad could safely pull over to the side to cheer for you pretty much at any point. (I had a bad day and my friends stopped for me at EVERY mile. It seemed like most of the other runners' cheer squads did about the same so there was people cheering you on a solid amount of the time.)
The race was run really well. They had the big flag markers at every mile, a clock at the half, and ample signage anywhere there was actually a turn to be made (not often, but still important so no one would be getting lost in the desert).
My only "problem" with this race was it was in Arizona so while it is December and doesn't actually get too hot temperature wise, the dry heat and sun beating down on you at all times made it seem so much hotter. I was so glad for the aid stations upping to every mile because I felt like the water was evaporating from my throat as I drank it. I don't usually drink much during races, but I stopped at every single of the last aid station, sometimes taking two waters. I would definitely still recommend this race and just say be prepared for the heat!