Craft Classic Phoenix
Craft Classic Phoenix( 7 reviews )
A BArizona, United States
I do have to start by saying that packet pickup only being on the east side, and not available on race day, was disappointing to me, as I live on the far outskirts of the city. It wasn't logistically easy to get over there, but I did make it work with about 30 minutes to spare on Saturday.
I had to drive 70 miles coming from the far west side, so of course I hit all the traffic and arrived late on race day. Despite that, parking was easy and I there were plenty of signs to find my way to the start line. In addition, I should note that the pre-race emails made it very clear where to go and where to park; well done.
The course started out at sunrise, and was beautiful against the giant fountain of Fountain Hills. The first several miles were fairly flat, with some rolling hills. While the street was coned off for runners, there were still a few cars that got into the running path, and this was awkward for runners and the drivers... not the race's fault, just something the community clearly wasn't used to.
Once I caught up to the back of the pack, we began running a never-ending hill... no really... I've run San Fran, the RNR Ran Diego with those last few miles uphill on the freeway... and they didn't even compare to this. In fact, there was a King of the Mountain sign when you reached the apex (thanks to Adidas for giving away shoes to the fastest and slowest times up the hill). Once I reached the top, I felt like, okay, I lived, and only walked about a mile... but then there would be a steep downhill followed by a radiant uphill again... they just kept coming.
Aid stations were space for such a difficult course, but kudos to the volunteers working hard out there... the water and Nuun were cold through the end. There also weren't many port-a-potties, but I also didn't see any lines, so I guess there were plenty!
The t-shirt was awesome (it says On a Beer Run), the medal was unique and quality, and even the bib looked like a 6-pack. There was a whole set up of craft beer for the post-race (I don't drink beer, but this was cool if your a beer lover).
I do not do hill training- I run for fun, not necessarily to get faster, etc. so I definitely was not prepared for this. This will not be a PR course. But, if you are up for the challenge of hellacious hills, beautiful scenery, beer, and really friendly volunteers (plus a race that supports local businesses), do this one. It will hurt like hell during it, but you'll be proud after.