- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
This was my second Revel race. After a wonderful experience at the Revel Big Cottonwood half marathon in September 2017, my husband and I were eager to take on another half marathon. We signed up for the Revel Mt.Lemmon half marathon, and it did not disappoint. Here's some more about our experience:
EXPO and SWAG:
Though the expo was a little off the beaten path (held in an ice skating rink), it had all of the essentials and then some. We knew that this was the inaugural Mt.Lemmon half, so given that, we were especially impressed with the expo, particularly that they had Rapid Reboot compression boots to use (without a line!) pre-race. The swag for Revel races is wonderful. I received a long sleeve tech finisher shirt for an additional $5. I thought that this was well-worth the few extra dollars because I have SO many short sleeve finisher shirts. The shirts are high quality and came in Women's size XS!). This is a huge deal for me, because so often finisher shirts languish in my closet, because they are unisex or don't come in size XS. I also LOVE that they provided socks and throw-away gloves! The start of the race was a bit chilly, so the gloves really came in handy ;)
The race starts at the top of Mt.Lemmon and has runners descend down 13.1 miles to the finish. Because of that, the race offered a shuttle to the top of Mt.Lemmon. We didn't have to wait long for the shuttle (which was a charter bus!) to take us to the top. There were TONS of porta-potties for use pre-race (which is always a concern for me).
There were scarcely any spectators on the course besides the hydration and medical tent volunteers. However, what the course lacked in crowd support, it made up for in scenery. Even though I had visited Tucson several times before, I had only seen Mt. Lemmon from a distance. So this was my first time up close and personal, and the mountain did not disappoint. I was completely captivated as the course spiraled, twisted, and curved down Mt. Lemmon’s saguaro cactus-spotted cliff faces. The course is almost entirely downhill (except for the last mile!), so as long as you run smart, you can do incredibly well. In my case, I knew that I needed to maintain a consistent pace for the first 12 miles, because I knew that the final mile would be difficult (especially after previewing the course the day before), but I didn’t realize just HOW challenging it would be. At that point, my quads were on fire, not adjusting at all to the altered elevation. I was trying to maintain my 6:30 min/mile pace, but I couldn’t do so. My pace dropped to 7:00 min/mile, and I had a sinking feeling I would not maintain my lead. As I came into the final stretch of the race I saw Matt and his parents, who cheered me on saying, “You got it – you’re going to win this!” I crossed the finish line with a 3 min PR of 1:25:22. I broke the “winner tape” and almost cried in excitement and elation. Matt and I embraced, and I discovered that he’d placed 2nd overall with an almost 2 minute PR. We couldn’t have asked for better collective races.
After the race we were excited to discover that the Rapid Reboot compression boots were also available for use! We used them and I seriously felt that they expedited our recovery. Other post-race perks included: Papa John's pizza, free race photos, and free entries into next year's race (our top finisher prizes!).