- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay, Other
- Road Race
- Event Website
This was my 4th time running the PF Changs Rock n Roll Arizona Half Marathon. It was by far the smoothest experience I've had to date. I signed up immediately following last year's race, as this race series can get extremely pricey!
Communication from race management was good as the race approached. We had a major scare a few days prior to the race when we received emails saying that we might not get the medals in time. I did think it was great that they gave us a heads up - it would have been a major PR disaster otherwise. Luckily, the medals arrived on time!
The expo itself was well organized, but not as robust as I've seen at other RnR races. The shirt is good quality and the medal is even sweeter because we appreciated having it all the more at the finish line. This year they started a 4-year medal series where each year the medal is part of a larger medal. If you collect all 4, you'll have one really large medal made up of your 4 achievements. Pretty cool!
I avoided the parking headaches this year (it's always a nightmare) and took light rail. Best decision ever.
The start line experience went so much smoother this year than in previous year. The corrals were not crowded, and I never really felt like I was having to work hard to dodge people along the way, despite having over 20,000 runners. It really spread out well.
The course is flat up until mile 9 ish, but since it's also the most scenic part, it does provide some distraction. There were tons of cheer stations and spectators which helped keep our spirits lifted.
I felt that the finish area was a bit chaotic, since the half, full and 10k all finish in the same place. Very crowded. But once you got through it and headed towards the concert stage and beer garden, it was more spread out. This race brings out a lot of out-of-towners looking to escape winter. It was picture-perfect weather (near 70 at the post race concert), and there were lots of people taking advantage of the vast choices for post-race noshing at the restaurants along Mill Avenue.
Getting your official results was not the smoothest experience. I talked to several people who couldn't find their results on the website. Once I did find mine, I was dismayed to find out that my results were listed under the 10k results - very frustrating! I would love to see QR codes on our bibs where we could instantly get results.
Overall, great experience!