Phoenix Marathon 2014 Race Review

The Phoenix Marathon was a great race!  Spoiler Alert: I PRed! But we'll get to that in a minute.

First off, the expo was small but still a great one.  The Race Shirt *AND* arm warmers are on my top five for best race swag!


Now, keep in mind this isn't as large of a race as those in the Rock N Roll Marathon Series, so the free samples of power bars, Gatorade, etc were minimal... but that's not why I go to expos anyway. 

The atmosphere was still awesome, the weather amazing, and the swag we got gets a two thumbs up!  Plus, I donated to the Phoenix Marathon Foundation  (it goes towards local scholarships, a great cause!) and ended up getting a pair of black arm warmers with the awesome logo on it as well.
Pretty sweet!

 After the expo I went home, carb-loaded on some ravioli, and gathered up all my things for the morning. Unfortunately, the forecast was calling for some major rain all throughout the morning. So that meant preparing to get wet!  But let me set the record straight... we desert rats hadn't seen rain in MONTHS so we welcomed it!

My extra rain gear included a cheap poncho, plastic hair nets for my shoes, a breathable hat, and a plastic bag for my phone (it's 26.2 miles... I wasn't going without my tunes! lol).  The rest was normal gear that I use during marathons: fuel belt, GU, phone arm band, compression sleeves, Vaseline (for the chafing) and old sweater/pants that I could donate/ditch at the start.


I will warn you, this is one EARLY race! Runners must be bussed to the start, and the last bus leaves promptly at 5AM.  I know... I'm a night owl and this was probably the only downside about this race.  I had some overnight oats and a banana, grabbed my stuff and a few friends and I were off to the bus!
The race start is not until 6:30AM, but that gives you plenty of time to wait at the porta-pottys. 

We ended up lucking out.  The weather was perfect up until the start! There were heaters going for the runners while we waited around... and it didn't start raining until right when we lined up at the Starting line.  I ditched everything except for the poncho at that point.  I decided to stay as dry as I could for as long as I could. 

The rain eventually stopped at around mile 3 and I tossed the poncho shortly after that. I was wet from the rain, but it kept me cool.  And the overcast weather made for perfect marathon temps!  I had used extra Vaseline everywhere to keep from chafing since I knew I'd be super soaked by the end of the race.  The only problem I had was my fuel belt ended up rubbing the small of my back a little raw.. but nothing too horrible.  

The course is basically downhill/flat... with about a 1000ft net elevation loss. Which is why so many people come to this race to qualify for Boston.  A friend of mine has now qualified *twice* for Boston on this course! I didn't BQ, but I DID set a personal record! I finished my marathon in 3:46!  I owe it all to the fast course, AND to the 3:45 pace leader.  I did thank him afterwards, because If I didn't push myself to stay with him the whole time.. I know I wouldn't have done as well as I did. 


Usually I start bonking hard around mile 20-22 and that's where I lose a lot of time.. but this race I tried to make sure I ate something at every mile.. and I believe that really helped!  I'd taken GU with me but they offered cliff shots and slices of oranges and bananas throughout the race.  I swear those bananas kept me from cramping and helped me to keep my 8:38 pace!

At the finish, I picked up my awesome medal and changed into some dry clothes.  I was soaked to the bone but still feeling great!
I'm so proud of myself for knocking nearly 30 minutes off my last marathon time!  I owe it all to the course and the pace leader.  I want to thank them again publicly here on my blog!  You guys rock!


I highly recommend the Phoenix Marathon to all runners (for the Full AND Half!)
 Despite the small amount of rain, the weather was amazing!  You will love the people, the course, and it will propel you to either set a personal record.. or snag that Boston Qualifying time! 












If you ran the Phoenix Marathon as well, let me know what you thought of it below.  If you have any questions about the race, feel free to comment and I'll make sure you've got everything you need to run this race with me again in 2015! :)



Comments

  1. I have run this race the last three years and I absolutely love it! Great job on your PR! What's up next for you?

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    1. Thanks! And glad you love it as well! Up next is a Ragnar Trail Relay, then the San Francisco Marathon... followed by a new Half-Marathon PR (I hope)! New rest for the weary! LOL How about you??

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  2. Wow!! Congrats to you!!! That's an awesome time! I loved my 4:25 pacer and wish I could've stayed with him the entire way. I've got a lot to learn as this was my first marathon :)

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    1. Your First Marathon is all about the learning experience. Crossing the finish line IS your PR! :) And although your muscles may be cursing you now, you'll know what to expect NEXT time and can really kick butt! :D congrats on finishing your first 26.2 Helly! How'd you celebrate??

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  3. Congratulations! What was your strategy? Did you stay with the 3:45 pacer from the start?

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    1. Yeah, I stuck with the 3:45 pace team from the start. I had to stop and pee THREE times though, but I'd sprint to catch up to them after each pit stop... so I was running 8 minute miles some of the time! LOL. (sidenote, just posted a new pic at the top of the awesome swag! )

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  4. Great Job! That's a huge amount of time off from your previous PR!

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    1. Thanks a ton! Yeah, I actually followed Bart Yasso's marathon training progam this time around and it really worked for me. So I'll definitely use it again for my next one! Do you use a training plan? (sidenote, just posted a new pic at the top of the awesome swag! )

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  5. I am so excited! Just signed up for Phoenix to be my very first Marathon! Read about my post here: www.runningwithsdmom.com I hope the course is everything you said it would be and that the weather cooperates. I don't handle heat well! YAY and congrats on your PR!

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    1. Woo Hoo! So exciting! I sure hope it doesn't rain on you, like it did on us HOWEVER, that kept the temps cool and it turned out for the best. Keep me posted on how it goes. Can't wait to hear all about it!

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  6. Thanks for the great race report - I am planning to run this in 2015 and hopefully PR!

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    1. I'm going to run it again! such a great course to PR on! Best of luck. Look me up when you're there! :)

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  7. I'm so glad I found this report! I ran the 2014 Disney marathon as my first and this will be my second. The Disney had so many people even in my own corral I couldn't find the 4:00 pacer I had hoped to run with...I bonked at 22 miles despite preparations. I'm hoping the gradual downhill will be a boost this time. Thanks so much for the info!

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    1. I hope this is YOUR race to shine! :) I love it and will be running it again. Many of my friends have BQ'ed and this was my race to break 4 hours. Good luck!!

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  8. Thanks for your review! I am running the marathon this weekend and have been looking for other runners' reviews! Sounds like you had a great race. Happy running :)

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