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BMO Phoenix Marathon or Half Marathon in my case
This was my first time running this race, although I was signed up and ready to go for the 2013 race, I ended up with Plantar Fasciitis and ended up skipping the race, which was probably for the best :). I signed up for 2014 on December 31 to take advantage of the discounted rates and because this race tends to sell out especially in the marathon distance.
There are 3 different race distances that are a part of BMO Phoenix Marathon, marathon, half marathon and 10K. I’ve only participated in the half distance, but it’s a great race for PRs as it is a net downhill course. I think I heard that about 14% of the marathoners qualify for Boston on this course so it’s pretty fast. Since I’m training for the Rome Marathon on March 23, I just wanted to do the half.
When I signed up, I didn’t realize I was going to be traveling for work the few days prior to the race, which resulted in an interesting day before the race.
We left the Omni Nashville at 5:45p CST and headed to the jets. Yes, I am so so lucky I got to fly in a private jet home.
However, we did fly in the smaller jet, which required a stop in Wetherford, OK for about 30 minutes half way thru our trip. We didn’t end up getting back to Phoenix until around 11:00pm, then had to drive to the office and back home, which meant no sleep until after midnight. Burnt Toast moment #1. Normally the night before a race, especially one that starts at 6:30am!!, I’m in bed by 8pm or 9 at the very latest. Who am I kidding? I’m normally in bed at that time no matter what day it is :).
Burnt Toast Moment #2 – when I fell off the sidewalk outside my office, WHAT?? How does that happen? Well it did, resulting in a huge bump & scab along with a decent amount of pain on my left knee. Fortunately when I woke up, it didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t fully scabbed over so I put vaseline all over it and ran with no pain.
The night before as I realized how late we were going to be arriving home, I was frantically facebook messaging Phoenix Marathon to make sure I could pick up my bib the morning of the race. If they weren’t going to let me I was going to have to beg my sister to drive down to Mesa to get my packet. Fortunately, they let me pick up my bib race morning so that eliminated one stress.
So after getting home at midnight, my alarm went off at 2:45am, I jumped out of bed, got ready, ate a piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter, realized I didn’t have any gatorade for my fuel belt bottles and left the house at 3:20am. I stopped at Circle K, where at 3:25am there was a line of 4 people. A LINE??? Again WHAT??? who is at Circle K at 3:30 in the morning? Obviously not me, normally :). Got my gatorade – lemon-lime, my fav, and then started the 35 min drive to Mesa, where the race was.
It’s an easy drive and the race is right off the highway so it didn’t take too long to get there. I got my bib, and my shirt after the race. and then headed to the buses that would take us to the start line.
Each of the races was a point to point so there were 3 different sets of buses taking you to each start line. It took about 20 min (at least that’s how it felt to me, but after only 2.5 hours of sleep, who knows). Once at the start area, there were tons of heat lamps, bag drop off trucks, water, vaseline and 2 announcers that were entertaining us while we listened to music and chilled. There were 2 sides of port-a-potties. I didn’t wait too long, maybe 5 min.
The race started right at 6:30am, it was a mass start with no corrals so i just started about half way back because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen considering that I didn’t get much sleep, oh and I forgot to mention, my dinner was a small container of chips and a 1/4 of a sweet potato muffin, not my normal pizza pre-race meal :(, my knee mishap and that it started to rain right before we took off.
As per usual, the first half of the race was pretty fast, although my legs were just so incredibly tired, especially my quads. I stopped to walk around the halfway point and ran a half mile with a short walk break until mile 10 when I apparently got my second wind and ran the rest of the way. Burnt Toast moment #3 when I got my garmin out before I left, I realized it was dead, I was able to charge it for the 35 min drive, thank goodness for USB ports in cars!! and managed to get to 12.5 miles before it died so I don’t have record on my own devices of a new PR of 2:05:52.
The course itself, to me, was kind of boring, just on the streets of Mesa, no real scenery or anything special, but it wasn’t a horribly expensive race. I think I paid $70.00.
I was happy that I was able to do that well, I really didn’t know what was going to happen and I’m just glad I was able to make it thru with no more burnt toast moments :).
They had a great finish line set-up with food, I saw bananas, oranges, muscle milk, water, bagels and fruit cups. There were a lot of food trucks and other booths and a nice area for awards. I was so incredibly tired, cold and wet that I didn’t take any photos or do anything but grab my shirt, which is awesome, it’s Abion Fit. It really fits well, I don’t normally wear my race shirts, but this one fits great and I discovered last night it even has a cute little pocket.
All in all, it was a really well run race and even with all my Burnt Toast moments, I’m really happy to have added it to my race list as my 17th half marathon.
What kind of crazy things have you had happen to you before or during a race?