I LOVED this race!!
While standing in line to meet Kara Goucher at the Las Vegas R&R Marathon, I ran into fellow Marathon Maniac Don Pemberton. Needing Arizona in my 50 State Quest and really wanting to avoid the high cost of doing another Competitor event, I asked Don (an AZ native) what his favorite Arizona marathon was. He answered without delay, the Lost Dutchman Marathon. The timing and cost of this event was perfect, so I signed up.
The race was right outside Mesa, so I asked my cousin and her husband if they could put me up for the weekend and they graciously said yes. THANK YOU Christie and Danny!
Going to the Expo!
I want to see these guys!
Now THIS is my kind of Expo!
I flew into Phoenix Saturday morning and went straight to the expo in Apache Junction (which was only 8 miles from my cousin's house- score!) As I walked into the expo, I was greeted with a table of cookies! I was in love with this race already! I picked up my bib and awesome race shirt and looked around the expo for a bit. I ran into a few other Maniacs and we chatted a few minutes and then I went over to my cousin's house where I relaxed, had dinner and just had a nice time with my sweet family. After dinner we went home and I hit the sack. My alarm would be going off at 3:00am and I wanted to make sure I was somewhat rested.
Maniacs at the Expo
The alarm went off and I got dressed and was out the door at 4:00am. The first bus left for the start at 4:30am and since I didn't know the area, I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get lost in the dark and still have time to catch a bus. Luckily, the rodeo grounds where the buses were departing was pretty easy to find, so I caught the 2nd bus to the start.
Once we got to Gold Canyon, I got off the bus and headed for one of the many mats around campfires which were burning brightly (that was the perk of getting the early bus- I got my choice of campfires). Another fellow Maniac, Ron Rodriguez was on the bus with me, so we set up the one of many Maniac camps. Soon we had many Maniacs around the campfire!
I love the little things like the little mats they laid out by the campfires for us to sit on. I also liked the snacks and hot chocolate! It all kept me nice and toasty!
Don from Arizona and I
Nancy and Mary from Florida
Mary, Nancy, Me and Sue. Utah and Florida together again!
Sue from Utah and Ron from Arizona
Before we knew it, it was time to head to the start line, BUT not before we get our Maniac group pic!
Waiting to start.
While waiting at the start, I ran into a few more Maniacs!
Annette and Arland from Arkansas (with Mary in the back)!
The Arizona Sunrise was awesome!
Before you knew it we were off!
We started off on this really nice packed dirt trail. It felt really good running on it for the first 6 miles!
Jonathan and Rob from Arkansas puts new meaning to father/son bonding. They both earned 10 Marathon Maniac stars after completing this race! CONGRATULATIONS!
The course was pretty hilly and I was feeling tired fairly early in the race. I expected this race would hurt a little more after taking January off. At mile 13 I got a little help refueling with Krispy Kreme donuts and bananas! Yum!
The volunteers were AWESOME!
I LOVED the spectators too!
I stayed pretty steady and felt pretty good for the amount of hills there were. At around mile 18 or 19 I met Andrea, another Marathon Maniac. She was new into the club running her 5th marathon. Having someone to talk to those last few miles can take your mind off the pain for a little while and make the remaining miles go by faster. We were both happy for that!
My new friend Andrea!
At about mile 22, we met Laurie. She was not a Maniac, but was friends with Ron Rodriguez! The three of us ran together the rest of the race and those last miles flew by.
At mile 24, we break through "the wall". I wanted to kick it down!
Once we got to mile 25 we knew we were in the clear to make our goal of finishing under 5 hours. We took one last hill and rounded the corner into the finish chute! 4:57:25. Not a PR, but I will take it!
Andrea, Laurie and I right after we crossed the finish line!
After we finished I made my way to the donkey! I NEEDED a photo with the donkey!
I LOVE it! I am a gold digger! I need that gold for more races!
My other prospector friend!
Me with two speedy Maniacs! Yay Sue!
Me, done and ready to head home!
This race was so much fun. It was really organized, the scenery was breathtaking, the cost was low, the swag was good and the weather was perfect. I would highly suggest the Lost Dutchman Marathon for anyone seeking an Arizona race!