Sunday, January 21, 2018

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon - The Race

Last weekend I ran (technically mostly walked due to bronchitis) the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona half marathon.  This was my first race in Arizona, which became the 10th state that I have completed a half marathon in.  What drew me to this race was that my husband had never been to Arizona, I wanted to escape the cold in the Midwest, we were both off for the MLK holiday, I have family in the Phoenix-area, and I knew that I would be running at least one other Rock 'n' Roll race in 2018.

Why you should run this race:

  • The race expo was downtown and easy to get in and out of.
  • The race website had every detail that I needed for race weekend, especially since I was coming from out of town and was unfamiliar with the area.
  • Distances available include kids run, 1 mile run, 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon
  • Downtown Tempe (start line for the half marathon and 10k and finish line for the 10k, half, and full marathon) is such an amazing place with restaurants and shops that appeal to anyone!
  • Scenic, and mostly flat course.  The couple hills I remember rewarded you with great views at the top!
  • Plenty of music along the course.
  • Large crowd leading into the finish line.
  • Post race food for the half marathon included Gatorade, bottled water, chocolate milk, Pringles, bananas, and granola bars.
  • New course signage debuted at this race.
  • Half marathon started in Tempe, ran into Scottsdale, then Phoenix, and back into Tempe for the finish.
  • Expo and the race were all accessible by car and public transportation and both were also close to the airport making this trip very easy for out-of-towners.
  • January temperatures in Phoenix are usually in the 50's and 60's and SUNNY!
  • There are plenty of things to do, see, and taste while you are in town.  We went to an ASU basketball game and a Phoenix Suns NBA game, hiked Hole in the Rock, and ate at In-n-Out Burger just to name a few things.

The only suggestion I had for next year was to make the corrals larger.  Although they were marked with the new signage, they were closer together than any race I had ever seen marked corrals at, and the start line area was a bit chaotic as a result.  I still found my running buddy/cousin in the chaos though, and we enjoyed our time on the course.

Here are a few photos from the expo and the race.

My cousin and I at the start line
The craziness in the corrals

Getting closer to the start line
Police on the rooftops overlooking the start line

Scenery along the course

View of downtown Phoenix from the top of the hill

My favorite entertainment group on the course

Nearing the finish line

Celebration area from the bridge
The medal!!!

I hope you will consider adding this race to your 2019 lineup!

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