Updated 10/16/12


This years technical shirt for the events
The Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon Scottsdale, Az December 2nd, 2012
The new medal for 2012 still features the sunburst

This year was the 25th running of this long time event. Weather was perfect, we had low 50s at race start, and around 60 as I crossed the finish line with clear blue sunny skies. We arrived at 6am to get the parking spot near the start/finish line and the whole lot filled up fast with over a thousand runners for both the Half Marathon and 5k events crowding in. I had done several months of very hard track and treadmill speed interval training for this one, what I consider to be a stepping stone in my training for the rapidly approaching full marathons in January and February.

As the starting time for the Half approached, I warmed up for 15 minutes on side parking lots, not knowing if Id even be able to finish the race this year because of a bad cold virus I had been battling later in the week and I was probably at my worst now on race day. The warm ups felt good, and I would try to see how far I could get this year at a 7:30 pace. 15 minutes after the sun came up, the starting horn blew! We were off, and I started way up front to try to get to my pace as quickly as possible. I soon fell in with the 1:40 group, which were running a bit too fast for my cold to handle. I kept up with them until mile 3 when I backed off a bit and kept ahead of the 1:45 group all the way to the finish line.

We headed north on Scottsdale road, along all the small industrial buildings and parking lots. Then we turn right and into a high end residential district across Gainy Ranch and after a mile turned right back down onto Hayden road through side walks, bike paths and on the main road too. While this run has only 80 feet of elevation change, the constant up hill, and hair pin turns in the parks made it a bit slower than a pure road race. Five miles due south, we turned right and headed toward the finish line through winding turns and back streets. About a quarter mile or less from the finish line, I found myself next to the 1:45 pacer! Where did all his followers go? only one person was left from the dozens that followed him at the start. I came in at the same time as they did, crossing the line in 1:45 and a few odd seconds. For comparison, last year I did 1:50 and the year before was my fastest - 1:47:30. So this was a new PR for this event! I did not have any hope of this from the start, and need less to say was ecstatic as I crossed the line in great shape.

So this was my fastest Fiesta Half I had ever run, chopping over 2 minutes off my fastest time two years ago! The tons of fast repeats on the treadmill during the week kept me going strong until the end.

Next year hopefully Ill be running this without a virus, and be able to hold the 7:30 pace to at least mile six...

Images of the Race
Runners gather at the starting line before the race starts
  Ready to run!
  Seconds before race start
The gun goes off, and we are off!
I am in orange in center
  During the race, at the finishing area
  Rounding the last curve Im coming in for the fastest finish ever!
  Right in, just as the 1:45 group catches up to me. Funny how they started out with a dozen runners, now look whats left after 13.1 miles...
Finishing area scene
Here Im in a line for food and drinks
  The food line, anything good?
  Finish line shot - my fastest Fiesta Bowl half marathon ever!
  Commercial photographer images during the race
  Commercial photographer finish line shot
  Commercial photographer coming into the finish

Shirt for the Mayors Walk Dawn Participated in
St. George Marathon St. George, Utah October 6th, 2012
Shirts from the Marathon - the right one is one they give you

This was our first time at running this event, located in southern Utah near the border to Nevada. Listed as one of the most scenic in the western US, many marathoners will jump at the chance to run this well run top destination event. In fact, there are so many runners that would like to run this event, that they have a yearly lottery pick of only 7500 runners for the marathon, and there is normally a one in four chance of getting in. In our case, I put in last April, and found out by the end of May the I had made it in the very first time! We started planning at that point and my training was more geared toward running this event on October 6th.

The city of Saint George is a smaller city, not quite as large as say Tucson and situated in a very scenic area for its geology including red and yellow cliffs and buttes that are Jurassic and cretaceous in age. It is similar to our Sedona, but the rock is a million years younger. We arrived on a wednesday evening and on thursday and friday
visited the dinosaur track museum, and Zion national park, where much more Jurrassic rock was to be seen.

Race Day, Saturday

The route takes you through the geology on a mostly down hill route. You start in volcanic basalts and black rock in the dark at 6:45am. They have campfires at the staging site and there is food everywhere! very well run at this end for sure. Once the very first glimmer of daylight is seen, the race starts. It was so dark that I couldn't see my pace GPS watch and had to see my running pace only when we ran under a street lamp which was few and far between. Im guessing I was running around and 8:30 pace but Im not too sure. As the sun rose, the magnificent scenery unfolded. Red and yellow buttes and a rich pine covered landscape. while this race drops a whopping 2500 feet from start to finish, the route has very long steep hills, miles long to drain your energy. A fast down hill run to mile 7, then a few miles of a very steep up hill. My pace at that point was slow as I slogged up the steep hill. Then from mile 8 to 12 even more up hill, but slightly less steep. By the time you get to the halfway point at mile 13, your pretty dead and have the second half of the race to go. But its mostly down hill, and while I missed my goal pace by 6 seconds per mile, I had a great time, and it was time wise my second fastest marathon ever. Dawn did the 2 mile Mayors Walk during my run, and we met up afterwards at the finishing area where there was lots of food, fun and things to see.

In retrospect, this was a much harder race than I thought it was going to be. We dont have such long and steep hills near our house I train on, but if and when we do this race again, that will be the major consideration!

Before the Race Activites in the Area (Chris Shots - Canon 10D)
  Driving through St. George Jurrassic cliffs on towns north side has road on top
  Sandstone cliffs surround the area
  Hiking the back trails Friday
  How can one resist the trail to the "Emerald Pools"! Youll see later what they actuall are...
  On the way to the pools
  Over look under huge cliff on the trail Dawn is sitting on railing
  On the trail we got to the river for a scenic shot
  Sandstone layers form fantastic sculptures of Jurrassic rock
  Fossil sand dunes Jurrassic in Age
  Sunset Friday evening
  Driving the route Saturday we had many golden oppourtunities for stunning compositions
  At one of the lookouts along the route we are on Tertiary basalt very young, that sits on the Jurrasic sandstones
Dawns Images - Panasonic Lumix
Zion Park Visitors Center
The trail to the "Emerald Pools"
  River view in Zion
This is why this marathon is a main vacation destination for runners!
  Dripping water fall in the sun
  Dawns shot of a damsel fly on the rocks
Along the nature trail
  Zion visitors stop point
  View at the bus stop
  Waterfall you hike under. There is a person at lower right for scale
  Shooting the rock layers
  Jurrassic rock layers along highway
  The big tunnel into Zion
The Expo and Packet Pickup
  At the Expo, picking up my race bib! Im in green
  Shirt pickup
  Goodie bag pickup Im in green here
  The inside of the Expo
  Expo view
  Leaving the Expo
  Huge illuminated map of the St. George area that was in the hall way outside the expo
  The expo enterance
  Banners all through town
Dawns Images - Panasonic Lumix
Driving the race route - here is the starting line in the day you can see the piles of wood they will use for the campfires
The Start Line!
  Starting corals
Race start view, volcanics very recent in age
  Then the dinosaur trackway museum
Assorted example fossils
The trackways on display - right where they were made
Dilophosaurus model in one of its fossil tracks
Dilophosaurus life size
Im at the trackway look out
  The museum outside
Race Day
  Drop off time at the bus pick up point
  Camp fires at the starting line. There was lots of wind to make it challenging and cold!
  Blazing fire
  Runners crown around fires at the race starting line at 4am
  Starting area with cold runners trying to keep warm
  Starting line for Dawns race walk
  Mayors Walk
  Mayors walk starting line
  Coming into the finish line of the Mayors 2 mile walk
  Finish line area for all races
  Finish line area for all races
  Finish line area for all races
  Finish shoot waiting for the marathoners to arrive!
  Waiting for the marathoners
  Finish line
  Here comes the runners! Im in Red in the center
  Coming in for the finish in 4:06
  The finish area after I came in everyone here that is a marathoner came in around the same time I did
  Relaxing after a greuling marathon!
  the Finish Chute Bag pickup This is where you recover your gear you wore at the starting line before the race started that you dropped off.
  Finish Line shot
  At the finish line
  Table with the winners awards
  Last look at the finishing coral
Going Home
  At the airport, they had this fake cake thing, with a runner at the top!
  Flying back
Big Brother Big Sister Half Marathon Flagstaff, Arizona Aug 11th, 2012
This back roads and trail run through the woods and open meadows of Flagstaff was in record attendance! Weather was perfect once again, and we both did very well. Again this year, while I did the Half, Dawn race walked the 5k. We both did well, I came in at 2:08 and Dawn a very fast time of 42:04. Below is a photo pictorial of the activities. Looking forward to next years race...
Dawns Images - Panasonic Lumix The tables before the race for last minute registrations for the running events... The race coordinator Neil gives preliminary instructions David Bluestein and me talk racing, astronomy and photography. Race Start! Look for me in center with yellow hat: I am in left center, yellow hat Passing by Dawn at race start The runners going down the street heading for the back roads and trails! Just over 2h later, here I come into the finish The final thrust to the finish line! The finish line scene as I headed for the line! The finish line shot Dawn at the finish line! Tons of yellow flowers up in the Flagstaff area on the way home
Gaspin in the Aspens Woods Run Nordic Center, Flagstaff, Arizona June 16th, 2012
The T Shirt Click to Enlarge
This years Event had great cool weather, no clouds and a big maximum 350 attendance. We both did very well, and had a great time in this all woods race. No one was seriously hurt this year, and I think many people PR'd this year from the nearly perfect race conditions. I came in at sub 1:30 for the very first time - at 1:27 and Dawn did great in the 5k at 40 minutes.

After a 2h 15m drive from Payson that morning, we arrived before 7am to find the parking area filling fast. The average racer in these events are a very different breed, most do a big percentage of trail running, and agility rather than speed is the issue here. With a starting elevation of just over 8000 feet, this is also a challenging one for runners that live at lower elevations.

This year, I used my Nike zoom trail shoes for the first time. While the were faster on the flats and down hills than other trail shoes Ive tried here, the comprimise is they are less stable on the rocks and tree branches that cover the trails here. So you have to be careful not to twist your ankle but barring that, your much faster overall.

I still think I can improve a lot on this one. I have not had much opportunity to train under such extreme conditions. All of my running is geared for light trail and mostly marthons. I think If I can get in around 3 months of long steep up hills in before next year, my times can improve an order of magnitude more, since that is my weak spot here.

After the race which took us through the dense apsens and ponderosa pines, we watched the other runners coming in and the awards were given to the fastest runners in each age category. I think Ill have to approach more like 1:15 before I can ever claim one these! But then, there is always next year...
Dawns Images - Panasonic Lumix Before the Race at the Nordic Center The winners will get the ultimate prize Packet Pickup The food table looks pretty good at this point! Cars pile in for the races Warming up me in yellow Runners gather for the start of the 15k Neil Weintraub on right Here Im waiting for the start of the race Timing by chips in the bibs Start of the 15k! This is a great group of runners. Look at all of us dissapearing in a cloud of dust! You can just see me in the middle Neil coordinates many of the other races up in Flagstaff, as he is a running icon himself... The start of the 5k race! Tim runs the event and does a fabulous job too! after Dawn comes in she waits for me to come in. And HERE I COME. The final push to beat my old time... I DID it! I beat my all time record of 1:31 which for years was my best. Now I came in this time at 1:27.
Dawn at the finish line after the race. She did very well too... Tim now gives out raffles and awards for all the races Womens winner 15k Mens winner 15k - in under an hour!
The GPS data from the run Click to Enlarge
The San Diego Marathon San Diego, California Sunday June 3rd, 2012
The T Shirt Click to Enlarge
Finishers Medal:
This year the weather was close to perfection for running, low sixties at race start and only mid sixties at the finish. A coastal fog clouded the skies during the race keeping the sun from baking the runners. I did well this year, making it within a mile of the finish before slowing a bit. My final time of 4:04:07 was a full 12 minutes off of last years fastest time - which at the time was the fastest marathon I had ever run! And besides breaking my PR, I set an all time marathon PR - a full 52 seconds faster than my fastest marathon ever, which was this year at the Lost Dutchman Marathon. We both had a lot of great fun this year, and I came over the line feeling better than any of the other years. Thats the whole idea, isn't it?! Here is a photo pictorial story of our trip and even a few shots during the marathon as well...


Before the Race and Expo Dawns Images - Panasonic Lumix
The Expo is held at the huge San Diego Convention Center
Heading into the Expo
On the floor of the Expo as you come in the door
Packet Pickup! I am in green here
Next you get your finishers shirt
Then on to the main Expo where you can spend a lot of money!
Race Day / During the Race
Here I just got dropped off at the line of busses that will take us the long drive to the Staring area for the race. See other runners in the back ground boarding the busses.
Dawns nieces that live in San Diego Genna and Alyssa
The wheelchair race start and the Elites are coming. Why are they always Kenyans?
At mile 6.5 here I come - in yellow with orange hat holding my pace...
Mile 10 in the city
The "Dragon". If you pass them and finish first you are supposed to get a coupon for PF Changs Asian resteraunt for a free meal food item...
Mile 18 the run grinds on You can just see min in the center
Passing at mile 18
The view of the runners from the bridge at Balboa Park. We have taken over the entire highway
Another Bridge view (Im not in this picture)
Mile 21 - Here I come! The Bay is in the background
Passing at mile 21
Now heading out toward the evil loop around Fiesta Island.
Heading into the finish, this is what you see in the last few miles as you approach Sea World.
Screaming along at mile 24 on Fiesta Island! I dress in bright colors so Dawn can spot me from a distance...
Now leaving Fiesta Island. Im in the center.
Heading for the last mile in the race. Still holding a good pace, but starting to slow...
After the Race / Finish Line
Now this is what you look like after running your fastest marathon ever!
The support team: Genna, Aylssa, Dawn
The GPS data from the run Click to Enlarge

 Above: The center of the profile is at the 13.1 mile turn around. The slope is constant up hill from 5000 to 7000 feet, down to 6000 feet and then back up to return!

The Whiskey Row Full/10k Marathon Events Prescott, Arizona Saturday May 5, 2012
The T Shirt Click to Enlarge
Finishers Medals: Full/10k

This year was another record turn out for this nationally known trail / off road event, the 34th running of what has been referred to as one of the most difficult marathons in the country. The weather was about as perfect as you can get for a marathon - upper 40s at start and just under 70 at the finish. While I ran the marathon - and took the early start again, Dawn did the 10k in record time, and pulled in a new PR for this event!

The day before the Race

We left Payson early Friday morning and headed over the Rim to Prescott. In the morning before the packet pickup opened at the community center, we were off to exploring the Riphearian area for wildlife at Watkins Lake. This year we captured several new bird types and had a great short hike around parts of the lake and surrounding back trails. Afterwards we were off to pick up our race packets and find our Best Western Motel.

Saturday races are nice because you have the next day off to recover and get some things done. For several years now I have taken the early 5am Marathon start in down town Prescott to run in wide open uncrowded conditions, and to finish around the same time as Dawn is coming in on the 10k. Works out very well indeed. This year again the race was started with an air horn at 5am, and there were around 30 of us at the starting line at that time. It was almost so dark out we couldn't see the road surface! But by the time we got to the dirt road section a few miles out, it was plenty light enough and the sun would be coming up soon in the pine forests.

It is VERY steep and difficult running up to the top. While the first part is steep paved roads that wind through subdivisions in the tall ponderosa pines, soon the road turns to dirt and it gets very rugged and full of rocks, potholes and ripples. My goal this year was to get to the top same as or sooner than last years pace, around 10:20 per mile average. It is not easy! So very steep running up hill mile after mile. The last few miles are very rugged roads with lots of huge rocks. but the views over looking the valley and mountains around from that 7800 foot peak are awesome. The turn around at 13.1 miles was a bit anti climactic, with a few cones and a water station. But then back down the hill at a fast speed. There are some terrible hills on the way back which nearly cannot be run. but after that, we went very fast hitting for the most part around 8:30 pace mile after mile. Soon when we get closer in in the housing subdivision, I hit the half marathoners going both ways, and found myself blowing past nearly all of them. The faster ones were obviously ahead of me. But it feels great at mile 20 to be blowing past most of them and they cheer you on when they see your are A MARATHONER. I did very well until maybe the last half mile when there is a terrible hill to climb just before the finish line. Slow going, but I came in my second fastest so far, around 4 minutes slower than last year at 4:40 even. Dawn was waiting for me and had done very well in her 10k in 1h 32 minutes.

After I came over the finish line, I was really feeling those fast long miles of steep down hills in my legs! The challenge of this prestigious event is to handle the big changes in altitude, road and trail surfaces and wide range in temperatures from warm at the bottom to freezing cold at the peak and come through feeling great. I did this and felt great about this run this year.

After getting through the finishing area and taking more photos of the finish activities, it was time to say fare well again this year to one of our most favorite events each year. Maybe next year I can shave a few minutes off!


Get to start line early
Vomeros were perfect for the speeds but picked up lots of rocks.
gaiters? for next time?
The water belt was too mobile on the fast down hills. Maybe a chest pack?
Where to store ring hat and gloves?


Before the Race and Expo Dawns Images - Panasonic Lumix Friday Hike through the Riparian Area for Nature and Birds
Non poisonous king snake on the trail
Heading down the trail next to the lake
The trail
Yellow "Butter and Eggs"
Black Cormorants on tree
The interpretive sign
A view of the lake next to the trail
Red winged black bird
The Lake again surrounded by granite dells
Ground Squirrel
The old railroad bed
Thumb Butte in the distance a major landmark in Prescott
The Granite ledges in front of Granite mountain
Cliff Rose flowers
Rare yellow Meadow Lark in distance
Chris Images - Canon 10d
The photographer on the trail!
Reading the interpretive sign
Close up of bee on purple NM Thistle
Hiking the old railroad trail
Close up of Meadow Lark
The Cormorants with 300mm
Red winged blackbird
White faced Ibis stalking prey
The best shot I got of the rare white faced Ibis
The swampy area next to lake had few birds today
Picking up the Race Packets at the activities center
Me in line to pick up race bib
The sunset shot, our shadows with full moon rising in distance
Race Start/During the Race
The Starting line at 5am, early start I am in orange shirt, red hat
Starting line shot, I am left of center
Start of the Marathon! (Early 5am start)
The Prescott Courthouse at first light after I left
Sun up in Prescott before the 10k start Train Depot
The starting area for the 10k/ Full.
Professional photos along the course...
During the Race - Stealth Cam Images on Marathon
The Road out of town toward the trail
Top of steep hill on the way up then you turn onto a nearly straight up run uphill!
Getting near the top at mile 10
The top of the first hill peak in sight with an aid station
The aid station is now visible
The next few miles are steep down hill the up another steep peak
The final peak to conquer
The long way up
The steepest part has the most amazing scenery! on the way back now
The long torturous final up hill
Finally at mile 23 back in town
The Courthouse in daylight after Dawn came in
Here I come into the finish!
The final thrust!
Heading to the finish line
Courthouse close up
The post race courthouse shot
After the Race / Finish LineP1070904.jpg
The tired but triumphant trail racer!
Dawn after her fastest 10k yet for this course!
The sign near the finish line
The Last Look at the events at the finishing area

The GPS data from the run Click to Enlarge

Above: You can see the run goes up hill rather steeply in some spots for the first 2.5 miles. You would then think that the race would be an easy down hill run from there. But no, its a roller coaster of rolling hills until you run just short of Tuzigoot National Monument hill. Its relatively flat to the finish from there.

The Brian Mikelson Half Marathon Cottonwood, Arizona Saturday April 21, 2012
The T Shirt Click to Enlarge
"Finishers" Medal This year, a finishers medal was handed out. But not as you might expect! Instead of giving it to you at the finish line AFTER you completed the distance, we later found it in the bottom of the goodie bag. This needs to change.
This year certainly qualified as a heat run, with temperatures at the end of the race in the mid 80s. The sky was clear however, and at the start of the Half it was around 63F. Despite not being able to push it to the max near the end to avoid overheating, we both did well and had a great racing experience.

We arrived around 6am and collected our race packets on the playing field. This gave me time to warm up before the 7:30 start. Dawn did the 10k again, and this started at 7:45. It was a record attendance this year, and this was the first year a full marathon was added which had around 75 runners. For me, it would have been a bad situation on a full with the heat, but the half was fine.

I settled into an 8:30 pace for the first half of the race and slowed a bit on the scenic second half. This was the first race I had ever poured water on my head and back at every aid station for the entire race to stay cool. The race is about 2/3 road and 1/3 scenic but rough trail. They added quite a large new section of trail this year, making it maybe 5 mintues slower overall. Because of this, the times cannot be compared witht he old route, and this will be recorded as a new race with its own set of times. I came in soaked in sweat in 1:53, fourth place in my age division. Dawn came in at 1:32 and placed well within the race walker groups. Next year I hope for cooler temperatures! Maybe then I can consider that 2nd place medal again.


Before the Race and Expo
The Town of Jerome on the side of a mountain can be seen from the race starting area
Starting line before the race
The main gathering area for the race is in a scenic horse ranch area. I warm up on this field before the race
The field looking the other way
Shirt pickup
As the sun came up, runners are getting ready
The race start. I am in the center with the orange hat.
Race Start/During the Race
The Start of the Race!
Runners go by....
No running cam on this race, which was a challenging trail/road race.
After the Race / Finish Line
The Finish line shot
Leaving the Park
The GPS data from the run Click to Enlarge  Although the slopes here looks quite steep downhill, this graph takes place over a distance of 13.1 miles. Still This is one for making for some fast racing times!
The Phoenix Half Marathon Mesa, Arizona Saturday March 3rd, 2012
Finishers Medal
The T Shirt Click to Enlarge

This was the first year for this event, and included a Half, 10k and 5k. Held in north Mesa, this road race takes you desert back roads, housing subdivisions and on a freeway. The weather was cold and windy, but warmed up near the end. I think they are trying for a "Lost Dutchman Marathon feel" to this event, since the staging area was in the middle of the desert with campfires to warm us while we waited for the race. Overall, Id give this race good marks, and with lots of down hill action made for a very fast one too!

Saturday, race morning

We left our house in payson at 3am, and I was at the bus drop off point in the Boeing parking lot by 4:30. I caught the first bus, and we were driving out to the staging area far out into the desert. When we arrived, they were just lighting up the fire pits and the DJ was playing some unfortunate rap music. As we stood by the fires, the wind started to pick up and was really blowing cold air as we neared the starting time of 7am. Over a thousand runners came in, one bus load after another and daylight started to break. Lots of big cacti, and the surrounding big mountains made it feel like the Lost Dutchman for sure! They lacked however the good music and food which makes that other event more famous.

At 6:30 we were called to line up for the start, and we had to strip down our warm clothes to what we were going to actually run in. But once the race started, the sun started to warm it up a bit and we were ok running. The race started with a canon explosion! Wow, that was awsome. Took me about half a minute to cross the starting line, but being chip timed it was going to be accurate. A 12 year old wanted to have me pace him for his second half marathon, so he could do better than his first one a month ago when he came in at around 2 1/2 hours. I agreed, and he ran with me the entire race, keeping up most of the time even on the up hills. I told his mother and him Id be trying to run an 8 min pace, which he had never run before, but was willing to try. I actually did that for the first half mile, then speeded up to a 7:30 pace for most of the race after that. Near the end, the long hills slowed my pace a bit, but he kept up.

The race took us past lots of beautiful desert scenery, back roads (paved) and past houses and small stores. It was really a great run, since we could reach some fast speeds for most of the race. Crowd support was pretty thin, but I like races like this once in a while to make it easier to concentrate on my pace. In the last half mile, I told my shadow I was going to bolt for the finish, and for him to do the best he could. I came in with my fastest half marathon time ever at 1:43 and the 12 year old not far behind. He won 2nd place in his age division, and came in over 45 minutes faster than he had ever run a half before. I chopped three minutes off my fastest time which was at the last years PF Chang Half. It was my first sub 8 average pace race ever too.

Dawn took photos of all the racing events this time, and will certainly try this one next year! I like this one being held on a Saturday, since you have Sunday to recover and get a few things done. Next year I now think it might be possible to break the 1:40 barrier for me. I never thought I could break 1:45 before this race.


Before the Race and Expo
The Packet Pick up was at Iron Gear Sports in Mesa
Getting the Technical Shirt
Getting Bibs and racing bags
The Drop off where the busses are waiting!
The Starting area with campfires, loud crazy music, and a bit too much lighting...
Walking toward the starting line
Just before race start
During the Race
Dawn was waiting at the Finish line after I started in the morning twilight
Sunrise over the mountains It was going to be a cold, windy day
Finish line area sales setting up
The Finish line awaits!
Sunrise warmth at the finishing area
Finishing chute
The Run to the finish line, my shadow Daniel is just behind me
At the Finish Line
After is was all over, I came in at 1:43 My fastst half ever and fastest pace I had run in ANY race. (7:50)
Daniel stands in shock on the podium for his second place winning! I never saw him again.


The GPS data from the run Click to Enlarge  At first glance, it looks pretty easy, downhill. But the up hills are brutal, and especially the last 6 miles!
The Lost Dutchman Marathon/10k Events Apache Junction, Arizona Sunday Feb 19th, 2012
Finishers Medal On the left is the 10k, on the right is the Marathon
The T Shirt Click to Enlarge


With the threat of rain clouds looming in the forecast for Sunday, we prepared cautiously for this event. While I ran the Full Marathon, Dawn race walked the 10k. Well, it did not rain, and temperatures were perfect for running during the whole event with little sun to over heat the runners. We both did well, I blew 14 minutes off last years time for a PR of 4:04.

The Race

Dawn dropped me off at the busses at Prospectors Park at 4:30am, and drove to the starting area for the 10k. The long 45 minute bus ride came to an end in Peralta trail head at the base of the Superstition mountains with food and campfires to warm us. Shortly hundreds of runners piled in and before long we were at the stating line for a 7:00am start. No gun shot this year, but we headed out in the dim twilight down Peralta road. the scenery is beautiful and filled with desert life and rolling hills. I maintained an 8:50 pace to the main road, 7 miles down. After that a 9 minute pace as far as I could and we ran through back streets, on the freeway twice and along more back roads to the last bad uphill 6 miles. I came in with a fast 9:15 pace and never hit the wall. My best race ever! Dawn did the 10k in 1:36 and we both had a great time. So much fun this one. We will do this one next year!


Before the Race and Expo
The Sunrise was spectacular
Waiting at the finish line
Bag pickup from the races start line
The finish line banner/flag
Runners gathering for the races
The Half runners ahead
During The 10K
The 10k starting crowd
And the 10k is off !
Runners coming the other way
Me coming in at the end of the Marathon
Crossing the finish line in 4:04:59
During The Full Marathon (Stealth Cam)
The awesome marathon staging area
Another shot by the race photographer
Standing in line in the dark waiting for the gun to go off!
The race photographers shot of the campfires
Race photographers shot of the start of the Marathon. Im with the yellow hat looking down just under the start banner.
Heading down the first 7 miles on Peralta road
The end of the dirt part is ahead
Running on the highway
Off the highway, and heading toward the center of town
The back streets of Apache Junction
Running next to a bridge off road
Mile 17. this is where a lot of runners wipe out
Mile 23, still running strong
At mile 25 big up hills coming!
At the Finish Line
Me at the finish line, after the fastest full marathon I have ever ran!
Dawn after a fast 10k performance!


The GPS data from the run Click to Enlarge  As marathons go, this one is fairly flat, but has a total elevation change around 700 feet from start to peak at mid race. This wears you down in the beginning so beware!
The Arizona Rock and Roll PF Chang Marathon Phoenix, Arizona Sunday January 15th, 2012
Finishers Medal
The T Shirt Click to Enlarge


This years PF Chang Rock and Roll Marathon and Half was different in many ways, but with nearly ideal temperatures throughout the race and mild winds, was my fastest full marathon I've done yet, inching within striking distance now of my eventual goal of breaking 4 hours. The rains held off for the race, and while I was racing, Dawn worked the Half Marathon aid stations along the route. We both had a great time (Ok, that last mile was a killer!) and will certainly do this event every year from now on.

The Expo:

We left Friday at noon from work to attend the Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center. There I picked up my race packet, shirt and timing chip. A lot less people attend on Friday and it was very nice to be able to go booth to booth without the crowds. No big purchases this year, just kept up on the latest racing stuff and info.

Race Morning / Before the Race

Race start was 7:30 am in the center of Phoenix, with the marathon route totally separated from the Half. This made for a lot less crowded starting line corrals, but still it was jam packed with tens of thousands of marathoners. This year, I was placed in corral 3, much closer to the start because of my estimated finishing time was far less than todays average marathon time of 4:35. Dawn dropped me off at 4:30 at the starting area, and it was still pretty empty, with hundreds of support personnel getting everything ready for the runners. Around 5:30 is when the runners started showing up on the light rail, they were smart enough to get to the rail station early, and not wait till the last minute like many did, holding up the race.

At the starting line

Finally, at nearly 8am, we lined up at the starting lines and were ready for the race to start! It was cloudy, but not raining and a perfect 51 degrees. My goal on this one was to see how far I could hold a 9:00 and a 9:10 pace. Thats the 4 hour marathon pace. When I got to my position in the corral, I looked up and saw David Bluestien and his wife about six feet in front of me! We could barely talk the music was so loud. I didn't see anyone else I knew, but thats whats great about big races, everyone in your coral trains like you, and all have similar goals. It is like we are one big super fit family!

Running the Marathon

When the air horns went off, we were part of the very first group after the elites to cross the line. We started off fast, I held back to my pace while others ran way too fast past. I passed them later on. The scenery along the route went from old buildings, to new complexes and a few housing developments. Since it was primarily along main streets, the it was more city scape and less rural like some of the other rock and roll marathons I've been on. But I was in it to do a PR on a somewhat flat course. The new course was more up hill than I liked - nearly 700 feet elevation change, but nothing severe like lost Dutchman! Plenty of crowd support since it was along main avenues. You cant really see the final finishing area until your right on it in the last mile or so, and the bridge over the Tempe town lake was a very welcome sight. When I came over the line in 4:10 I knew that with a bit more work I was destined to break that 4 hours soon. A very hard run, and worth nearly every fun mile! The finishers medal is really different from last years, and a nice addition to my marathon collection.

At the Finish Line

After I came over the line and recovered a bit, I called Dawn and we met up on the west end of the finishing area. We walked around a bit to keep my legs from seizing up and as we left, the rain started to sprinkle. it rained all the rest of the day and especially in Payson through Monday.

Notes for Next Year:

- More long runs to get that last few mile in easier

- Drop off at start was a great idea!

- Can be half a hour later on drop off


Before the Race
The Expo at the Phoenix convention center
Entering the Convention Center to attend the Expo on Friday
T Walking into the Convention Expo much less crowded on Friday!
Race packet pickup, thats me in green!
Picking up the race tee...
Inside the Expo
Tons of stuff for sale
Sunday Morning getting briefed for the Aide station detail (Dawn)
Aid station briefing
Still dark out, waiting for the first light of day
Race coral detail - keeping them in line
At the starting line for the half Dawn has racer crowd control in the coral. Here the light rail is dropping off more runners
Race Start - During the Race (Stealth Cam)
Here I am at the starting area for the marathon, brand new location this year!
The runners start to gather as the first light of dawn appear
In my corral - 3 which is much nearer to the starting line
David Bluestien and his wife in coral 3
The race is started! my corals projected finish time is around 3:50 to 4h.
The first aid station
Heading directly toward Camel back Mountain
The rural part of the race
Cheering squad
Heading toward the city of Scottsdale
Toward Camel back
Aid station
Cups everywhere!
Down into 5th avenue shops in down town Scottsdale
Passing half way point now heading out of Scottsdale toward Tempe
Heading into Tempe - the final few miles
The last few miles is always a killer!
Finish Line Photos/After the Race
Dawn is waiting at the finish line - Thousands of bananas!
Waiting for the runners to come in at the finishing area
Dressed to kill...
Finish line shot under the solar array at the university stadium
Dawn at the finishing area after her long day working the aide stations and helping the runners!
The GPS data from the run Click to Enlarge  A race that was not flat making for slow going on the outgoing trip, but much faster in the second half!
The Sedona Marathon/ Half/10k/5k Events Sedona, Arizona Sunday Saturday Feb 4th, 2012
Finishers Medal On the left is the finishers medal, which is 1/4 a com- plete circle. The next three years will be the rest. On the right is my 3rd place bronze I won for my age division.
The T Shirt Click to Enlarge

The Sedona Marathon Event has returned again this year, and in addition to the marathon, the half, new 10k, and 5k races were all held on Saturday February 4th. Weather this year was cold and windy, but at least it was not raining or snowing! Because of the upcoming Lost Dutchman Full that is coming up in two weeks, I elected to run only the 10k this year, rather than the usual half marathon. Dawn race walked the 10k as well, still recovering from a cold and both of us did fairly well and had a lot of fun!

Race Morning

We left Payson around 4:30am Saturday morning and headed over the Rim over to Sedona, just under 2 hours drive to the west. The parking area was the same, but you had to walk half a mile down a steep hill to the race starting line much to arriving runners chagrin. With the added 10k we knew it was going to be a mad house this year, and nearly 2000 runners showed up for the different events! The Marathon got off at 8 am, and the Half followed some 10 minutes later. Then around 8:20 the 10k group lined up at the staring line. There was over 400 of us running this first time 10k this year.

The 10k Race

Not much fan fare at race start, but it was relatively flat for the first few miles. Then lots of up hills! This is not an easy race. The hills are challenging and like a roller coaster. But the red rock scenery was nice, despite the dark cloudy conditions. I was able to hold a sub 8 pace well past the turn around at 3.1 miles, then we had some really steep long up hills to deal with. It was slow going, but as I neared the finish with its long up hill side walk run and tons of 5k walkers to push through, I knew I had done fairly well. I came in with a 51 minute time which I didn't really think was too fast, but with the steep hills it actually wasn't too bad. The final pace as I crossed the finish line was around 8:15 average.

Dawn came in around 1:41 which was a great time considering the hills. We then relaxed a bit, and walked around the finish area and watched the other runners coming in. It was around 35 degrees at race start - with a good cold breeze and by the time we both came in, the temperature had only risen to 45 and more wind.

I took third place in my age division, and received a medal for this first 10k I have ever run. This was one of the shortest races I had run in a long time, 6.2 miles and I feel I will be fully recovered for the marathon in a few weeks. We both got a big quarter disk finishers medal, which was first in a 4 part larger medal which they will give on successive years. Very strange that all runners irrespective of their distance got the same exact medal.

Notes for next year

Get a medium shirt,
Run faster...


Before the Race and Expo
The Expo was small and outdoors
At the Packet Pickup
Race morning, heading down to the staging area for the start at dawn.
The first rays of sun hitting the red rock cliffs
Runners starting to gather at sun rise
The Starting area
During The 10K
The marathoners leave first on their long journey
The next images taken during the 10k while Dawn race walked the same route I was running at the same time
Back streets in town
The Red cliffs of the Schnebly hill formation
Here I come (in orange) the other way with all the other 10k Runners!
The 10k
Both directions since it was a to and back course
Road sign
The photographers images of me during the race
The Photographers images of Dawn during the race
Finish Line
In front of the finish line!
Dawn at the finish line