Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pat's Run

April 18th - Saturday.
You can run this race in San Jose or right here in Tempe, Arizona. It's named after Pat Tillman and is put on by the Pat Tillman Foundation to raise money for programs that support civic leadership.

It's 4.2 miles because that's the number Pat wore as an ASU Sun Devil football player. You get to run a wide loop around Tempe Lake, into Papago Park and you finish up in Sun Devil Stadium at the 42 yard line with the Sun Devil Football team cheering you on.

Here's where you go to sign up.

Safe Baby Haven 5k

Race Report: Safe Baby Haven 5k @ Westgate Center. by Chad Sayban.

I woke up this morning to nice temperatures and cloudy skies for the Safe Baby 5k @ Westgate. It's only about a 10 minute drive from my house to Westgate, which is the shopping center than surrounds the hockey arena and sits next to University of Phoenix Stadium - home of the Arizona Cardinals.

I did the race two years before and the course had only changed a little bit. It is flat as a pancake, but it winds around the area through some pretty places and goes right past the football stadium during the first mile.

So I did a one mile warmup run and felt good. But I didn't really intend on pushing the pace of this race real hard. This was also the first time I was going to be racing with my Garmin 305. I was hoping it wouldn't be too distracting.

About 100 runners and walkers lined up for the race. There was actually a flyover of two WWI-era biplanes, which was pretty cool. The starting horn went off and we were away. My one complaint about the race comes really early. Within 200 yards of the start, they funnel us on to a sidewalk. This is a really tight squeeze so early in the race and if the runners around you are not feeling particularly cordial, things can get pretty rough. I escaped any issues and settled into my race. We ran towards and then past the stadium before turning away to head back into the Westgate area, past some of the condos. I was cruising along, enjoying the beautiful morning when my Garmin chirped to let me know that the first mile had passed already.

Mile 1: 8:22

The pace just felt right to me and given the paces my training runs have been at, this felt good. Actually, it felt like I could do this for a couple of hours, but I just didn't want to go any faster. One thing I did notice was that there was no mile marker to be seen. I wasn't sure if they just had it in the wrong location, but after several more minutes of running, it was obvious that there were not going to be any. Now I was really glad I had the Garmin or else I would have had no idea what my pace was or if the course was even the right distance.

The one aid station was right at the midway point of the race and given the nice morning weather and the short distance, that seemed like plenty. They had Gatorade and water. I grabbed a cup of Gatorade on the way by and thanked the young girls working the table. At this point we crossed a street and got into the least interesting part of the course. There is a section of out and backs through a parking lot, presumably to get the distance right. It certainly isn't the most beautiful of runs in this part, but my Garmin spoke again to let me know that I was through two miles.

Mile 2: 8:20

Good. I was maintaining a nice, consistent pace and felt really good. My form was staying nice and compact and I wasn't really expending very much energy. We made another turn and made the long run up to the west end of Westgate to the main entry road and turned along it back towards the start/finish line. I was feeling great, although I was pretty alone. There were two people about 300 yards ahead of me and one guy about that far behind me. I was in my own little running bubble and I was really enjoying it. The only problem was that I was feeling too good for it to end so soon. But since I could see the finish line in front of me, I knew it was really going to end.

Mile 3: 8:15
Mile 3.1: .21

Race finish: 25:19 / 8:18 pace

My Garmin listed the course at 3.05 miles, but that's well within the margin of error so the course is pretty accurate as far as distance. It is a well organized race for the most part. They only have awards for top-3 overall male and female, but they do have one more interesting perk. If you go back up and look at the photo of me above, you will see the t-shirt they provide. It's actually customized with your race number and first name on the front. I've never seen a race do this before. They were actually there screening the shirts at the finish line, including ones for the people who signed up on the day of the race. Pretty cool, huh? And the race supports a great cause. If you are looking for a flat, fast little 5k that's fun, you can't do much better than this one. I managed another mile cooldown while I was waiting for the awards. I finished 3rd in my age group, but didn't get anything. Oh well.

I hope everyone has had a great weekend!

Until next time...


Safe Baby Haven 5K

Safe Baby Haven 5K

“This weeks race” (almost seems the proper way to say it lately seeing we have been finding a local run almost every weekend the last month or so) was the Safe Baby Haven 5K. We chose this one over some other options for a couple of reasons. First the cause seemed pretty good. Safe Baby Haven is an organization out there to promote the Safe Baby Haven Law that allows protection for unwanted newborns. Basically gives the mother an opportunity to relinquish the baby at birth without fear of legal and criminal consequences. You can check out the site by clicking here at Arizona Safe Baby Haven. Second reason was the event is really just up the street from us. We can hop on the 101 and be there within 15 minutes or so. Add that to a nice (late) 8:00 start and it meant we could actually ‘sleep in’ until 5:45. We also liked that the event was at Westgate, the new(er) Sports and Entertainment complex in Glendale that houses the Coyotes and Cardinals stadiums and a bunch of stores, restaurants, a movie theater, etc.

The event production was handled by Red Rock Company. They seemed to do a real good job, it was even chip timed (some old school ones). I have not seen them do this type event, they seem to be more the ‘local triathlon event production company’. Maybe some personal tie-in, not sure? The course was decent, nice and flat for the most part. A great starting and finishing location right by the fountains. You run out to the end of the complex, a little loop back and some zig-zags in the parking lot (the only weird spot) and back. There were no real squish spots save for the first little bit where they wanted everyone on the sidewalk – but you could go out on the street too without compromising the mileage.

For the second week in a row we got to see an amazing young (14 years old) runner tear up the track. Sarah Fakler I believe is her name and it will be interesting to see how she does if she keeps at it. She did sub 6 minute miles again at this race. I’m not sure on the whole age-grade thing but that has to be National Class level speed for her age. She seems to run so easy too. This race had a young man also rip it up. I think his name was Oscar and he had a 5:54 Pace and he is 15! Ahh to be young again….

Kimberly and I had a respectable run. Kimberly came in first in her age group and I came in second and 11th overall with a 6:51 pace. Sadly, there was no "metal bling" at this event (for age group winners) but there was a very cool shirt. The actually customized the event shirts with your name and bib number which I thought was way cool. We also liked the bi-plane fly-overs which was also very cool. Hard to beat the whole thing for a good wake up Sunday morning. Oh and BTW, we needed more miles so we went off and did another 8 after the race. And yes.. there was a nap in the afternoon :-)



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jerome Hill Climb

What are you doing on September 6th? I suggest you visit the mining town of Jerome in the mountains of Arizona. Then with 200 of your closest friends you can run 4.6 miles up the mountain to a finish line and food. In 2008, Zachary Thomas did it in a course record of 29:14. Some take an hour and a half.

The first photo is from the one mile mark looking back at the start. If you look closely at the second photo, you'll see a line of runners proceeding up the dirt trail. The third photo is right before the finish line.

Jerome is called the 'Most Vertical City in America' and now you can see why.

Now, this 2009 will be my first year running this race and I was wondering how you get back down. I looked in the race photos and I don't see the bus. But, I do see other photos of people heading down this road on foot. Maybe the bus is around the corner. Or maybe you'll have to run the 4.6 miles back down the trail as a cool down.

If you like these photos, check out Megan's website. She's a pro that takes pics at many of the ARR races. What's more amazing than the lack of a bus, is that she'll sell you the pictures dirt cheap. So cheap, you'll even want to buy pictures of strangers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kids Camp USA 5K

Kids Camp USA 5K

Note to self – Never plan a get together celebration dinner party thing the night before you have to get up early for a morning race. This is particularly true when the party crowd happens to be Belly Dancers.

Kimberly and I ran in the Kids Camp USA 5K race this weekend. Considering with the above mentioned get together at our house we both ended up with about 3 hours or less sleep, I think we did pretty good. Heck, we did good just getting up at 5:40 seeing our heads didn’t even see a pillow until after 1:00.

Anyway, enough of the complaining (err excuses), we had a great time both at the race and of course with the friends at the get-together. Kids Camp USA seems a great cause. We of course found the race, then found the group behind it. Kids Camp sponsors various events for young ones such as (what this event was supporting) a camping trip to Apache Lake for 100 plus kids. There is no criteria per se for the kids to attend, just youngin’s in need of some adult support for a good time. They really seem like a good group and we will for sure see what we can do to help ongoing.

The 5K was at Thunderbird Paseo Park. One of our favorite venues as it is fairly close to home, is in the SPR canal, and makes for a good out and back track. A couple mini hills up on the course but nothing drastic. The event was run by Arizona Running Events Company and as always, good folks who make these small races as professional and fun as possible.

The race itself was fairly typical, although it ended up being a tad short for a 5K. My Garmin showed 2.8 miles and in fact when they posted the Results they listed it as 2.8. While I do look down on occasion at my Garmin timing watch, I had not for the last mile or so. You can imagine my surprise seeing as I was coming up to the finish line and seeing a little over 19 minutes (I'm not that fast in a 5K)!

Again with the qualifiers, the Mrs. and I had good runs. I think I felt as rough as I have during a run for quite some time, but still managed to come in 8th overall (19:30) though I was 4th in my age group (dang old guys need to stay home :-) ). Kimberly took home the “Bling” for the family with a 3rd place metal in her age group. I told she was a rock star – 3 hours sleep and still getting in on the metal action!

After enjoying the post race festivities and grabbing the metal, we hung out and did another 7-8 miles or so in the canal – got to keep up with those long runs you know. And of course, as always, there was a Sunday nap…

Sunday, March 15, 2009

COTA for Michael Moreno 5k

Race Report: COTA for Michael Moreno 5k by Chad Sayban

It was still dark when I left the house this morning for the COTA for Michael Moreno 5k. The race was held at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. The problem is it is a large park and it took me almost a half hour to figure out where the start was. This is why I always leave myself plenty of time to get to a race and get ready - just in case of things like this. But I got there with enough time to get my number and get my full warmup in. I knew going in that I hadn't done any speed work and I was still just trying to build mileage. But I wanted to do this race if for no other reason than to get back into the race scene and motivate myself going forward.

The race started and I found a pace I figured I could hold for the entire distance. The first mile of the course is pretty tough, with a bunch of short, steep little hills that make it tough to get in a real good rhythm.

Mile 1: 7:49

This was pretty much what I expected for the tough first mile. The second mile really flattens out and I tried to maintain my pace, but I knew I was already beginning to tire since I hadn't run anything like this pace in a couple of months. By now I was searching for the end of the second mile and I still wasn't seeing it. I must have been slowing much more than I thought.

Mile 2: 8:25

Ooof. I didn't think I fell off that bad, but I really couldn't tell how fast I was running. I didn't get passed by anyone in the last two miles, but I didn't pass anyone else either. The last mile really seemed to drag on for a long time, but eventually I finally made it around the lake and across the soccer field kicking pretty hard to get in before the clock passed 25 minutes.

Mile 3.1: 8:41 (1.1 miles)

Race time: 24:55

Wow, I really slowed down a lot at the end. I have to admit I was kind of bummed after the finish. I knew I wasn't going to PR or anything, but I though I was capable of running a better time than this. As I was getting some water in and cooling off, I overheard several people who wore Garmins talking about how long the course was. The concensis was that the course was about 3.32 miles, more than 2/10s of a mile long. Well that explains quite a bit. So I did the math at the pace I was running and figured my 5k time at about 23:35. That makes a whole lot more sense to me. I had expected to run this race at my current weigh and fitness at sub 24 minutes and that's really what I did. This brings up an interesting question. Until now I have avoided wearing a GPS during races because I didn't want to be distracted by it. I prefer to run on feel. But I'm starting to think it might be better to use it going forward because it is even more distracting to not know how fast you are running or be deceived because race company doesn't know how to measure a course in the 21st century.

The big shocker was finding out that I actually won my age group - and yes, I was not the only person in my age group. In fact I was 18th overall, which got me a second t-shirt for being in the top 20. Of course, I wanted to see where I would have been if I had run a PR. I would have been top 10. Something to work for.

Anyway, it was a beautiful day in a beautiful park for a 5k and I really enjoyed finally being back out racing. I know where my fitness is and I have plenty of 5k's coming up to watch my improvement.

Brian Mickelsen Memorial Half Marathon, 10K and 2 mile Run

April 18th - Cottonwood, AZ

If you've heard of the Verde/Mingus Blowout and can't find it. You've found it. A new name and they've added the half marathon. These races run thru Riverfront Park in Cottonwood, Tuzigoot National Monument and Dead Horse Ranch State Park. After your half, 10k or 2 mile run you'll enjoy live music, refreshments and a large raffle. For more info visit the city of Cottonwoods website.

St. Pat's 8k & One Miler

It was the annual St. Patrick's 8k (4.8 miles) and 1 mile races in Kiwanis Park (maps). I've always wanted to do a one mile race and I figured this was my time. I tapered for three days. My legs were tired and I planned to take two days off, but it turned into three. Over 200 runners lined up for the longer race and 39 of us lined up across the street for the mile. It was about half kids and half adults. I figured I could finish in the top 4 or 5. Usually there's some fast kids and one or two fast adults.

Luckily, today there was only one fast kid. I got to be the fast adult. Before the start of the race, one dad was giving instructions to two young men next to me. Finally, the one kid looked at me and said, "I'll just follow him." That was the nine year old that lead the whole race. I was right behind and had to give him directions to turn right, go under the bridge, keep the lake on your left and finally to turn right again. Yeah, I was tempted to have him run around the lake again.

The finish is up a hill and then a sharp right turn into the picnic area. I tried to kick it, but my tank was empty and his wasn't. His buddy, the 7 year old was right on my tail the whole way. We finished one, two, three.
An 8:10 mile is my best. I think I did an 8:20 first mile at the Goodyear 5k. After the race I got to talk with the kids. For polite and nice. I let him know I didn't let him win. If I could have passed him, I would have. My garmin battery was low, so I didn't get to see my pace during the race. I just tried to keep up with the fast kid.
After our race, I got to watch the longer race. It's entirely inside the park. Around the lake, on the canal and some park road. It was nice that they went one way and the milers went the other.

I stuck around and helped with the kiddie dash. The 7 year old that finished third in the mile, won his age group in the KD. The 9 year old finished 4th. Plenty of fruit, cookies and water for the runners. They even had some green beer. They gave out awards to the top three in all age groups for the long run and medals to the top male and female in the mile. I did win my AG (three old guys), but no medal for second place overall.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hunter's Runners

April 11, 2009
174 runners in last years 5k made this a fun event raising money for the Hunter White Memorial fund. Are you looking for an Age Group win? This might be your race. Only three age groups had more than 11 runners. 11 age groups had 5 or fewer runners. Just looking for a PR? The course is flat and fast. Just want to have fun? You'll see loads of smiling faces and families enjoying a wondeful day.
Sign up by visiting the Hunter's Runners Website.
We're looking for a reporter for this race. Run it and tell us your story. To be an official reporter/runner please contact us.

Catalina State Park Trail Run

April 11, 2009
Catalina State Park, north of Tucson, AZ

The first thing about this race that caught my eye was, "including a 92 stair climb". Once if you are doing the 5.5 mile run and twice if you are doing the 10.75 miler.

Has anyone run this race before? It sounds beautiful and hilly. I'm looking for a run reporter, so that we will know more about this race. It's put on by Everyone Runs and is sure to be a great race. Runners get a short sleeve tech shirt and a breakfast with their entry fee.

Friday, March 13, 2009

2nd Annual Alport Syndrome 5K for Healthy Kidneys

Have you run a race in Tempe's Kiwanis Park? It's a wonderful location for a 5k. The course runs along gently rolling hills around the lake and is nice and flat around the ballfields and pool area. No crossing roads. You'll run mostly on the concrete paths in the park, some running on the asphalt park road, you run thru the underpath and some grass running too.
This is a fund raiser for Alport Syndrome and is the only race in town on Sunday, April 5th.

Full Moon 5k

The third monthly (I guess that's right) Full Moon 5k is on April 4, 2009 at DC Ranch in Scottsdale. Run under a full moon with lots of fun people. Sierra Adventures puts on this race. It's been held in different locals. But, always under a full moon.

The race director does light the course and recommends you bring a flashlight, since it starts at 8 pm.

If you are already planning to run this event and would like to file a race report with us, it would be appreciated. Just email me.

Ahwatukee Foothills YMCA 5k

Saturday, April 04, 2009, 08:00 AM
Ahwatukee, AZ
Ahwatukee is the southern most neighborhood in Phoenix, separated by South Mountain it feels like a city unto itself. You'll get to run a 5k or a one mile fun run in the rolling foothills.

Emma's Run

April 4, 2009 @ 8 AM

Anthem, AZ

A great run through the streets of Anthem in north Phoenix and two distances to boot. Run either the 10k or the 5k courses for a great cause.

I think this is in conjunction with Anthem Days, but I can't find any online info. To sign up go to Four Peaks. Click on the map below to see the course. One lap for the 5k, two for the 10k Video of Emma's Run, Year 2

April 2009 Races

Race Directors

Our mission is to make sure all foot races in Arizona are on our blog. It's free and will get you exposure in the running community. Which, might just get you more runners at your race.

If you don't see your race in either the monthly schedule or in a pre race post, please email me your information. Including your website, course map, etc.

I'll make sure it's posted.

We are adding runner/writers all the time. But, I can't guarantee we can have one at your race. If you know of a runner that wants to be a reporter for your race, let me know. Or have them contact me.

If you'd like to request a reporter for your event, email me. I will do everything in my power to have a reporter/runner at your event.

The most important part of Arizona Foot Races is the race report. We'd like to eventually have a RR on all foot races in AZ.

Pioneer Days 5k

Johnny E. Osuna Memorial Park
April 4, 2009 @ 8 AM
Peoria, AZ
If you like to run and go to a festival, here's another one right in "Old town Peoria".
Entertainment, a parade, craft vendors, historical tours, games, make-n-take crafts, pony rides, a petting zoo and more is what the town website says.
The races is run by RunningMasters.

Thunder Mountain RC 10 & 5 Milers

This is all I got on this race, it's from the Thunder Mountain Running Club Website.
REGISTRATION IS SAME DAY ONLY AND RUNS FROM 6:30 -7:30 A.M. The course consists of Two 5 mile loops and will have water stops every 2.5 miles
It's only 12 bucks and I bet it's got great scenery.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dam Good Run

April 4, 2009 @ 9 AM
Lake Pleasant, AZ

Dam, it's time to run over a dam. Choose between a non timed 4 miler or 7 miler over Lake Pleasant's dam just north of Phoenix. The views are awesome and it's one of the few times you actually get to go on top of the dam. The Dam Good Run is for runners, walkers, hikers. But, it's not for backpacks, bicycles, strollers, wheelchairs and the like. Security reasons prevail.

Run for your Life 5k

April 4, 2009 @ 9 AM
University of Arizona

Check out their website, it has a bull and it's called "Run for your Life" 5k.
It's run on campus and it looks like a lot of fun. But, my question is - is there a bull or just a lot of bull? I guess you'll have to run it to find out.

I'm looking for someone to do a race report for this race. If you run (or walk), aren't afraid of bulls, can write and have a camera call me.

Run Through History 4 miler

April 4, 2009 @ 8 AM
Vail, AZ
This four miler combined with the "Between The Tracks Festival" makes for a great day down south of the Ole Pueblo. I couldn't find a lot of info about this years race or festival, so I advise contacting Steve Taggart to learn more.
Now, if you plan on running this race and would like to do a race report for this blog, call me. All you need is the willingness to write, some pictures and the ability to run or walk 4 miles.

The Havasu Half & 5k

April 4, 2009 @ 7:30 AM
Lake Havasu, AZ

Hey, it's the only half marathon that you can run over the London Bridge and onto a man made island out into a river they call a lake. It's the Lake Havasu Half marathon on April 4th.

You know the story. In the early 1960's London Bridge was falling down. Robert McCulloch, the chainsaw guy bought the bridge and then brought it to lake Havasu. They reassembled it over dry land, dug out the earth below to allow the Colorado River to flow underneath. Creating an island. The river is so big at this point that it looks more like a lake. Now it's a spring break destination and on April 4th it will be they place to be in Arizona to run a half marathon.

So, do you want to run a half over London Bridge? Go visit the Havasu Half website to learn more. And we are looking for a reporter to run the race and give us a race report. No experience necessary. You just need to be able to write and take some pictures.

Liska's Apothacary shop is proud to sponsor the Havasu Half. Support the sponsors that support your sport.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sabino Canyon Sunset Run 2009

The evening of April 4th (Saturday), 2009 6:00 PM

Sabino Canyon, Tucson, AZ
It's a 7.4 miler uphill for the first half. Sabino Canyon is one of the most scenic areas in all of Arizona. Combine that with it being a Southern Arizona Roadrunners event, run at sunset and you can't lose. I wonder how many runners will race in the morning and do this one at night?

To learn more about this race, go to the SAR Sabino Canyon Sunset Run page.

Pat Monahan will be covering this race for Arizona Foot Races.

Performance Footwear is a proud sponsor of SAR running events. Please support the sponsors that support your sport. Stores in Tucson and Tempe.

Runner/Reporters needed

If you like to run and you like to write about it, I could use your help.

I'm looking for runners that run 15 or more races in Arizona each year. I need runners that like to write about their experience, have a camera and a garmin.

I need runners in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Flagstaff and all around Arizona. You'll interview race directors, sponsors, runners and volunteers. You'll write a pre race article and a post race report for each race you run in.

It's a volunteer position with an occasional comped race fee. You'll get Arizona Foot Races running tech shirt.

If you are interested, email me. Tell me a bit about you and list your race history. How fast you run does not matter. You could even be a walker. You just have to love the race atmosphere and want to promote running in Arizona.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunrise at Old Tucson

As the sunrose at Old Tucson Studios, over 300 runners participated in the first annual "Sunrise at Old Tucson". The following is a race report done by Pat Monahan for his personal blog.

This was a doubleheader weekend. Yesterday was the Ostrich Festival 5k and today was a 3.8 miler at a movie studio. Old Tucson Studios is know for being a filming site for many a John Wayne movie, as well as, many other westerns.

Here's just a few movies made there.
1940: Arizona
1945: The Bells of St. Mary's
1957: 3:10 to Yuma
1957: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
1958: The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold
1959: Rio Bravo
1965: The Great Sioux Massacre
1966: El Dorado
1967: Hombre
1970: Rio Lobo
1972: The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
1974: The Trial of Billy Jack
1976: The Outlaw Josey Wales
1981: The Cannonball Run
1986: ¡Three Amigos!
1990: Young Guns II
1993: Geronimo: An American Legend
1993: Nemesis
1993: Tombstone
1994: Lightning Jack
1995: Hard Bounty
1995: The Quick and the Dead
2005: Seven Mummies
2007: Legend of Pearl Hart

It was almost a 2 hour drive for me. My kids and wife passed at the chance to get up at 4 am. The question was, would I be dead by the time I got to Tucson?

I ran again in "A Shirt That Races".

Look familiar? This is one of the sets that we ran past. My legs felt great and I was ready to run, but not as fast as yesterday. One, it's my first trail race with a lot of single track. Two, I brought my camera. The race director, who was pretty funny told us it was around 3.9 miles, unless you get lost. This race had lots of turns, as you can see on the map. One loop around the studio streets, then out into the desert, past the start line with a final loop around town. He warned us about rattlesnakes. He said, "the first runner scares the snake, the snake scares the second runner and the third runner gets bit. So make sure you're the fourth runner." Or something to that effect.

I was running and taking pictures and ran mile splits of around 11 minutes each for the first three. The final .8 was in town and I had already taken pictures there, so I ran my fastest. a 9:48 mile split. I finished in 41:27 and was happy with that.

This was put on by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners (which I am now a member) and they had a great awards ceremony. Lots of door prizes for adults and kids, AG awards and the Old Tucson Sheriff added some levity. We had a trail breakfast (scrambled egg burritos).

Here we are running the streets and below is Horse Poop Alley. Yeah, it's where they dump the waste and we got to run right thru it.

Old Tucson Studios is in the Saguaro National Forest. SA-war-o. And it is a forest, as you can see. The drive is majestic.

Now, it's time to send "A Shirt That Races" to another state. Our goal is to have a different runner in all 50 states and Canada run in this shirt. I'll write on the shirt about the two AZ races, wash it (promise) and then mail it to . . . you?

If you want to participate, let Nikemom know when and she'll put you on the calendar.

The Running Shop is a proud sponsor of this race and many of the SAR events. We encourage you to support those sponsors that support running.

This race was a fundraiser for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Any additional support to them would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

May 2009 Races

3: Peace Officer Memorial Run - Phoenix
3: Cinco de Mayo 10K - Tucson
3: Newman 5K - Tempe
8: 24 Hours of Freedom - Flagstaff to Mesa
9: Run in Beauty 5K
9: S.T.E.P. Fun Run at Kiwanis Park - Tempe
16: Run for the Mountain School 10K - Flagstaff
16: CAAFA 5K Race For Safety - Apache Junction
17: Tucson 5000 - Tucson
21: Memorial Day 5K - Metro Phoenix
30: Devon's Run- Phoenix
30: Arizona Trail Close the Gap -

Ostrich Festival

This was the first year the Ostrich Festival 5k was held on the parade route in downtown Chandler. The following is a personal race report from Pat Monahan.

The Chandler Ostrich Festival 5k. March 7, 2009.
Today was the debut of the men's version of "A Shirt That Races". I set my alarm for 6 am and woke up at 6:30 wondering why the alarm didn't go off. I was ok, since this year's Ostrich Festival 5k was being run on the parade route in downtown Chandler for the first time. Just a few minutes from home. I got to packet picket up an hour before race time. Picked up my race tee, which is just the festival tee. But, still good looking and went back to my car to stay warm.

There I am in "A Shirt That Races" with bib #149. It's a small race with less than 200 runners. About 50 degrees and sunny. There was a delay of almost 1/2 hour because the barricade guys slept in.

Runners started warming up. This guy wasn't going 15 mph, but I thought it was a funny picture anyway. I started out fast. My plan was to stay around a 9:09 mile.* Three of those plus a fast sprint at the end will give me a PR of around 28:10. My first mile was in 8:45. I thought I was moving pretty good, but there were still plenty of people gliding past me. This course is made for PRs. It's flat and straight. It all takes place on Arizona Avenue with just two turn arounds. Mile two was done in 9:36. I did walk for a drink and to down half a candy bar (much more enjoyable than a GU).

Mile three was the most fun. In the finish line picture below you'll see a little kid sitting on the curb. He ran the race. Maybe 10 years old. He cruises past me, looks up, smiles and says hi. I catch up to him, thinking that he's running a 1 mile fun run and it happens to be on the same course. So, I ask. Nope, he's running the whole 5k and it doesn't look like it's fazing him one bit.

Yeah, that little kid on the left. Maybe, he's 7 or 8. So we get to the 2.6 mile turn around and theirs a cop directing traffic. I tell the kid to give the cop a high five and he does. As he does I take the turn and say, "see ya kid, I'm in front". As the kid sprints past me, he says, "Oh no your not".
We spend the last bit of the race running side by side and I give him some race advice about conserving energy and saving it for the sprint to win at the end. We match stride for stride and then I tell him at the light I'm going to start my sprint. 100 yards to go and we both kick it up a notch. I did mile three in 9:51, but now the kid and I are under a 7 minute pace. I had some gas in the tank, he was running on fumes. I could have taken the kid, honest. Of course, he probably told his dad he didn't want to beat the old man too bad, so he coasted. But, I like my story better. We both finished around 28:52. The kid won by a nose.
I stop my garmin, give the kid a fist bump and realize that I missed my PR by 3 seconds. Three Seconds! That's ok. I enjoyed racing with the kid, much more than any PR. There's always tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow. I hope I have the horsepower for race #2 this weekend. Yeah, I'm taking "A Shirt That Races" down to Tucson for a special race.

*9:09 pace per mile would give me a 2 hour HM or a 4 hour marathon. That's why my blog is named after my goal pace. I'm a long way from my goal.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kiwanis Litchfield Park 10K

Kiwanis Litchfield Park 10K

Today Kimberly and I competed in the Kiwanis Litchfield Park 10K. It was about a perfect race scenario as far as they go. The event was fairly close as we are only about 30 minutes or so away from Litchfield Park. The race was a 10K which is really the ideal length for us as we like to get at least this length run in on the weekend. With a 5K we still need to do another run. With a 10K we can justify ‘good enough’. It was also a perfect day weather wise. A little nippy, but not too cold. In other words, a great day for a morning run.

We got to the event with a little time to spare, got a great parking spot and headed over to check in. The event was being held right in the heart of Litchfield over by the Wigwam Resort area. They really had a nice setup with some vendors, a huge food supply and ‘real’ bathrooms even as it was right next to the community park and center for the Kiwanis. We hung in the park for a bit checked out a couple of the vendors, and listened to some Navel officers.

The course basically winds through the neighborhoods there and is an out and back. The 10K went off first, as they also offered a 5K, and even a 1 mile fun run afterward. While decently marked it seemed, there was some issues with the track though (covered below). The course was near pure flat, and I mean flat, I think my Garmin showed less than a couple hundred feet net elevation change for the whole race.

Kimberly and I both had good runs. Kimberly had a PR time for a 10K of 53:46. She was booking, I was going to take a shot of her crossing the line and nearly missed it (as you can see from the photo in our gallery) because she came in faster than I was expecting! I had a 7:12 pace (44:42) which was good enough for 12th overall place and a 2nd place metal in my age group. Sadly, the first 4 or 5 guys were disqualified (I would have been in 3rd instead if they were not) because they missed a turn on the course. I feel bad for them because obviously they did not intend this and put in a good effort either way. I think one of those cases where 1 person misses a turn and the others in the lead pack follow. For those of us back a little and more spread out, less of an issue.

In any event, another great local weekend race that we will be sure to attend next year. The shirts were pretty cool too…