"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary race entry for the Sedona Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
When you think of the perfect racecation, what do you think of? Great scenery, adventure, great dining, wineries? Sedona has it ALL!
You obviously already know that it goes above and beyond in the scenery department. Jaw dropping vistas with red rocks in cool formations. Throw in a quaint creek running through town, and come on! I can’t take much more beauty.
It would be a shame to come up to Red Rock country and not go hiking. There are dozens of trails from easy/family friendly to technical and challenging. Or you could take a signature Pink Jeep tour through the rugged beauty of the rocks. Or horseback riding! We chose to go hiking after the 10k last year at Cathedral Rock. There were stairs in some sections, flat in some sections, and just incredible to see. We may go back to the same spot or check out a new one. We just stopped in the tourism office on the main road. They were very helpful with recommendations!
Sedona has a number of fine dining restaurants with world renowned chefs as well as casual fun places. Last year we had seen a few restaurants featured on the PBS show “check please”. They featured Elote and Page Springs Winery. We went to both! Elote is a gourmet southwestern restaurant and it is out of this world! There are number of wineries within a 30 minute drive from Sedona. We visited Page Springs winery for dinner/drinks. It was off season, so there is no lush greenery, but still a cool atmosphere. Lots of unique local wines to sample and flatbread pizzas to eat. Yum! I wonder what kind of trouble we will get into this time??!
Sedona is a tourist destination, so there is no shortage of cool souvenirs to shop for! One of the biggest places to shop is Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village (easy for me to say, right)? It has a collection of unique shops and restaurants in a picturesque setting by the creek.
Top tips if you are coming for the race:
What are you waiting for? Register now with code 18BibRave and save 20%!!!! Online Registration closes Friday Feb 2!
"Disclaimer: I am promoting Athlinks as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
I first heard of Athlinks several years ago, when I was compiling a list of my race results and was searching online for them. I have been keeping an excel spreadsheet for the last 10 or so years. I thought it was incredibly helpful that I could find my results in one place, rather than searching through the past results on each race website which can be really tedious.
If you're not familiar with Athlinks, it is an online results tracker where you can view, save and share every finish time for every finish line you have crossed, no matter the distance! Athlinks.com (and the Athlinks app for iOS and Android) is a comprehensive resource for athletes to connect with friends, compete with rivals, discover new challenges and races, and enjoy a connected, consistent race experience.
Ease of joining & claiming your results
Once you create a login, do an easy search for your name and you can easily click on “claim results” to add it to your results that it keeps track of. You can narrow the search down by birthdate or geography. I race a lot. I found over 150 race results for myself on athlinks. Crazy right? From the little bitty 5ks I forgot about to my half and full marathons from long ago.
Once you click on claim results, it says congratulations and you know that you got it. You can also hide stats if they are something that you are less than proud of.
In the above example, you'll see a few things. 1 perfectly correct result - craft classic half. I claimed it. The second race, brew ha ha 5k, is also me but shows my age is 45. I think in this case it may have pulled from my 45-49 age group. The last one is not mine at all.
It’s easy to search for friends, so that you can keep track of their results too. Type their name into the search box at the top, then click profiles. It’s just a click of a button once you find them to add them as a friend.They will receive an email notification that they have been added as a friend.
I can also see my friend's upcoming races and decide if I want to join the fun! :
You may have some friends who run around the same pace as you, who live in other parts of the country. Keep track of their race results for motivation, inspiration or bragging rights!! It’s a cool feature to be able to compare results. It's just friendly competition, right?!
Here’s a sample of a rivalry with one of my fellow BibRave Pros, Mai. We both ran Rock n Roll San Diego half last summer and she beat me by 17 minutes. Not to make “excuses” but it should be noted that I am 20 years older than Mai! As you can see it keeps track of "wins" and "losses" between you and your rivals.
Joining a Race Start
When you add yourself to a race start, your followers can see what races are coming up on your schedule, and possibly even choose to join you! Just search by event name and click add! Since I have the Sedona Half Marathon coming up, I thought I would go ahead and add myself to the start list. That way anyone can see what I'm up to.
I highly recommend using Athlinks to track your race results, and motivate you to be your best! What are you waiting for? Click here to get started!
I have always enjoyed Rock n Roll Arizona. Yes it can be crowded. Yes it can be expensive. But doggone it, it's one big party and everyone comes out for it!
This is my 9th Rock n Roll AZ Race - 1 full, 6 halfs and 2 10ks. My course PR was in 2015 - I ran a 1:52. Just 3 years ago!
I didn't have a major goals for this race - I am just trying to work myself back to a "normal" race time for myself (2 hours or less for a half). I haven't been under 2 hours since before knee surgery in 2016. Recently I had been sick and on many medications - prescribed by a doctor who is also a runner who was running this race. He said "we're going to hit this hard so you're well by raceday". and I was!
Rock n Roll has made some improvements to the race experience. They FINALLY ditched those awful D ring tags that went on your shoe!! The mile markers are now much bigger and the water stops are called out really clearly. The expo has definitely gone downhill, but I did get to see my name on the screen and have a fun photo opp.
I took the light rail down with one of my neighbors. There were several people I wanted to meet up with but I figured that I would let my prerace time unfold however it happened. While I was waiting for my neighbor to drop off his gear check bag, I met the nicest lady. We had ducked inside a coffee shop to stay warm (it was 48 degrees lol). We started chatting and it turned out she was also from Michigan (Detroit). She had just moved from Washington DC to the Phoenix area. We chatted about running and racing all over the country when we discovered she was a Ragnarian too! I gave her my number and hope to run with her in the future! I love meeting new people. Runners are the coolest.
Then it was time to line up in the corrals. I ran into a guy I worked with at America West Airlines/US Airways and we were able to take a pre race selfie and comisserate about how hard it is to have fast finish times now that we're old.
The race started and although I felt good, my knee felt inflamed already. And I purposely took it easy in the days leading up to the race. Oh well. I just decided to take it all in and do my best. I wanted to walk less than I did in my last 2 half marathons. I made it about 3 miles before my shoe came untied. I took a gel around mile 5.5.
The last 4 miles are my favorite. The course goes around Papago, the one "hill" on the course, and then you turn around and come back down. You get to pass people going the opposite way, which is defintely more fun when you are headed downhill rather than up! I walked at every water stop, which is probably a habit I need to break if I ever want to go sub 2 again.
Around mile 11, the iconic Rock n Roll guitar guy...
I was hoping for 2:10 but I came in at 2:19. It's still faster than my last 2 half marathons and comes out to a 10:39 pace, but that number still seems pretty high to me. Oh, and this was my first race representing Honey Stinger!
The weather was glorious - 48 at start, 60 at finish. Blue skies, live music, and beer! I found my running bestie Patty and we sat and listened to Everclear for the post race concert.
Then we went to grab some lunch and more libations. Such a fun way to celebrate our race experience. Here's hoping I can hit that 2:10 or less goal next time!
Now that 2017 has come to a close, I paused to reflect on my running year – the good, bad and the depressing:
Some of my favorite things that happened in my running and racing life this year are:
And saw some incredible scenery along the way!!!!!
Once again, the year also brought challenges:
Things I’m looking forward to in 2018:
Here’s a video of my race highlights this year. Happy New Year, Everyone!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!