"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!"
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…If the Sedona Marathon Event isn’t on your bucket list, it should be.
I have attempted to run the half before, but had to drop down to the 10k the last two years due to injuries. This was my chance! I knew it would be a challenge – and I knew what the first 3.1 miles of the course was like already.
I was happy that my husband was totally on board to make a weekend out of this again. So cool. It’s pretty rare that I get my family to join me at races these days.
Packet pickup was in a tent at the Posse Fairgrounds this year. It’s a tiny expo, but it seemed more spacious and inviting this year than in the past. There were a lot of tempting shirts and skirts to buy. I had to drag myself out of there. I was in and out pretty quickly.
We headed straight from pickup to dinner to carb load. Seriously one of the best things about this race (other than the scenery) is the late start time. My race started at 9:10. I could take my leisurely time. Although the race offered free shuttle service, my hotel was close enough for me to walk. Yay!
The full marathon started at 9AM, with each race starting every 10 minutes after that. I had plans to meet two other BibRave Pros doing the race. We were all doing different distances, which was kind of cool. I couldn’t find Joshua, but found Barb right away. Also ran into other local friends doing the race. I unfortunately left my headphones in my hotel room but decided to stay put and hang at the start instead of walking back for them and stressing myself out.
The weather was fantastic. It was 43 when I was walking from the hotel and around 60-62 when I finished. I have a tendency to overdress because I hate to be cold. I wore my windbreaker jacket and gloves on the way there, but them put it in gear check. I wore a long sleeve tech shirt, but in hindsight I should have gone sleeveless. Within 3 miles I was too warm. I need to work on dialing it back.
This is NOT a big race (less than 1000 people run the half), but with the 4 races combined on this narrow road,, the start area is quite congested. They created a chute that led to the start area, and only the next group of runners queing up was allowed in. There were a number of vendors, from food to clothing, and massages available.
The course is full of rolling hills. One of the worst ones is at the 10k turnaround. There were a ton of aid stations out there with water and electrolytes. I went into it hoping for 215 or less but knowing how hilly it was, I figured it would probably take longer. I enjoyed the downhill sections the most, but obviously there were plenty of uphill sections too. I walked many uphill sections when I felt like I couldn’t push anymore. I will say this: there is not one single step of this race that does not have a killer view.
I finished the first 10k in 1:12, and my finish time was 2:28. I’m pretty sure that was my highest half marathon finish time ever, or at least close. Even so, that time was in the top 25% of my age group!
Shoutout to Athlinks - I went to Athlinks.com to claim my new results . My Athlinks profile stores results from all my past races, and I can even find friends who might be running future races that . I want to do. Check out results on Athlinks here and follow me so we can be friends (or maybe even rivals!) on Athlinks.
The medal is part of a series where each year is a piece of a 4 year pie. Every year I continue to be disappointed that everyone still gets the same exact medal and ribbon, no matter which distance they ran. This is one of my pet peeves and I am sincerely hoping they will consider changing for future races. Even a customized ribbon would make it more unique and special to the runner.
I had seen an email advertising their beer garden featuring some fantastic local beers. My husband & I really enjoy craft beers so we kept that in mind as a possibility for after the race. I’ve never stuck around after my 10k finishes in the past. But it was hot (and almost noon!) by the time I finished and walked up the hill, so we stuck around and enjoyed some wonderfully cold brews and enjoyed our red rock views! They had a limited number of tables to sit/stand with your drinks, but it was a nice touch! My son even enjoyed a snack from the food trucks.
On the walk back to the hotel, we had to cross the course around the mile 25.5 mark of the full marathon. I see a bright orange BibRave shirt coming towards me and I’m like “Hey that must be Joshua!”. He was struggling (that last section is unfortunately uphill) – but he actually STOPPED so I could take a photo with him. Impressive! I’m sure he was just anxious to be done.
We enjoyed an afternoon that included some amazing food, more craft brews, and capped it off with sunset hike. We love Sedona and I plan to come back again next year. I am determined to get my time down…and compete in a brand new age group!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!