I’ve thought about doing this race before, but the location kept me from doing it. I live in the East Valley and I thought that driving to Glendale sounded painful.
This year, I decided to go for it. I ran it in partnership with my running group Run Eat Tweet AZ. I found the Race Director and his wife to be extremely engaging on social media. Anytime that I mentioned the race, they were right there doing favorites and retweeting.
Although they offered packet pickup the day before, I chose to pick it up on race morning. As it turns out, we made it there in about 35 minutes, no traffic. Parking was a snap. The pickup area was crowded, but we got through it quickly. We received nice St. Patricks Day themed shirts that will certainly be handy each year. There were booths set up from Girls Gone Sporty, Hippie Headbands, Nothing Bundt Cakes and many more. They had a fun photo booth area with props where you can take your picture with fun shamrock-themed items. You could also have your picture taken with the leprechaun.
There were about 2000 people running the races – there was a 17k, 8k, 4k and 1 k distance to choose from.
I chose to run the longest distance – 17k, which is 10.5 miles. The course was about 50% road and 50% paved trail. I made the wise choice of carrying my own water this time, even though there were plenty of water stops along the course. I was not shooting for any particular finish time, I was more or less treating it as a long run for the week. There were a few points in the middle of the race where we passed other runners at the turnaround. And the last 2 or so miles we join up with the runners & walkers from the 8k. Each kilometer of the course was marked. I had the motivation of my medal and free beer motivating me to get to the finish line. The medal also serves as a convenient bottle opener!
The downside of running the 17k is that you are the last group of runners to finish. That means you get the long lines at the post race beer garden. I waited in line for 10 minutes with absolutely no acknowledgement from the bartender. I gave up. My friend, who only did the 4k so was done early, shared hers with me. The line behind me was out the door, and it just wasn’t worth it. I don’t feel like the Irish bar was equipped enough for this size of group. There could have easily been stations set up on the patio. They could have had pitchers of green beer ready and lining them up and filling them. All that space went unused on the patio.
The Irish band seemed a bit lackluster to me, and was unfortunately located too close to the announcer. He had trouble being heard over the music.
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!