ARIZONA  -  Sedona Marathon
State #16
Finish time:  5:50:30
I usually don't drive the course, or even look
at a course map before a marathon.  This
one had shown a large hill on the elevation
chart, and it had been longer than usual
since running my last marathon Dec. 17th, so
I was being anxious about it.  To try to calm
my fears, we drove the course on Thursday.  
Oh wow.  Definitely scenic, but also up and
down hills, and the second part of the course
is on a dirt/gravel road.  How did I miss that in
the race description.  At least I knew to wear
my gaiters.  This road really had me worried
though.  It wasn't a "gravel" road.  It was
literally dirt, with some big rocks on it.  Great
for twisting an ankle.  It also had big
washboard ruts in it where the road grader
had done a poor job.  Oh well, can't change
it.  I was glad to know ahead of time, so I
mentally prepared for a slower run.  I was
really hoping to set a PR since I was well
rested and well trained, but set my sites on a
lower, but important goal.  Finish before 6
hours.  I am tired of a 6+ hour finish, and
would never like to hit the 6 hour mark again.
Friday night was the pasta dinner at the Elks
lodge.  I've never attended one of the
run-sponsored pasta feeds, and had signed
I was surprised by the high percentage of Maniacs at this race.  It
was a pretty small marathon (179 finishers) but I counted about
18 in MM shirts, probably more were there in non-MM attire.  

The start was cold, but I was able to throw the gloves at mile 2,
and took off my first layer at mile 7.  I kept my long sleeves on the
whole way though.  See, although I had mentally prepared for the
hills and the rocks in the dirt road, I hadn't counted on the wind.  
This was an out and back course.  I was cruising through the first
half, very happy with my time, but as soon as I hit the halfway
mark and turned around, I realized why I had been having such an
easy time.  Wind.  Lots of wind had been pushing me to the turn
around, and now I was trying to push against it on the way back.  
Somehow that wind seemed to blow even harder every time I was
trying to get up one of the monster hills.  

I mentioned the beautiful scenery.  It was breathtaking.  Or maybe
that was from running up the hills...
Since it took me so long to
finish, the race photographers
were mostly gone.  At least they
made one guy wait for me at the
finish.  This may have been my
toughest race yet.  The only
thing they didn't hit me with was
heat.  But, I got it done in under
6 hours!!  Arizona.  Done!
us up to see what it was all about.  The food was actually really yummy, but hard to justify the price we paid ($6.00 for me, $12 for Richard.)  It also
put us home kinda late.  I don't think I'll do the pasta dinners again - unless they are really cheap and early.  
Saturday morning the race started out with the usual Marathon Maniac photos.