Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Shine little glow worm.
The day before this race a weird weather system blew through, dropping the temperature 30 degrees down into the 60s! The packet included two Velcro bands with flashing LEDs and some flyers for the Red Cross, but oddly no info on the race! Fortunately they emailed the basic info, and parking in the gov’t district of downtown Phoenix turned out to be plentiful and free on Saturday evening.
Quite a few people brought extra light-up accessories, including one guy with light-up racing stripes down both arm and legs. There were also tutus, grass skirts, glowing mohawks… I feel underdressed, with my one blinking safety light and the race LEDs made into a hatband.
This was a really popular race – they extended the signup period due to demand – so there was quite a bit of crowding and jostling at the start. We spread out along Adams Street, blinking and twinkling in the night. There must be a bakery somewhere in the neighborhood; there’s a strong smell of rising bread. Just before we hit the art district the course makes a U-ey and heads west on Washington.
When I looked at the course map online it didn’t register that it was an out-and-back course, but here come the frontrunners, among them the guy with the racing stripes! Since it’s dark I haven’t really been checking my Garmin, just ticking along at a comfortable pace but pushing just a little. I did a 7 mile run this morning as part of my marathon training, so though a PR would be nice tonight I’m not going to kill myself to get it.
On the return, I can see the flash of the finish line photographer a mile off. There’s the smell of bread again, and a guy playing uke and singing. At the three mile mark I’m feeling pretty good and step on the gas to cover the home stretch!
The recovery table is ‘way down the chute, almost all the way to the lunch wagons, and I have to ask a volunteer where it is. After water & a banana I buy a veggie Indian taco from one of the wagons, visit the Red Cross tent, then go check on my time.
Official time: 28:41, a PR by 90 sec!