McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Mileage - 15
Time - 1:34:02
AEG - 1,160ft
Place - 3rd Overall
Third time's a charm for the win, right? Not even close. For starters, I've been under the weather for most of January so it didn't come as a surprise when I was sucking wind running uphill. Outside of that, I just finished the interval phase of my marathon schedule and my legs are pretty taxed. Let's not take away from the performance of the overall winner and runner up, those guys put down times I'm not sure I could even contend with, even at 100 percent.
There's something that really draws me to this race, which is why I've run it three times in the past five years. I like the distance, course layout, smooth surface for desert standards, the fast finish, beautiful scenery and the post race fun and prizes Xterra dishes out. The two biggest takeaways from this event were my improvements in leg speed turnover and staying mentally tough enough to run hard while suffering through those early miles. Besides the first minute or two I ran this race completely solo, something I've become used to in the marathon, and I attribute that ability to stay focused to training alone without music or distractions.
A big thanks goes out to Shannon Linder for continuing to put on a great race and all the volunteers taking time out of their Superbowl Sunday to help. Now its time to sharpen up for the Phoenix Marathon in less than four weeks.
An unusually foggy morning in the desert.
A beautiful sunrise would soon follow.