For those of you in the West Valley who love to
torture challenge yourselves, did you know that we have our very own hometown marathon in Surprise? Well we do! It’s called the Desert Classic Marathon and I ran it this year!
I’ve been training for a marathon since mid-October for this race, to check “run a marathon” off my bucket list. A lot of people asked me where my race would be, and when I said, “Surprise,” they really were surprised!
The Desert Classic, put on by the Arizona Road Racers, has been around for a while now, and this was their 21st annual marathon. There was also a half marathon and a 5k race going on at the same time, but I had trained for the whole 26.2 miles.
One thing that was a must for me was the option to start an hour earlier. I’m a slow runner, and I needed that extra time to be able to complete the race. So at 6am Saturday morning I took off and ran, and ran, and ran some more!
The Desert Classic is a small race, with under 50 people completing the marathon (this year) and a few hundred others doing the shorter races. But the volunteers were very friendly and encouraging, and the runners were well taken care of.
I loved starting in the dark. I knew it wouldn’t last, but for an hour or so it was just me and the playlist my husband had put together for me to listen to. Near the beginning I passed a sign facing the other way and turned around to see that it was the 26 mile marker. I got so excited thinking about seeing that sign again (much) later in the day.
It was an overcast, foggy day- perfect for a long day of running!
I knew that I would not be a competitive racer. I am not a strong runner. This was a test of my endurance, will, and determination, and I passed.
The 16 weeks of training paid off. I ran a half-marathon a few years back, and I remember finishing and thinking, how could anyone turn around and run back that same distance?! But when you train for so long and get used to running 14, 16, 18 miles at a time, a half-marathon seems like nothing.
Will I run again? Well, not for awhile! I’m ready to relax and focus on other things for awhile, and I’m ready to get back into the gym for some strength training and high intensity interval training (read: shorter workouts).
So if you are a runner or just someone who loves to try new things and push your limits, be sure to check out the Desert Classic Marathon, right here in the West Valley!