10 Reasons To Run The Phoenix Marathon

Runners are always on the hunt for a great race - everyone wants a list of the best marathons and what makes them so special. I really loved racing the Phoenix Marathon (9 days ago!) and I think you'll love it too - here are some awesome reasons:

You could legit wear this tank with jeans.

1. The weather in early February in the desert is fantastic for running a marathon.
The temps were in the late 30's when we left the hotel to go to the buses and early 40's at the start with no wind - hello perfect weather. Make sure you bring warm clothes to the start and you can donate old clothes or check your stuff at gear check (the gear check is easy and at the end of the race, you get your clothes back quick as a flash - great organization).

2. The race begins at 6:30 AM.
Why is this so amazing? Because you get to see an incredible desert sunrise (the views at the beginning of the race are beautiful) as you are running. A pretty perfect way to start your Saturday. Also, I love that the race is on Saturday - you can take advantage of Sunday to recover before the week begins.

3. They serve Gatorade Endurance along the course.
On course fuel is so important and Gatorade Endurance is the real deal. 

4. Plenty of aid stations.
You will not be stuck in the middle of the desert parched in the middle of a marathon! :)
The Phoenix Marathon had plentiful aid stations and friendly course support. All the volunteers had huge smiles on their faces and were so happy to help. During the later miles they handed out GU, which was crucial for runners. Also, I loved that they were very clear about which cups were for water vs. Gatorade.

5. Fast course.
Want to run fast and yet achieve the speed on an honest course? This is a great place to do it. No gimmick race straight down a mountain that will make you question your PR. The race begins slightly downhill, then levels out and a small hill at miles 5 and 6 and then it flattens out from there. You need to race smart and save something for the second half, but this is great course with almost no turns (turns in a marathon is not fun).

6. They provide heaters AND bonfires at the start + plenty of porta potties.
We stepped off the buses and right into the lines for the porta potties. There even an official to manage the traffic and it moved smooth as glass.
Afterwards, you can stay warm in the desert cold, with warm fires everywhere - this made a huge difference in the whole experience.

7. Fireworks at the start.
Every runner feels like a rock star as they had a mini fireworks show after the National Anthem. I loved this so much - it really felt like a celebration.

8. Wide finisher's shoot.
You never felt like you were going to be in anyone's way when you finished the race. Plenty of room for all the runners and it was so easy to navigate though the large area to receive your medal and begin to refuel.

9. FOOD.
They provided french toast and all sorts of fruit + food everywhere. If you wanted to eat, you were not going to be hungry after this race.

10. Free Massages from Massage Envy.
Hello? Yes, they had free massages available for every runner.

BONUS: The race tank is bomb. I love that it doesn't have huge writing all over it, it's black and understated. I will be wearing this shirt all the time (and it won't go in my stash of race shirts that are going to be turned into a quilt!).

Oh, and the medal is pretty sweet too...

Well, there you have it - head to the desert next February for a fun winter marathon weekend my friends and happy running.

Do Awesome Things.


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