It has been voted the Arizona Winter Classic “Best Little Marathon” and gets very positive reviews on Marathon Guide as well. It’s an all volunteer event with proceeds going toward local youth programs.
Race Recap: The Lost Dutchman Marathon
I flew into Phoenix mid afternoon the day before the race and took a taxi to the house where I was staying. Then I headed out to our MTA meet up dinner at Salernos Pizza. I got to see Ed from HI and Paula from OK again and meet Mary, Donna, Addie, Pete and Monica for the first time. I brought the infamous digital recorder and we enjoyed a nice meal talking all things running.
Paula was kind enough to pick up my packet for me since I didn’t make the expo in time which was only held on Saturday and closed at 5pm. They also had the option of getting your packet at Road Runner Sports on Thursday and Friday or get just your bib on race morning. From what I heard, the expo was nice and the volunteers were very helpful.
Race MorningEarly Wakeup
I got up at 3:45am and and was thankful that I’d organized everything the night before and prepared my UCAN because I had to leave the house at 4:15 for a 45 minute drive to the marathon buses.
I had a little trouble finding the right entrance to get to the buses in the dark but once I got pointed in the right direction they had volunteers who directed parking. The bus ride took around 40 minutes and involved some very rutted roads until we got to the Peralta Trailhead. No runners were allowed to drive to the marathon start because of the narrow dirt roads.
At the Runner’s Camp
The start area was at a place called Don’s Camp and they provided ground mats by mesquite warming fires. They also had coffee, hot chocolate, tea, water and breakfast breads available. There was a large bank of port-a pots without any lines which was awesome. They also had a bag drop area.
The half marathon, 10k, 8k trail run and 2 mile fun run had different starting times and locations so it was just us marathoners hanging around by the fires waiting for the race to start. There was a 6:15 time limit for the full marathon.
I saw Addie and she shared her mat by the fire. It was relaxing to sit around and talk amidst the fires, rock formations and starlit morning. The weather was mid-50’s already before 6am so the temps were very comfortable for sitting around.
I met Stephanie who was running her 2nd marathon; Christine from AZ, a Marathon Maniac running her 10th marathon; Shawn from St. Louis who is training for his first 50k; and Gary from St. Louis who I met at the Maniac picture. I guess people were drawn in by the sound of my familiar voice and laugh. Shortly before 7am we got in the starting area and I saw these two ladies wearing Run 3rd visors. I introduced myself and met Mindy and her friend which was a cool connection since we promoted their race last year.
The race begins near Gold Canyon, AZ (30 miles east of Phoenix) with 6 miles of running down a dirt road. The overall marathon route is a scenic point to point course with rolling hills. The starting elevation was 2330 ft and the finish was at 1840 ft. The scenery was just beautiful with the sunrise coming up behind the rock formations and the landscape covered with various cacti. Around mile 2 I met Scott a MTA listener & his friend Mike. I later met Greg from MN who has run 130+ marathons and is getting ready for his 25th Boston. I just love the interesting people you can meet through running.
The course included plenty of mild to moderate hills and was very scenic with views of the Superstition Mountains. There were volunteers or law enforcement at intersections and there was a generous lane coned off to run in. We ran mostly in rural areas with great views and then into some nice neighborhoods before running along the highway back to Prospectors Park in Apache Junction.
Around mile 17 there was a volunteer who told me, “you’re almost there…just 3 more miles to go.” He clearly was misinformed about how far a marathon was. I hope someone set him straight on the distance before he “encouraged” too many other people. There were a few pockets of spectators but not much for crowd support. Shortly after mile 19 the marathon course joined with the remaining half marathoners. One unique feature at mile 23 was that they had an archway entitled “The Wall” that we ran through.
There were 16 aid stations for the marathon starting at mile 2 with water and sports drink. They also had a couple gel stops and bananas at two locations. My personal favorite aid station was where they were giving out bacon and donut holes after mile 12. They also had a couple aid stations handing out wet towels for cooling although I was never able to obtain a towel. For my fueling I used 2 scoops of Generation UCAN before and during the race and had good energy levels.
I knew that the weather was going to slow me down as the temperatures climbed into the high 70’s early on. My goal was to get as far as possible before it got too warm so I knew I’d run a positive split (which is not an ideal way to pace a marathon).
There’s something about dry heat that just saps the moisture right out of you. For a while I thought I wasn’t sweating but then realized (by the salt crusting on my face) that it was just evaporating really quickly. I ran steady until mile 10 and then after that began to include regular walk intervals.
Taking it Easy
One thing I was dealing with physically was that I had received some blood work a week previously that showed that my ferritan and hemoglobin levels were low and I was anemic (which explains the constant tiredness, coldness, and shortness of breath). So anytime I got short of breath I would simply walk for a while before resuming running. I was definitely getting tired of hills by the time we got to the final two before the finish line.
In the last mile there was this lady wearing long pants, jacket and pack who was running her first marathon and she said, “let’s finish together.” It was cool to be able to share that moment with her although I marveled that she hadn’t already wilted from the heat.
My time was 4:32:01 and I reached the finishers area just in time to hear the award ceremony taking place. I got to see Addie (who finished 2nd in her age group) and Mindy after the race. This was my 42nd marathon and 33rd state.
Christopher Rayder was the male marathon winner in 2:40:04 and the female overall winner was Cecilia Castenada in 3:13:03. There were a total of 287 full marathoners, 719 half marathoners, 556 doing the 10k, and 619 participating in the 8k trail race.
They gave out a really nice medal, long sleeve race shirt and had good post-race food (chocolate milk, chips, turkey/cheese wraps, yogurt, oranges, and bananas). I sat for a while and ate before getting on the race shuttle to head to the car and drive to Phoenix. Even though the heat and hills got to me I really enjoyed my experience at the Lost Dutchman Marathon and would recommend this event.
Also Mentioned in This Episode
Website for the Lost Dutchman Marathon: http://lostdutchmanmarathon.org
50 States Marathon Club -for those interested in this goal.
Quick Tip: What to do the day before your race.
Carbon38 -fashionable, high performance women’s activewear.
The Runner’s Toolbox -resources to help you prevent injuries.