Rock n Roll Arizona: The Expo and Pre-Race!

 

I’m back for a second year as a Rock ‘n’ Blogger (RnR Ambassador) so I was excited to represent this year and take a closer look at things so I can (always truthfully) relay info back to y’all.

This year, there was a 1 miler race on Friday and a 5k race on Saturday morning. I had friends do both and who said both were fun. One said the band playing after the 1 miler was legit–a Tom Petty cover band! I was already having FOMO and that just intensified it.

@runlaurarun28

There were some changes made this year (new company!) and I noticed it as soon as we walked in to the expo on Saturday. There were computers available at the entrance of the expo building where you could search your bib number and fill out your waiver–away from the crowds and totally convenient (because I forgot to print mine out, lol!)

Easy walk through to get my bib and shirt but when we entered the actual expo, there were these cool computer screens wishing us luck… by name!! I’m thinking they “got” the info from our bibs?? but either way, I thought that was a nice, new touch 🙂

The expo seemed small, but I don’t mind small expos. I did a loop and half, snagged some Honey Stinger waffles then took a quick ProCompression pic and I was done!

I like that the expo is in downtown Phoenix (where the marathon starts) since we rarely make it down there, and it’s a good excuse to take our time (that, and parking costed $12 so I was going to milk it!).  If you’re coming from out of town and doing the half marathon (which starts and ends in Tempe, not downtown Phoenix), you can easily take the light rail to the expo.

We ate a new-to-us restaurant and enjoyed the beautiful 75 degree weather day 😀

RACE DAY

As I mentioned, the half marathon starts and ends in Tempe, Arizona (but goes through Scottsdale and a tiny little section of Phoenix).  People complain that it’s not “scenic” but you’re in the city, and I’m not sure how scenic it could be. I think if people are coming to Arizona because they want desert, they need to hit the trails. RnR Arizona does what it can in providing a visually appealing course–it’s start in Tempe’s Mill Ave district and ends at Tempe Town Lake. The middle portions are city streets which is unavoidable–you’re in the city. There’s a nice section (where the big hill is at at mile 9) that takes you around the Desert Botanical Gardens area and is a bit more desert-y. I like that it ends at Tempe Town Lake because it’s a huge area where you can hang out with friends/family afterward (with plenty of food options walking distance). Plus, the band is literally right there. Super convenient. By the way, this year Everclear performed and I totally relived my 90s youth.

Anyway, my husband and I are pros at this race as we’ve done it the past….oh 5 years?? We drive to a park-n-ride off the freeway (in Mesa) and take the light rail to the start line in Tempe–which happens to be at my alma mater, Arizona State University. Big reason why I love doing this race. I love coming back to my old campus stomping grounds 😀 Go Devils!

We arrived suuuuper early, because that’s how I roll, and because I also had to squeeze in 2 warm up miles and attend 2 group pictures, LOL!!

Moms Run This Town AZ

Pro Compression Ambassadors

Rockin’ the Arizona PC sock!!! ❤ #keepittight

It was while I was handing things over to my husband for gear check that I realized I LEFT MY SPIBELT WITH GU INSIDE IN THE CAR!!!! And remember, my car was back IN MESA!

I could feel my anxiety rising and tried hard not to panic. “It’s only a half, I will survive,” I told myself. But because I was shooting for a PR, I really wanted everything to be perfect. This was not perfect.

One of my MRTT girlfriends said she had an extra Huma gel she could give me and even though I hadn’t tried Huma gels before, I figured something was better than nothing. I mean, it’s not like they say to not try anything new on race day or anything.

Sigh……

I tried to get back in the zone. Like I said, I’ve done this race many times. I know this course. I know exactly what’s coming.

Race deets: Always on MLK weekend, always at ASU.

I knew that from the beginning, it’s a slight uphill that at parts you can see/feel and at parts not. I also knew there’s a “big” hill around mile 9 but that after that, you’ve got a fast finish 5k. I told myself to work it to the hill.

Get. to. the. hill.

Actual Race Re-cap tomorrow ❤ 

 

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Pat’s Run 2017

I’ve written about Pat’s Run before. It’s probably Phoenix’s most popular race. The 4.2 mile race is in honor of Pat Tillman, war-veteran and former NFL player, who died in Afghanistan in 2004. The unique race distance commemorates the 42 jersey he wore when he played for Arizona State University, and the finish line of the race leads you to the 42 yard line inside Sun Devil Stadium. The race always takes place in April, and on a day in the twenties–this year, 4/22.

Flat Helly

There were 28,000 registrants for the 13th annual walk/run.

I’ve done this race twice before, once pre-kids and once with my husband and I pushing a stroller. Needless to say, it is a very difficult race to maneuver, even without a stroller. Even though it is an awesomely inspiring race, I can’t get over the magnitude of the crowd, so I don’t sign up for it.

But this year the shirt was camo. And you cannot say no camo.

I was hoping for *more* camo, but I’ll take what I get, lol (source)

There was also a medal for the first time, which will become a part of a 4 year series (I don’t know how I feel about series medals…what do you guys think?).

Anyway, I didn’t have a game plan for this race. I wanted to be around half marathon pace as I have a half this coming weekend–so for me, that’s around 7:35-7:55/mile.

SPLITS: 7:42, 7:48, 7:39, 7:46

So I was happy. But as I’ve said, this isn’t a race to worry about time, but more so to soak up the atmosphere.

Cheesin’ with Sparky (Go Devils!)

At the start line with 28,000 of my closest running buddies (check out that girls badass hair)

I love running for a good cause. I love running with friends. I love running. ❤

–What’s the biggest race you’ve participated in?

–Are you a fan of series medals? (I’m not particularly a fan, tbh)

–Have you raced at your alma mater?

Phoenix Marathon Ambassador and an Instagram GIVEAWAY!!!

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Check out my Insta for deets!

Happy Hump Day!! It certainly is in HellyLand as I’m so happy to share with you that I was chosen to be a Phoenix Marathon ambassador 😀 If you’ve been reading this blog a while, then you’ll remember this was my very first marathon back in 2014.

Each year since, the race has given me some pretty special moments–my first DNF in 2015, and my current half PR in 2016. You’re probably thinking how my DNF could be “special” but it was. I learned so much from that low moment as much as learned from my high at this year’s race.

It’s a race I’m pretty certain I’ll do each year because I really do love it. I love the course–it’s not intimidating at all

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and I love that so many of my friends do it. It’s just a big running party. For it being *the* Phoenix Marathon, it’s not a huge race (yet) so it has a real homey feel to it. The start of the full has bonfires to keep us warm (it’s cold here in February! 50 degrees cold!) and fireworks to send us off.

It’s also a race many are finding out is a good course to BQ. Good ‘ol Suz killed the course last year and several of my friends have come out of there with qualifying times.

Because I want everyone to come visit me in Arizona and because I know you’ll want to escape your cold in Februrary, I’m giving away a FREE entry to the Phoenix HALF or FULL. The giveaway is on my Instagram only (sorry non Insta ppl). If you don’t have Instagram or don’t want to wait, you can use Helly10 for $10 off your registration for the FULL or HALF distance. Sign up and run with meeeeee!!!! ❤ , helly

–Do you have a local race you always participate in?

–How’s the weather where you’re from in February? (It’s bliss here.)

Linking up with Smitha and Erica for their Wednesday Giveaway Roundup!!

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