2018 Mt Lemmon Marathon
Published: Nov. 7, 2018, 10:23 a.m.
Describe your race day.
The race day started great! Bus loading was easy, shuttling to parking was easy, volunteers and organization of the race and finish line was fantastic!
I was worried at the start when the race didn't start on time, and that it would get too hot during the final miles. But that didn't happen and it stayed cool enough (only poured 2 cups of water on my head during the final miles).
The aid stations were great, the volunteers were great, and the running was fast on the course!
Did you PR?
I got a PR, shaving over 2 and a half minutes off my previous PR! I ran a 3:02:28! And I qualified for Boston!
How would you describe the course?
The course was fantastic! I broke the course up into 3 main segments. The first 4 miles, miles 5-25, and the last 1.2 miles to the finish. The first four were challenging with the ascents. So I took them conservatively. The goal was to run based on effort and not on pace. So I ran a bit slower to start the first 4 miles, and then the pace picked up running the next 21 downhill! I loved the whole downhill section, and then had a bit of work to do on the last mile.
The scenery was gorgeous! Starting in the trees and mountains was great and then being able to see the views our toward Tucson I always made sure to look out for. I really liked the hoodoo and rocky areas before coming down into the saguaros that dotted the mountains for the last 5 miles!
Tell us about your training.
My training consisted of 3 to 4 runs during the week and a long run on Saturdays. No track work, or any structured speed work, tempos, or planned slow runs. I ran by feel for every run and listened to my body to set the pace. I only had one downhill long run the whole training block. I would do more of them in the future, instead of mostly flat runs.
What advice would you give future runners?
Run the course by feel and try to do a steady effort. Test clothing and shoes during training to see what works for extreme downhill. I applied moleskin on my feet covering the bottom from heel to footpads to prevent blisters.
The weather was nice cool and crisp, perfect for marathoning. I used gloves the first 3 miles, and was fine after that in my singlet and shorts.
What fun things did you do in the area before or after the race?
We drove the course, which is great to know beforehand. It also was very scenic and had many viewpoints. We traveled from northern Utah by airplane. We visited Picacho Peak State park north of Tucson, and stayed with family in Casa Grande prior to race eve. And stayed at a friends house a few miles from the finish line.